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Butler County

Winterizing Strawberries

strawberry plants

        Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits that you can grow but they require some special care to survive our Kansas winters. Strawberries can survive pretty cold temperatures but they do best if they are protected in the winter. Mulch protects the plants both from the cold temperature and from our freeze/thaw cycles that the plants can experience in the spring. The time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the ideal time to mulch our strawberries in to protect them.

       It is very important to wait till the strawberries are completely dormant before we mulch them in for the winter. With last week’s cold temperatures, we should go ahead with these nice days and mulch those plants in. Strawberries can be damaged by temperatures down to 15 degrees if they haven’t fully hardened off while strawberries that are hardened off can easily handle much colder temperatures. Straw makes great mulch for strawberries. Spread a three-inch layer of mulch over the top of your strawberries. Just make sure the mulch is not in large or thick clumps as this can smother the strawberries. In the spring will need to remove the mulch as new growth starts to come out and as soil temperatures are warming up. If you aren’t sure when to remove the mulch wait till we have stopped the freeze/thaw cycle so the plants are less likely to be heaved out of the ground.

        Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits. We just planted a new strawberry bed this summer and I’m looking forward to having some berries in the spring. With just a little care you can easily have strawberries for years to come. Just a reminder, strawberries can handle really cold temperatures once they are adjusted to the fall.

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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