Putting Everbearing Strawberries To Bed For Winter


I planted everbearing strawberries in a raised bed this year.I live 54kms north of Kingston Ontario. My raised bed is in a fairly open area that is gets sunshine all day but is prone to westerly winds.
I would like to know what steps I need to take to overwinter these plants.


The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has an excellent guide to growing strawberries for home gardens. https://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/hgstrawb.htm#planting

The section on over-wintering the plants is reproduced below. This is for in ground plants.  Since the berry plants are in a raised bed, it would be prudent to insulate the sides of the bed for overwintering. Mulch or bags of leaves would be fine for this purpose and can be put in place any time during the fall, and removed along with the straw in spring.

Winter Protection

Why Needed

Low winter temperatures injure roots, crowns and flower buds. Also, freezing and thawing of the soil lifts plants and breaks roots. With winter protection, strawberry plants can be grown in any part of Ontario.


Cover plants with straw (wheat, oat, rye) in the late fall. Use straw which is free of weed and grain seeds. One bale will cover about 9 m2 (100 ft2). Hay generally has too many grass and weed seeds to make a good mulch. Leaves, grass clippings, etc. are not suitable because they can smother the strawberry plants.

When to Apply

Apply the straw after there have been several light frosts but before the temperature goes much below -7 C. Temperatures below -7 C can cause injury. In southern Ontario, straw is usually applied sometime after mid-November. If applied too soon, before plants are dormant, the straw can cause rotting of leaves and crowns.

When to Remove

Remove the straw in the spring as soon as there are signs of new leaf growth under the straw (usually in late April). New growth under the straw is indicated when new leaves become a pale yellow color. Some of the straw (about ¼) can be left on the plants and plants will grow through it. The rest can be placed between the rows to help smother weeds and keep berries clean. It can also be put back on the plants for frost protection during blossoming.