By Justin Obrien

Preparing delicate strawberry plants for winter is important for their survival. Winter temperatures can kill the buds that will produce berries in the spring as well as the plants. Here’s how to prevent that.

Clean the areas around your strawberry plants of any debris, such as sticks, rocks and leaves, if needed.

Pat the soil down firmly around the stalk of the plant to reduce the possibility of erosion and protect the roots a little better.

Cover the plants completely with mulch. Initially this should require about four inches of mulch. However, the mulch will settle. You will need to add more to make sure the plants stay completely covered.

Using the plant stakes, make a rectangle form around the area where the strawberry plants are located. Place each plant stake approximately 5 to 6 inches from the plants, in 2- to 4-foot intervals.

Wrap the window plastic around one stake and staple it so that it stays in place and the continue to wrap the plastic around the stakes, using them as a “rib” guide.

Secure the plastic to the first stake when you are back where you started. Depending on the size of your strawberry garden, you may need to repeat steps 4 through 6 several times.

Do not use leaves or grass as mulch because they get too heavy when wet.
Uncover the plants when temperatures stay above 20 degrees.