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Did I kill my strawberry plants

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Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  jenalawz on 3/13/2017, 5:46 pm

Hello everyone,

My name is Jenny, I live in NH and this will be my second year of gardening (you know, after the blizzard/snowmageddon that is coming tomorrow:). I have 3 raised beds, one of them just for strawberries. I bought 12 plants as root stock last year and they transplanted well, and i pinched off most of the buds i saw so that this year I would get some berries (though I did get some last year as well). Being the newbie that I am, I didn't realize I needed to winterize the strawberry bed. By the time the first snow fell, there was probably an inch, maybe a bit more of pine needles and leaves covering the bed, but now that I am reading i needed to probably put like 6 inches of mulch or leaves over it, I'm wondering if I killed my strawberry bed and need to buy new plants. So, that is my question, what are the odds the plants didn't get destroyed by the winter? Thanks in advance!
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  Mikesgardn on 3/13/2017, 7:35 pm

In Maryland, I never covered my strawberry beds.  They suffered through 30" snowfalls and sub-zero temperatures once in a while, but your New Hampshire winters are much tougher.  Hopefully a New Englander will chime in.
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  Ginger Blue on 3/13/2017, 9:35 pm

happy hi

Hello, from a NH neighbor! Welcome to the SFG forum!

This is only my second New England winter and I don't have a lot of experience with strawberries in this climate. Hopefully, someone else can answer your question, so we can learn together.

Assuming the strawberries will survive and thrive, what are your plans for the other two raised beds, this year?

GB
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/13/2017, 9:47 pm

I would think if your beds are on the ground (not table tops) and you have had a nice blanket of snow, you are good.  Snow is the great insulator!  

Let us know how they do, I think you will be OK.  Unless your beds have air under them, they freeze HARD.  Root damaging hard.
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  Kelejan on 3/14/2017, 1:43 am

glad you\'re here  Jenny happy hi 
from Kelejan  :canada: in British Columbia.

The odds that your strawberries will survive are pretty high.  When the snow goes and you can see what is left, they may look a little raggedy but they will soon put out beautiful new shoots of lovely green.

Good luck. hungry
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/14/2017, 12:37 pm

Hi Jenny! Great to have another New Englander on the forum.  Pop on over the the New England thread and say hey when you get a chance.  Your posts (and photos of your garden;) are most welcome!

I agree with Kelejan.  I think your berries will be fine.  Mine get tender loving neglect all year and still produce.  I leave any pine needles and autumn leaves where they fall, throw on some compost on occasion, and every spring the new stronger growth pops out.

CC
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  jenalawz on 3/15/2017, 5:57 pm

Thank you so much for the replies everyone! I'm confident they will be ok, based on everyone's responses! 

To answer your questions GB, the other two existing beds are going to be for 3 different types of tomatoes, watermelon, canteloupe, 2 types of corn, kale, arugula, 2 types of cucumbers. I am going to plant pumpkins seperate this year, and also a tiered strawberry bed for some other types of strawberries i bought. I probably have bitten off more than i have time for, but i'm hoping for the best!
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/15/2017, 9:47 pm

@jenalawz wrote:Thank you so much for the replies everyone! I'm confident they will be ok, based on everyone's responses! 

To answer your questions GB, the other two existing beds are going to be for 3 different types of tomatoes, watermelon, canteloupe, 2 types of corn, kale, arugula, 2 types of cucumbers. I am going to plant pumpkins seperate this year, and also a tiered strawberry bed for some other types of strawberries i bought. I probably have bitten off more than i have time for, but i'm hoping for the best!
Can't wait to hear from you, and, we love pictures!  
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/16/2017, 5:27 pm

@jenalawz wrote:Thank you so much for the replies everyone! I'm confident they will be ok, based on everyone's responses! 

To answer your questions GB, the other two existing beds are going to be for 3 different types of tomatoes, watermelon, canteloupe, 2 types of corn, kale, arugula, 2 types of cucumbers. I am going to plant pumpkins seperate this year, and also a tiered strawberry bed for some other types of strawberries i bought. I probably have bitten off more than i have time for, but i'm hoping for the best!
Hi Jenny, I just wanted to say welcome to the forum! happy hi I love arugula, I'm growing 4 different types this year.
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/18/2017, 5:14 pm

Hi Jenny. Please accept a late welcome from Atlanta, GA.

How are the plants doing?
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  sanderson on 3/19/2017, 2:24 pm

Jenny, I am late to the party. Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here

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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  bigdogrock on 3/19/2017, 8:45 pm

Hey Jenny, Welcome! There are a few of us New Englanders here, and I look forward to hearing about your garden, and sharing my experiences with my garden. I still have over a foot of snow on mine since we went through last week's storm, so I am still waiting to see my gardens. 
When I first moved to New Hampster (New Hampshire) in the nineties, I thought I was just mowing the grass in a spot that looked like it needed it badly. It turned out that the previous folks had started Strawberries in an out of the way place and left it on it's own.
That next spring the previous owner had stopped by at just the right time. He looked around and walked over to the spot and congratulated me on how well I was growing strawberries in a spot he couldn't get them to grow in.
He reached down and pulled out a huge red one and handed it to me. I just said thanks and told him to help himself to a few. 
To be honest, I didn't do much to them, and they grew every year. I mowed them down at the end of the summer again, and the next year I got a great crop. The next year I mowed half down as my mower ran out of grass. The half that had been mowed was again spectacular, but the side that wasn't did not have the same robustness, fewer strawberries and less vines. I tried different variations of mowing, but it turned out that mowing helped that patch grow.
My neighbor told me to put pine needles on the garden and that seemed to keep the weeds down, but I didn't weed it anyway. I moved away from that house about 15 years ago. I went back to see it once. The new folks had goats. The goats must have liked anything green, the owners had made a very large fenced in area and the spot was bare.
Good luck and take a lot of pics for everybody to see, Rock
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  jenalawz on 4/1/2017, 1:34 pm

That is interesting about mowing them every year! I suppose it's like pinching off the buds when the plants are first growing. The bed had completely thawed out by last week, all the snow in and around it had melted....annnnd now there is about another 10 inches of snow on it:) Is there anything I should do in the way of pruning/cutting once this snow melts to get them off and running (pun intended:)?
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  bigdogrock on 4/1/2017, 2:01 pm

I think I would "go on, life as normal", just to see what happens. In the mean time, I would do all the normal things I would  do to the rest of my gardens. I would add pine needles and such, pull any unwanted leaves, and water when it needs it. Till then, I would let them sleep. 
    Rolling Eyes ******WARNING- Previous statement made by amateur, non-paid, untrained, non-certified, unknowing, half-blind, hearing aid needin' gentleman with the best of intentions. Follow advice at your own risk. Not responsible for any gardening catastrophes incurred.********* Rolling Eyes
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  sanderson on 4/1/2017, 7:50 pm

lol!

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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  Mikesgardn on 4/2/2017, 6:25 pm

@bigdogrock wrote: I mowed them down at the end of the summer again, and the next year I got a great crop. The next year I mowed half down as my mower ran out of grass. The half that had been mowed was again spectacular, but the side that wasn't did not have the same robustness, fewer strawberries and less vines. I tried different variations of mowing, but it turned out that mowing helped that patch grow.
You actually did what you are supposed to do with strawberries right after the harvest!  It is called 'renovation'.   You cut the leave down to a point about 3" above ground.  Beginners luck!
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Re: Did I kill my strawberry plants

Post  Mikesgardn on 4/2/2017, 6:34 pm

@jenalawz wrote:  Is there anything I should do in the way of pruning/cutting once this snow melts to get them off and running (pun intended:)?
No, just wait for the weather to warm up.  I have never had to do anything with my strawberries in the spring.  Once you have harvested the strawberries, that is when the work begins.  But it's not hard.  Just cut them down to about 3" above the ground.  Add compost around the plant or fertilizer.  And if you planted them at 4 per square foot, you should remove the runners as they grow.  They will create a new plant.  If you did not plant them at 4 per square foot, you can let some of the runners develop into new plants.
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