Potted strawberries can be a great addition to your winter garden. Not only do they add a splash of color in an otherwise drab season, but they are also surprisingly hardy and can survive cold temperatures.
Many potted strawberries will even produce fruit during winter when other plants have gone dormant. With proper care and protection from the elements, you can enjoy fresh strawberries nearly year-round with potted plants.
Potted Strawberries Can Survive The Winter
We’ll discuss how to successfully grow and care for potted strawberries during the winter so that you can harvest ripe and juicy berries all season long. Let’s get started.
1. Choosing Your Variety
When it comes to winter potted strawberries, not all varieties are created equal.
Some types have been bred specifically for cold climates and can withstand temperatures below freezing with no problem. Other varieties may be more fragile and need extra protection or special care to survive the cold months.
It’s important to research before planting any strawberries in winter, as some varieties require extra protection from frost and snow accumulation.
Jewel, Fort Laramie, and Albion are among the hardest and most suitable for colder climates. Additionally, look for “day-neutral” varieties that will produce fruit regardless of daylight hours or length of days, this is key during the dark winter months when daylight is scarce.
2. Preparing The Soil
Before planting your potted strawberries, it’s essential to prepare the soil properly. The soil should be well-draining and slightly alkaline, with a pH of 5.4–6.5.
It should also be fertilized, as winter growing conditions often make it difficult for plants to access the nutrients they need from the soil.
A slow-release organic fertilizer is ideal, as it will provide consistent nourishment throughout the winter months without damaging the environment.
3. Choosing A Pot
When selecting a pot for your winter strawberry plants, choose one that is large enough (at least 8 inches wide) and has drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape.
Additionally, the pot should be waterproof and insulated to withstand cold temperatures and snow accumulation better.
If you’re using a plastic pot, consider wrapping it in bubble wrap or insulation material for extra protection from the cold.
4. Caring For Your Potted Strawberries
Once planted, potted strawberries require regular care and attention throughout the winter months.
Watering is especially important during this time, as dry soil can lead to stressed plants and poor fruit production. Ensure the soil stays moist but not soggy, as too much water can suffocate your plants’ roots.
Additionally, mulch around your strawberry plants with straw or grass clippings to help insulate them from the cold and reduce water evaporation.
5. Protecting Your Plants
In areas where temperatures dip below freezing, it’s important to provide extra protection for your potted strawberry plants.
Move them indoors when temperatures fall drastically or cover them with a cloth or burlap sack to protect them from frost and snow accumulation. Additionally, you can use outdoor lighting, such as holiday lights, to keep plants warm in colder climates.
6. Harvesting Your Berries
Finally, when the time comes to harvest your winter strawberries, make sure that you do so carefully and gently.
Gently twist each berry off its stem using your thumb and forefinger, this will ensure that you don’t damage the plant and that you don’t leave any of the berries attached to the stem.
With proper care and attention, your potted strawberry plants will thrive in winter, providing you with delicious fresh fruit all season long.
So go ahead, and give winter gardening a try. You can harvest juicy strawberries right from your backyard this winter with just a few simple steps.
Tips For Winterizing Potted Strawberry Plants
Potted strawberry plants need a little extra attention during the colder winter months. Without proper care, they may not survive until springtime.
Here are some tips for winterizing potted strawberry plants:
• Move the pots to an area away from strong winds and direct sunlight. This will help keep them sheltered from harsh weather conditions and ensure they receive enough light.
• Cover the pots with burlap or fabric to provide additional insulation against cold temperatures. Make sure there is room between the pot and the fabric so air can flow freely.
• Water your plants regularly during this time, but don’t overwater, as this could lead to root rot or disease. Additionally, add a layer of mulch around the pot to help keep the soil warm and retain moisture.
• Prune away any dead or damaged foliage from the plants, as this can harbor pests or diseases during wintertime. This will also allow them to put their energy into producing new growth for spring.
• Fertilizing your plants is also important. Use a fertilizer specifically formulated for strawberries and applies it according to the instructions on the package. Avoid applying too much fertilizer, which could cause root burns or other damage.
These are just a few tips for successfully winterizing potted strawberry plants. Following these steps will ensure they survive until they can be replanted in the garden come springtime. You can have healthy and productive strawberry plants for the next season with extra care and attention.
Checking Strawberry Plants For Cold Damage
It’s important to check your strawberry plants for cold damage every spring. When temperatures drop, the foliage of these hardy fruit crops can suffer from frostbite and dieback, reducing production and delaying ripening.
Here are some steps you can take to assess the level of cold damage in your strawberry crop:
1. Check the leaves
Look for leaf discoloration or wilting, which may indicate that your plant has been affected by frostbite or severely cold weather.
You may also see brownish spots on the leaves caused by ice crystals forming inside them. In extreme cases, entire leaflets may be blackened and dead.
2. Examine the crown
Once you’ve identified discoloration or leaf wilting, check the plant’s crown. This is where new growth and fruit will emerge in the spring. If it’s brown or blackened, it has likely been damaged by cold weather.
3. Feel for tenderness
Gently squeeze a handful of strawberry plants between your fingers to assess their firmness and resilience. If they feel soft and mushy to the touch, then this could be a sign that cold damage has caused them to lose water content, resulting in a weakened state.
4. Observe new growth
As temperatures warm up and days lengthen, new shoots should begin emerging from established crowns if there hasn’t been too much damage.
If your plants don’t show any new growth after several weeks, it could be a sign that the cold weather has taken its toll.
By following these steps, you can accurately assess the level of cold damage in your strawberry crop and take appropriate measures to protect them from further harm.
When inspecting your plants for cold damage, always wear protective gloves to avoid contact with any harmful chemicals or pesticides present on the leaves.
Additionally, make sure you water your strawberry crop regularly and provide adequate protection from extreme temperatures to ensure a healthy season.
Potted strawberries can be a great way to enjoy homegrown produce throughout winter.
With proper care and protection from harsh temperatures, these hardy fruit plants can survive until springtime, when they can be replanted in the garden.
Additionally, it’s important to check for cold damage each season by paying attention to discolored leaves or damaged crowns.
Following these guidelines will ensure your strawberry crop stays healthy and productive for years.