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How To Prune Stawberry Plants

How To Prune Strawberries In The Spring: Prune Strawberry Plants

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by Helen
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For strawberries to produce fruit year after year, they require some care.  These tips demonstrate how to prune strawberries.  Also, how to clean strawberry plant beds for the new growing season.  We've been growing strawberries in our patch for a few years, which has been quite productive.  However, I decided to plant them in a raised bed with blackberries.  The strawberries seem to thrive in their location, but I noticed some areas were bare this spring after winter.

Organic gardening is a great way to grow healthier plants and vegetables for both you and the environment.  By using natural, chemical-free methods to fertilize and control pests, you can avoid harmful toxins and promote the growth of vigorous, resilient plants.  Organic gardening can be a great option when growing strawberries.  By using natural fertilizers like compost and avoiding synthetic pesticides, you can produce strawberries that are not only delicious but also free from harmful chemicals.  Not only is it better for you and the environment, but also for pollinators, including various types of bees.

Additionally, organic gardening can help promote biodiversity in your garden and contribute to a healthier ecosystem.  So, if you want to grow strawberries or other plants, consider organic gardening for a healthier, more sustainable approach.  

There were many dead leaves from the blackberries, and the strawberries weren't taking off as I thought they should.  I realized I needed to do some maintenance on my strawberry patch this year.  Here's what I did and what you should do for your own strawberries.

How To Prune Strawberries
courtesy: bambams coop

How to Clean and Prune Your Strawberries

If you want to keep your strawberry patch healthy and productive, giving it some attention and care is essential. Luckily, reviving your strawberry bed is a simple process that can be done in just a few steps:

  1. Clear away any dead leaves or debris from the bed, making sure to remove any weeds that may be present.
  2. Add compost or other organic material to the soil to improve its quality and fertility.
  3. Prune your strawberries by trimming back old foliage and runners, leaving only the healthiest plants.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your strawberry patch will continue to thrive and produce a bountiful harvest for years. 

Planning ahead is always a good idea, especially regarding gardening. Fall is a great time to plant certain crops and vegetables that can thrive in cooler temperatures. Some popular fall crops include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, lettuce, and spinach. You can start preparing your garden beds in late summer or early fall by removing dead plants and debris, adding compost or other organic material to the soil, and ensuring that the area gets enough sunlight. By planning and starting early, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh, healthy produce well into the fall and winter months.

Step 1. Removing Dead Leaves When Careing for Strawberry Plants

During winter, dead leaves can accumulate in the strawberry patch or bed. It is essential to remove these dead leaves as they may contain spores or other harmful substances that can spread diseases or cause mold in your strawberries. 

Additionally, removing the dead leaves will eliminate hiding places for slugs and other pests that may damage your plants. This will make getting rid of them easier and keep your strawberry bed healthy.

You can use either your hands or a rake to remove the dead leaves and maintain your strawberry plants. While using a rake can help pull out older plants, it may also uproot the younger ones. Using your hands is a better option if you have a raised bed. 

However, using a rake to remove the old plants and leaves is recommended if your plants are in an older bed. This will ensure that only the newer and healthier plants remain in the bed.

Step 2. How to Prune Strawberry Plants

You might notice several runner vines once you have cleared the leaves from your strawberry bed. These vines connect the adult plant to the new baby plants. 

It's a good idea to prune the strawberries runners before the growing season begins, and the ideal time to do so is in late February or early March. During the growing season, it's best to leave the new baby plants in the bed, and then in the spring, you can prune them from the adult plant.

If you find a new baby plant rooted in, you don't need to do anything else. However, if it's loose, make sure to plant it. Some people prefer to cut their runners each year and dispose of them, but I like to keep them. This helps maintain a strawberry patch that has a mix of younger and older plants, all producing well.

Step 3. Feeding and Mulching Your Strawberry Plants

After you have removed the leaves of your strawberry bed and replanted the runners, it's essential to mulch the patch.   Although, I prefer to use hay over mulch.  Adding compost continuously provides the necessary nutrients to the plants as I water them.  Since worm compost is so expensive, we raise worms in a worm composter in our raised beds.  You can also use mushroom compost to provide nutrients for your strawberry plants.  Moreover, it helps retain the moisture in the soil and protects the strawberries from drying out, which is crucial during fruit setting.  If you prune your strawberries, they will indeed thrive.

Some gardeners suggest refraining from fertilizing until the fruit starts to appear.  Fertilizing too early can stimulate leaf growth instead of fruit production.  However, I have observed that adding compost during bed cleaning can feed the plants without causing excessive leaf growth.

Final Thoughts: How To Prune Your Strawberries In The Spring

In conclusion, taking care of your strawberry plants is essential to ensure they grow healthy and produce high-quality fruit. By following the tips mentioned above, such as pruning runners, fertilizing after harvesting, and removing dead leaves, you can help your plants thrive. Remember to prune your strawberries in late February or early March and use a balanced fertilizer with a composition close to 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 for optimal results. You can enjoy delicious, homegrown strawberries all season long with proper care.

Growing lettuce can be a great way to get started if you're new to gardening. Lettuce is relatively easy to grow and doesn't require a lot of space or special equipment. You can grow lettuce in containers or raised beds, whether in a backyard or just a small space, balcony, or patio.

READ NEXT: Early Plantings for Success: Spring Vegetables To Grow In Texas

Here are a few tips on caring for your strawberry plants.

How to Prune Strawberry Plant Runners 

When pruning runners from a strawberry plant, make sure to cut the runner vine as close to the plant as possible without damaging the roots. No further action is required if the new baby strawberry plant is firmly rooted. However, if it is loose, it should be planted.

When is the Best Time to Prune Strawberries?

It is best to prune strawberry runners in late February or early March before the growing season begins.

When is the Best Time to Fertilize Strawberries?

The ideal time to fertilize your strawberry plants is after the fruit has been harvested and they stop producing. This is the perfect opportunity to provide them with a boost of balanced fertilizer. It is recommended to use a fertilizer with a composition close to 12-12-12.

Should I Cut the Leaves off Strawberry Plants?

You should remove any dead leaves while leaving the green ones on the plant.


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