How to Cut Down Strawberry Plants
Strawberry plants come in many varieties, but June-bearing species in particular need to be tended to after each growing season. These berries, which are traditionally grown in a matted-row system, need help maintaining their ideal dimensions so that the essential nutrients go back down to the roots and enable the plants to continue producing large, luscious strawberries for the next three to four years. By cutting down your own strawberry plants, you ensure that they can continue producing a bountiful harvest.
Set your mower to its highest level (about 4 inches) and mow the top of your strawberry patch to get rid of the old leaves. Rake up the cut foliage when done.
Cut out any weeds, such as dandelions, that you find in the patch. These other plants compete for the essential nutrients that your berries need to continue thriving.
Use a hoe, cultivator or rototiller to trim the patch row back to 12 to 18 inches wide. This is the ideal measurement for strawberry patches.
Locate the youngest and healthiest strawberry plants and cut down any other growth so that the most vigorous plants have 6 inches of space in every direction. This cushion gives your best plants the growing room they need so that they continue producing well.
Facts About Strawberry Plants
Despite the name, strawberries are not technically berries or fruit, but rather the ends of the plant's stamen. Under certain conditions, strawberry plants have been known to form matted colonies that live up to 50 years. Strawberry plants are divided into three categories: June-bearing, which produce the most flavorful berries; everbearing, which typically provide two main crops each year; and day neutral, which flower and fruit consistently throughout the summer. he type of cultivar appropriate for a particular environment depends upon preference and growing conditions. Under the best of conditions, you can harvest at least 1 quart of berries per 5 feet of row. The color of the berries when ripe also varies from one cultivar to another, with some having pink berries when ripe and others red or dark red. Certified strawberry plants mean they are certified to be free from insects and diseases, which is important because insect-borne viruses are devastating to strawberries.
If the cut strawberry plants are disease free, you can add them to your compost pile.
- If the cut strawberry plants are disease free, you can add them to your compost pile.
- Hoe, cultivator or rototiller
- University of Illinois Extension: Growing Strawberries
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Strawberries in the Home Garden
- Oregon State University: Growing Strawberries in Your Home Garden
- Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service: Growing Strawberries in the Home Garden
- Ontario Berry Growers Association: Strawberries
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: The Morphology and Physiology of the Strawberry
- University of California, Davis: Crop Profile for Strawberries in California
- University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Characteristics of Strawberry Cultivars Commonly Grown in California