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Butler County

Renovating June-bearing Strawberries

strawberry plants

       Healthy strawberry plantings will be productive for three to four harvest seasons however, after that they will need renovated in order to stay productive. The best time to renovate strawberries is after you have finished harvesting. The renovation process involves several steps including reducing the row size, removing leaves and fertilizing.

       One of the main goals in renovation is to provide a high level of sunlight to plant leaves so they can manufacture the food the plant needs. If leaves have disease spots, remove all the leaves in the bed. Removing, these diseased leaves and weeds will cause new, non-diseased leaves to develop and remove competition from weedy plants.  

       Till or hoe each row of strawberries leaving a band of plants about 8 to 10 inches wide or remove small, weak plants throughout the bed, leaving a healthy plant every four to six inches. You can then remove all the leaves about 1 inch above the crowns either with a lawn mower or cut them all off. Follow the mowing up by covering the crowns with about one inch of soil over the top. After renovation strawberries should look somewhat like the photo below.

Strawberry plants post renovation

       Care for the plants the rest of the summer as you would a new planting by watering regularly and not letting the strawberries dry out in the heat of the summer. It’s best to fertilize strawberries in August to encourage growth. The mother plants will form runners or daughter plants throughout the summer. These daughter plants will root down then start storing food and setting bloom buds for the following spring. Remove the flowers of these daughter plants in the spring to allow the planting to produce more fruit the next year.

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Have questions? Contact our office where our Horticulture Extension Agent will assist you with questions.

Phone: (316) 321-9660

Email: callae@ksu.edu