I have a raised bed which I planted with 24 strawberry plants (everbearing) in Spring 2011. I cut all the runners off throughout the year and mulched the bed at the end of October. But last night I was reading a book which says you are supposed to cut off all the leaves on the plants over Winter – I did not do this but should I have? And if the answer is yes, is it too late to do it now?
No, the cutting was “Renovating” and that should be done every two or three years. Everbearing have a three-year production life, so when you notice a significant drop in production, then renovate that fall and it will bring them back to peak production for another two years.
Another option is to root a runner next to the mother plant this summer and remove the parent this fall. You may want to keep the parent and new plant next summer, as long as your plants are spaced no closer than 4"-5" apart. That’s what I do on Everbearing. I started with rows with 10" spacing and plant a runner between them. The next fall I replace the older plant with a runner from the newer plant. So every year I’m replacing half my plants, and still getting production out of all of them. As long as you’re feeding your plants you can pack them pretty tight. Most of my rows are 20" wide with a 5″ × 5″ pattern of plants. I make sure I mix in some good compost where I replace a plant to keep them well fed. Also, remember to clip off the runner umbilical cord about a week after planting a runner so it won’t continue to bleed energy from the parent.
You’re in zone 8a, so you really don’t have to cover them for the winter since you don’t get long periods of continuous deep freezes. You’re good to go, so start thinking of strawberry shortcake, or french toast stuffed with strawberries & cream cheese.
Thank you, hotwired! Knew I could count on you for the correct advice. I definitely plan to root runners this coming year and will follow your recommendations.
I like my strawberries pretty much “straight-up” with a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar or else a good ol’ “Eton Mess” http://goo.gl/Cb08i
Off to dream and salivate! Thanks so much.
That sounds delicious. I’ll have to give that a try. I make Strawberries with a little sugar to make a syrup and serve in on baking powder biscuits with whipped cream. Of course it takes two hours on the elliptical trainer per serving.
I’d clip all but one runner on each this spring, wait 60 days before letting it blossom, and next year replace the original plant with one runner from the new plant. You’ll end up with 48 producing plants year after year. Cut all the runners off that you don’t want to use.
BTW, the link above needs a colon between the “2nd quote” and the “http” and no spaces.