The Q&A Archives: Growing Strawberries

Question: My strawberry plants are turning yellow then brown. Last year the complete bed did this, but the plants were coming back until just lately.

Answer: It's not unusual for the leaves to die after the harvest of strawberries is over. In fact, it's recommended that you mow over the bed at the end of the season to remove the old leaves. Set your mower blade to 2" so you remove just the leaves and not damage the crowns of the plants.

Strawberry beds should be renewed about every three years, using new plants. You can renovate your bed by digging and removing all the plant material, and then replanting the smallest, or youngest, strawberry plants, and discarding the larger, older plants. After removing all the plant material from the bed, spread 3-4 inches of compost or other organic matter over the top of the bed and dig it in to a depth of 6-8 inches. This will help loosen the soil and add nutrients that will be slowly released as the organic matter decomposes. Then plant the strawberries so that the crowns of the plants are just at soil level. Then mulch the bed to protect the plants, and to help suppress weeds. In the spring new leaves will sprout from the crowns of the plants.

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