Sometimes considered a challenging crop, folks in cold regions with freezing winters often grow plants as annuals and discard them at season’s end. When do I need to put straw round the plants? During the winter, it's a good idea to spread straw over the top of growing strawberries to protect them. The strawberry plants should be spaced one foot apart from each other – going both directions. Straw makes good mulch because it’s clean, lightweight and breaks down easily to add organic matter to the soil. Protecting Strawberries from Frost When to Mulch Strawberries. Strawberries, Fragaria × ananassa, are low-profile, fruit-bearing perennials suited to cultivation in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 10. Hay usually has … Novice gardeners - we've been given 16 strawberry plants which are thriving (each has 4-5 fruits ranging in size from a pea to a cherry, but still white/green). The straw will also serve as a good ground cover and will keep the berries from lying directly on the soil. Simply put, you need to winterize strawberries to keep them alive and well. Strawberry plants tolerate light frosts, but the plants and flowers are easily damaged by heavy frosts. To protect plants, cover them in the fall with a 3- to 5-inch layer of weed-free straw. Straw bales can be purchased, broken up and strewn about to mulch strawberry plants during the growing season, as well as over the winter. Assume it's to keep the fruit raised off the soil and stop them getting too wet/eaten by slugs etc.
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