The Q&A Archives: Storing Strawberry Barrels

Question: How do you store Strawberry plants in barrel containers during the cold months: indoors or outdoors? It gets very cold in Michigan!

Answer: Strawberries need winter chilling to remain dormant, so don't bring them indoors. You can, however, move them to an unheated shed or other sheltered place. In overwintering the plants, your goal is to both protect them from extremely cold temperatures AND protect them from freeze/thaw cycles which can damage plants. I suggest you get some chicken wire or similar wire fencing, and make a large cylinder that can surround the entire barrel. Make it large enough so that there is about a foot clearance all around. Then fill this area between the fencing and the barrel with dry leaves, hay, or straw, mounding it on top as well. Then I would cover the top with a piece of plastic tarp or other waterproof material to keep the insulating material from getting soaked, while still allowing some air circulation.

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