Strawberry plants should be mulched over to prevent winter injury to the plant crowns and to help keep the fruit relatively clean of dirt during harvest time.

Mulch strawberries in November

Strawberries should be mulched over to prevent winter injury to the plant crowns and to help keep the fruit relatively clean of dirt during harvest time.

The strawberry plant in early fall and late spring is likely to be injured by temperatures around 18 degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter when the plant is fully dormant it will withstand temperatures of 12 degrees Fahrenheit and not show any crown injury.

Many different things are done in regards to mulching, depending on location, soil texture, variety, market, and snow cover. To be absolutely safe, it is important to mulch strawberries in mid- to late-November when night temperatures approach 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Covering strawberry plants sooner than this should be avoided. Mulching over the strawberry plants too early will weaken the plants.

One of the best and most available mulches is wheat straw used at the rate of about one bale per 50 linear feet of row.

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Source: The Inside Dirt, Volume 10; Issue 9. CCE Ontario County.

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