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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year I planted strawberries in a sqare foot garden. They grew like crazy and sent runners everywhere, but no fruit (that's OK- I didn't figure we'd get any this year). They were veryy happy plants.<br><br>
Since they are perenials (basically) I just let them go over the winter. All the leaves turned brown and died off. I wasn't worried- lots of perenials do this. I'm looking now and see little green leaves near the soil.<br><br>
What I'm worndering is: 1.) Were all the leaves SUPPOSED to die off? I've never grown strawberries before. Maybe that wasn't supposed to happen? Was I supposed to protect them during the winter? and 2.) What do I do now with all the dead parts of the plants? They are not going to green up are they? If they aren't, do I snip them? They seem pretty firmly attached... (too attached for finger raking).<br><br>
They aren't ruined, are they? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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The leaves do turn brown and "die", but the plant is alive under ground. It will sprout up again in the early spring. I don't think you need to worry. I am not the plant expert at my house, but I think this is normal. Do you have a very cold winter where you live? If so, you really should put straw or mulch over the plants before freeze to protect them.<br><br>
Really, you are supposed to pick all the buds off of this years plants so that there are 2 years with no fruit. Then the third year, you should get quite a bit of fruit and they should be really hardy plants. Again, I am not an expert on plants...just going by my green thumb husband's words.
 

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THey sound fine to me, if they're putting out new leaves they're healthy plants <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
TO answer your questions more directly though<br><br>
1) Mulching your strawberiies for the winter is a good idea, but not necessary if you live in a temperate climate. I live in the Gulf islands of BC Canada and have never bothered mulching as we rarely get more than a week or so of snow or temperatures lower than -10 C. The plants die off over the winter (though I'll get berries until Oct/Nov) but as long as they rooted well they put out shoots again come Feb.<br><br>
2) I wouldn't start culling the dead bits yet, sometimes the new growth wont show until much later in the year. I'd wait until near the end of their season for this year and then cut away any plants that didn't re-grow if I was going to bother at all. Personally though, I just leave them, I try to train the new shoots to root back close to the older plants so it doesn't look so 'dead' and let them compost in place.<br><br>
Here's hoping you get a plentifull yeald this year!<br><br>
(And ya, getting none last year was to be expected, strawberries are a two year plant so shoots on the original plant will yeald this year but the runners you got last season won't produce fruit until next year.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK- so leave the brown dead leaves.... It's just kinda hard because they were so happy last summer they made almost a dense mat of leaves, so now it is a big brown pile. But I'll just wait. If nothing else, they are sheltering the little green leaves just making their appearances <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">. If they get in the way of the new plants, do I cut them then?<br><br>
We live in northern Colorado, which lots of people kind of picture as a frozen wilderness, but the weather is actually a lot milder than it was back in the northeast. We are high in altitude but not in the mountains (the "high plains"). We have a few good snows and it gets cold, but I didn't think it was too extreme for strawberries... New England and Maine are much harsher, actually, and strawberries grow there... I can't really put straw on it over the winter because we get really strong wind. But if they don't do well this summer, I'll see what I can do.
 

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Well, if it's too unsightly for you taking a pair of scissors and trimming off just the leaves won't hurt. But I'd do just the leaves for now and leave the vines until the end of the season.<br><br>
I thought I'd trim off the 'dead' vines last year on mine (I grow them in pots and didn't like the look of the dead vines hanging out) and found that most of the vines that had a plant on the end of them weren't actually dead. I planted the plants back into the planter and had new shoots on those within weks. I figure the vine acts rather like an umbilicus, so cutting it off before the shoot starts to regrow for the year is not (in my mind) the best of ideas.<br><br>
(And were but on Mothering could I compare a plant to Mother and Babe as a reason to NOT cut, and get away with it? Love this place! lol)
 

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Not really helpful but I wanted to say thanks for starting the thread. I have strawberries that are years old and never produce fruit. I suspect that is because the mint has taken them over though. At least we have an organic strawberry farm down the road.<br>
Hope you get some fruit this year.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>~Yola</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10805532"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And were but on Mothering could I compare a plant to Mother and Babe as a reason to NOT cut, and get away with it? Love this place! lol)</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> this is so true... and I know I have heard of "life sucking runners" being cut off of the mother plant.
 
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