The Q&A Archives: Saving Strawberry Plants

Question: How do I save my strawberry plants for next year? I splurged on a little strawberry plant this spring, to put in my plot in a community garden. It is growing very well -- it has put out many runners, and is still producing delicious red berries regularly. The problem is that the park district comes out on Oct. 31, with a front end loader and scrapes the entire garden clean. So if I want strawberries again next year, I'll need to do something now. Can I put the pot in a sunny window? Is it better to put the pot in the refrigerator over the winter? Is it better to put the bare-roots plant in the refrigerator? How often should it be watered? What other care does it need to be ready for next spring? If I put it in the sun, will it continue to give berries all winter? Will that tire the plant out too much, so that it won't be able to produce next spring? Does the same advice apply to herbs such as mint, chives, thyme, sage, basil? This is the first year that I tried growing herbs, also. Thanks so much for your advice.

Answer: Strawberry plants usually run out of steam and are replaced by their runners. So I would suggest potting up the runners in an organically rich soil and put them in a sunny location. Water when the soil dries out to about an inch or so. Fertilize with a balanced product once a month. It's unlikely it will produce fruit. Herbs can also be brought indoors and placed in a sunny location. Pinch them back periodically to keep them bushy. They need soil with excellent drainage, and don't overwater. Hope this info helps.

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