Strawberry Pots…protect for winter

November 2, 2009

Here is a question I received from Carrie.."I'm new to the whole strawberry pot thing - and pretty much gardening in general.  I have one terracotta pot with about 12 plants, from which I got 0 (!) strawberries this year.  The plants themselves look great.  I think I have a lack of sun issue.  My question is this: What do I do with it over the winter?  Does it need to come inside?  Do I just cover it if a frost threatens?  Will the plants die back & then grow again in the spring?  I am pretty sure they are an ever bearing variety. Thanks, Carrie"

Hi Carrie!
Yes, strawberries need a full sun location, at least 6 hours of direct sunlight to produce well. But often the very first year they won't produce much. They are perennials so you'll get more fruit in following years once the plants are better established. Because they are in a container, they will be more susceptible to freezing temps. I usually just grab my strawberry pots and put them in the garden shed and pull them out when it's nice outside. Or yes, you can cover and wrap them with frost cloth during freezes. Make sure to water the container before a freeze. They will lose about half of their leaves and go semi-dormant during the winter (depending on where you live) so they won't need nearly as much water, but you'll still need to water them now and then. Sometimes terracotta can crack in the winter, if water is trapped in clay, then freezes and melts. So wrapping the pot is a good idea anyway if you leave it outside. Now for those of you in much colder Northern climates, the pots will definitely need to go indoors for the winter.

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