Overwintering strawberry plants in hanging baskets


What do I need to do with my strawberry plants for winter? I’ve never had a second season plant - last year’s got diseased. I have 3 hanging baskets (skate helmets) with one plant in each. The leaves are starting to go brown at the edges so I assume they’ve finished for the season?

I read somewhere that if the plants are in the ground you have to run a lawnmower over them to prepare them for the winter - is this true??? :open_mouth:

If this is the case, what should I do with the hanging plants? Cut them right back? If so, when do I need to do this? And how much of the plant to cut? Anything else I need to do to help them survive? I assume they won’t need much watering…

Thanks in advance. :strawberry:

They will be fine just as they are, mine are mostly ignored when not fruiting

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The old lawnmower chestnut strikes again. And sometimes you’ll find an old book that says that once they’ve finished fruiting your should put a match to the straw under them to burn away disease. Both not a good idea since they destroy healthy foliage. In fact the lawnmower theory can damage the plants rather badly even if the blades are set at the maximum height. How you deal with the plants depends on whether they are a perpetual fruiting kind or a variety that just produced one lot of fruits. In either case they have probably made some runners by now - little new plants at the end of long stems. These can be potted up into new containers. Only take one from each runner - the biggest and best - and discard the others. Cut them off from the old plant either immediately if they have roots on already, or when they’ve made new roots. Damaged and diseased leaves need to be cut off from both main plants and runners - cut, don’t pull, or you’ll let disease in. I have to disagree with Bookmonster about leaving them alone - a skate helmet isn’t a very big pot to grow strawberries in and they’ve probably run out of food by now. But I wouldn’t touch them until very early spring. Then it’s a good idea to completely change their compost - discard the old lot and really shake it off the roots - strawberries in containers are easy prey for vine weevil but if you repot them in late January, early February you’ll leave the eggs behind in the old compost and won’t have any horrid little white grubs with brown heads eating your strawberry roots. You’ll also be putting them into fresh un-compacted compost with nice fresh nutrients in it. When they are growing nicely away you can give them a little tomato feed so they have plenty of potash to keep them cropping well and boost the flavour. After they’ve fruited feed with a general fertiliser if they are the once bearing kind or more tomato feed if they are perpetuals. As for the runners you planted up it’s best not to let perpetual types fruit too soon - you want nice strong plants to make lots of fruit. Give either kind a general fertiliser in early spring but don’t let perpetuals make flowers until well into May. If buds appear too early snip them off - you’ll get much better fruit in the second crop if you do. Enjoy your strawberries


Thanks for the extensive reply @Kathryn. I feel a bit more clued up with what to do now. I did think the whole lawnmowing thing sounded a bit absurd!

Sorry, I was thinking mostly of cold tolerance