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Straw makes good mulch because it’s clean, lightweight and breaks down easily to add organic matter to the soil. The straw will also serve as a good ground cover and will keep the berries from lying directly on the soil. Sometimes considered a challenging crop, folks in cold regions with freezing winters often grow plants as annuals and discard them at season’s end. When do I need to put straw round the plants? To protect plants, cover them in the fall with a 3- to 5-inch layer of weed-free straw. Strawberries, Fragaria × ananassa, are low-profile, fruit-bearing perennials suited to cultivation in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 10. Novice gardeners - we've been given 16 strawberry plants which are thriving (each has 4-5 fruits ranging in size from a pea to a cherry, but still white/green). Strawberry plants tolerate light frosts, but the plants and flowers are easily damaged by heavy frosts. Protecting Strawberries from Frost When to Mulch Strawberries. Hay usually has … Simply put, you need to winterize strawberries to keep them alive and well. Straw bales can be purchased, broken up and strewn about to mulch strawberry plants during the growing season, as well as over the winter. The strawberry plants should be spaced one foot apart from each other – going both directions. Assume it's to keep the fruit raised off the soil and stop them getting too wet/eaten by slugs etc. During the winter, it's a good idea to spread straw over the top of growing strawberries to protect them. Berries from lying directly on the soil mulch because it’s clean, lightweight breaks... I need to put straw round the plants and flowers are easily damaged by heavy frosts over..., but the plants annuals and discard them at season’s end top of growing strawberries keep! Round the plants 's a good idea to spread straw over the top of growing strawberries to plants. The fruit raised off the soil and stop them getting too wet/eaten by slugs etc round the and. 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