Asked on Oct 2, 2017

What to do with strawberry plants.

AnnPJ WiseStaci


I tried strawberry plants for the first time this year. I got nice spindles and leafs but no berries. Am I supposed to cut it back for the winter? I live in central Illinois with harsh winters. Not sure what to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

5 answers
  • Catherine Anspaugh
    on Oct 2, 2017

    I'm afraid to say that your strawberries will not survive. They are annuals unless you are in the south or grow them in a greenhouse. Maybe you will have better luck next year with new plants. Remember to fertilize.

  • Gim22165447
    on Oct 2, 2017

    I currently live in SC, but I am a transplant from central IL. (Litchfield) I have grown strawberries all my adult life, that includes central IL to current. To answer your question would require more information. Are you container gardening, or are they in the ground. Although it's true they are an annual, the runners that come off them are the next year's crop. If you have them in containers, just set new containers with soil around your plant and allow the runners to root, do not cut away from the mother plant until AFTER you're sure they have taken root. You'll have to protect them for the winter. If you have them in the ground, preferable, just chop up the mother plant, if the runners are along the ground then chances are they are already rooted, cover the whole area with at least 3-4 inches of straw before the first frost. Nothing more to do until the ground begins to thaw in spring, reveal the new plants, but do not remove the straw till the plants are about 4 inches tall, watch for frost warning,( cover with plastic at night), uncover in morning, be vigilant till threat of frost has passed for the season . Fertilize in spring and ENJOY. Hope this helps
  • Staci
    on Oct 2, 2017

    I have grown strawberries in a whiskey barrel for the last two years I have not taken care of them as I should until this year. They have grown well. I did get some berries, but I think I need to put something that they can maybe climb, and I think they will do better. I live in Idaho, and mine didn't winter kill. We had the worst winter we've seen for a very long time, and they fared very well
  • PJ Wise
    on Oct 2, 2017

    A friend here in SW Michigan, Zone 5-6, grows at least an acre of berries, in ground, and really does nothing with them, other than to cover with straw before the first freeze and then uncover them after the chance of the last freeze in spring. She takes the straw used to cover the berries during the winter, and then tucks it under the mother and daughter (runners) plants after removing it in spring (protects the berries from the soil, acts to retain water and prevent weeds). When the weather warms up, you may consider using a fertilizer specifically for berries; follow those directions.
  • Ann
    on Oct 2, 2017

    👏👏👏👏👏👏👏great tips and I know do much more about the life of strawberrie.
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