The Q&A Archives: Winterizing Alpine Strawberries In Containers

Question: We're moving from a dwelling with a yard to a townhouse condo with decks. I'm transplanting my Alpine strawberries ( purchased from your stock) into 8" deep trays about 6" wide and 36" long. Need to know how to winterize them, while leaving them on the deck. Have, for the time being, placed them on the floor of the deck, next to the townhouse wall, figuring that will afford them the most wind protection and some radiated heat from the structure.
How much should they be covered? Should they be wrapped or kept loosely covered, and what is the best material to use, if they ARE to be covered?

A comment on a question I read in your FAQ.s...I got both white and red ripe berries (from different crowns). Once I recognized, by trial and error, when the whites were ripe, I found them to be just as sweet as the red.

Answer: The main danger to container plants is that the roots will freeze. You will need to insulate the soil somehow. One way is to sink the container in the ground, another is to heap mulch around it, another is to wrap in insulating materials as best you can. Also make sure that the soil is kept moist, but not sopping wet, until it freezes. The strawberries themselves should only be covered with a fluffy type of mulch such as pine needles, straw, or possibly non-packing leaves such as chopped oak leaves. The raised deck will be cold from underneath, so if you are able to set the container on the ground under the deck that would be better. You may have to experiment, too, and see what works best for you in this location. Good luck with your strawberries!

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