How do I keep strawberries alive over the winter?
November 19, 2009 12:49 PM   Subscribe

I unexpectedly received several rare strawberry plants. Currently living in USDA Zone 6 -- what can I do to ensure they survive such late planting & a potentially hard winter?

Here's the background...

The strawberries arrived out of the blue this morning from the National Clonal Germplasm Repository. Berries were requested last spring and did not arrive during the growing season, so I assumed my request had not been granted. I'm now very excited to have them, but concerned that planting them this late in the season may not be so great for their survival.

I live in Zone 6 (mid-Missouri/Illinois) and have already put my strawberry bed to sleep for the season with the typical top dressing of straw. Next year, I may be moving out of the area, and will be taking any surviving berries with me.

Should I plant these guys in my garden or could they be planted in a pot to minimize transplant stress next year? If so, should the pot be kept inside or outside? Either way, will they survive the winter being planted so late? Is there anything I can do now or over the season to help them along? The strawberry bed is sheltered, and located on the South side of my brick home.

Strawberry varieties include White Carolina, White Pine, Suwanee, and Pochantas, if that info helps the formulation of a game plan. One plant is bareroot while the rest have foliage. [cringe]
posted by muirne81 to Home & Garden (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The strawberry bed is sheltered, like in the corner of the fence so it doesn't get a ton of wind, or like it has a cold-frame over it? A cold-frame would be a great way to help your strawberries out if you don't have one. They're pricey and bulky, but you can do a cheaper version with wire hoops and clear plastic (for sale, to make). Disclaimer: I have never used one of these, but I want one, and I bet it would work for you.
posted by aimedwander at 2:15 PM on November 19, 2009

In addition to a cold frame or greenhouse, have you looked into the Thermoplanter?
posted by turkeyphant at 2:27 PM on November 19, 2009

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