Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:46 am
Location: MN Z4

Renovating a Strawberry Patch in the Fall?

I'm starting to plan the overwintering of my strawberry patch and I need some help.
Can I renovate my patch in the fall prior to mulching or should I leave as much foliage on the plant for overwintering?
Also, I've read a little about mowing the crop, but it seems it's usually referring to after harvest renovation. Is this common practice? Does anyone mow their crop in the fall?

I did not renovate the patch earlier in the season and had absolutely zero flowers and berries. I think this was because I let the runners go wild this year and last. This was my second year growing strawberries. Last year I received a few plants from a friend (no idea of what they are, probably june-bearing). When I planted them I got a few small berries. It's likely they were already growing when I planted them.
The green horn that I am thought, heck, if I just let them grow I'll have a giant patch next year with tons of berries. Well, it was about the same time I joined this great site that I realized my grand plan had some flaws.
Because of the growth this year, it seems to me that about 75% of the patch are young plants no more than a year old. Leaving the 5 original plants of unknown age that I transplanted last year.

I'm sorry for the long back story, I just wanted to give as much info as possible to help with answering my question.

Thanks in advance for the help.


User avatar
Posts: 28245
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I don't really "renovate" but I apply a layer of compost in the fall and in spring, and when I give them tomato fertilizer when they start to show flower buds, they seem to respond well.

My wild strawberry patch goes mostly dormant in the heat and drought of the summer (like right now) -- so that might be kind of like mowing.... The cultivar strawberry patches get watered along with other parts of the garden so they don't go dormant, though I think they would do a lot better if I weed the beds a little more diligently. :roll: (I do eventually weed and then give them compost tea at some point during the summer.)

There are watermelon vines smothering one of them too. :roll: :roll:

Greener Thumb
Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:29 pm
Location: Central PA

I had a roughly 20x20 patch that produced well for years.

in the spring after the first green started I would use a garden rake to thin out the plants - just yank the oldest/biggest out and let the younger plants produce.

I found doing that in a fall allowed more sun/light on the soil in the spring and that usually resulted in more weeding - so I just left it alone in the fall and thinned in the spring.

I guess in some severe zones covering them would help with winter die off, but that wasn't a problem in southeast PA.

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