Stella Otto: The Backyard Fruit Gardener

Today's Tip: Mow vegetation short around the base of fruit trees and bushes to reduce winter habitat for rodents.

Category Archives: Strawberries

Strawberries—What Type is Right for Your Garden?

Ripe strawberries are usually ready for picking in June

Who doesn’t love a juicy, red, ripe straw­berry? Most gar­den­ers wel­come their con­cen­trated har­vest that comes fast and furi­ous in June (or a bit ear­lier in some of the warmest south­ern states) but lament how fast it is over; here for Father’s Day, gone by Fourth of July. Did you know you can eat your strawberries […]

Dealing with Raised Beds, Strawberry Pyramids, and Containers in Winter

Sit­u­a­tions where straw­berry plants are more exposed to soil freez­ing and the root and crown dam­age that accom­pa­nies it bear spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion. This would include plants grown in raised beds, pyra­mids, bar­rels, and pots. Ide­ally mov­ing con­tainer grown plants to a pro­tected but unheated garage may help pro­tect them from wind dessi­ca­tion and mild freezing. […]

Floating Row Cover vs. Natural Mulch for Strawberries

In my last post, I talked about using straw or other nat­ural mulch to pro­tect straw­ber­ries from win­ter freeze dam­age. Float­ing row cov­ers can be used as an alter­na­tive or adjunct to nat­ural mulches. They offer the advan­tages of increas­ing yield and an ear­lier har­vest because light pen­e­trates the row cover and more flower blossoms […]

And THIS is Why we Mulch Strawberries in the Winter.……

From 44°F to 14°F in 2 days; it’s these dra­matic tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions in a short time that wrecks havoc with fruit­ing plants. Add to that a wind chill that put tem­per­a­tures in the sin­gle dig­its and you have a recipe for tis­sue des­ic­ca­tion (dry­ing out) and crown injury to exposed straw­berry plants. Early in the win­ter, the […]

Winter Protection for Strawberries

Spreading hay mulch on strawberries for winter protection

Why Mulch? As tem­per­a­tures drop and day-length short­ens, straw­ber­ries begin to go into dor­mancy to pro­tect them­selves from win­ter cold. New leaf growth stops, old leaves turn red, and the plants take on a low pro­file “flat­tened” appear­ance. By late Novem­ber the plants have gained con­sid­er­able har­di­ness or abil­ity to with­stand cold. As tem­per­a­tures remain […]