Is it necessary to mulch strawberries?


Is it necessary to mulch strawberries?


Strawberries should be mulched in fall to prevent winter injury.  Low temperatures and repeated freezing and thawing of the soil through the winter months are the main threats to the strawberry plants.  Temperatures below +20 degrees Fahrenheit may kill flower buds and damage the roots and crowns of unmulched plants.  Repeated freezing and thawing of the soil can heave plants out of the soil, severely damaging or destroying the plants. 

Excellent mulching materials include clean, weed-free straw and chopped corn stalks.  Apply 3 to 5 inches of material.  After settling, the depth of the mulch should be approximately 2 to 4 inches.

Allow the strawberry plants to harden or acclimate to the cool fall temperatures before mulching the bed.  In northern Iowa, strawberry plantings are normally mulched in early November.  Gardeners in central and southern Iowa should mulch their strawberries in mid-November and late November, respectively. 

Last updated on
February 28, 2022