The Q&A Archives: Caring For Patio Strawberry Plant

Question: How do I care for my patio strawberry plant over the winter? I planted it last spring. It did not produce berries--just more runners which I snipped off. Should I keep it in the shed, or on the porch? Should I water it?

Answer: Since the plants' roots will not benefit from the insulation normally provided by being planted in the ground, I would suggest keeping them in a sheltered spot outdoors with good air circulation. Be sure the soil does not dry out completely but on the other hand the plants may rot if it is kept soaking wet: barely damp is what you should aim for. You might try insulating around the pot by piling shredded bark mulch around it (but not over the plants themselves) or by wrapping the whole thing in burlap stuffed with an airy fluffy layer of straw or fluffy dried leaves. If you used a terra cotta pot, however, you will need to protect it from freezing or else the pot may crack or shatter. No matter what you do, be sure to bring the pot outdoors into the sun and air as soon as the weather moderates in the spring so the plants can reawaken normally.

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