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Strawberries are fun to grow! But, after the first year, if you are not carful they make little runners and start trying to take over the garden.
The Straw in Strawberries comes from the fact that the straw is very important all year long.
Strawberries can be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. In Toronto this is usually done in April allowing the plants to become well established before the hot weather arrives. (Do not work the soil if it is wet. Wait a few days until it dries.) Place some Straw around the plants to keep the fruit from touching the soil.
In the fall around mid-November before temperatures drop below -5C or 20 degrees; apply a straw mulch three to four inches deep over the rows. This mulch will protect the plants from cold temperatures that can kill the buds and injure roots and crowns. Remove the mulch in the spring when the strawberry leaves show yellow. Leave some of the mulch around the plants to keep the fruit from soil contact and to conserve soil moisture.
Because the strawberries are very susceptible to frosts in the spring, the mulches that covered the plants during the winter months should be left in the aisles to cover the blossoms in the spring when frost is predicted.
The little runners:
These little runner plants that grow out of the main Mother Plant are called Daughter Plants. If you are well organized, you can start strawberries on one end of your garden, and train the daughters to all grow in one direction, eventually they will cross your garden. Each strawberry plant is productive for only 2-3 years. So, you will need to remove them, and let the Daughter plants become the Mothers.