The classic approach to growing strawberries suggests that you should completely cut the leaves after fruiting. However, horticultural research does not stop, and now many gardeners deny the need for pruning. So, is strawberry pruning necessary after fruiting and when to prune strawberries mustache in summer?
In modern horticulture, no action is performed like that, for the very fact. All of them are designed to solve or prevent a certain problem, aiming for a certain result. The pruning of strawberries in the summer also obeys this principle – it should be done only if the plants need it.
Should strawberries be cut?
Speaking of pruning strawberry leaves in the summer, we most often mean exactly the removal of leaves on fruit bushes. Why do this:
- for partial rejuvenation of the bush;
- get rid of damaged, dried and diseased leaves;
- for the prevention of bacterial and fungal diseases;
- reduce the number of overwintering insect pests.
With a reasonable approach and the right time for pruning, such a procedure can be beneficial for your strawberry plantation, the only question is when to carry it out so that the stress on the bushes is the least.
When Strawberries Need Their Whiskers Trimmed in Summer
If we talk about the timing of pruning strawberries, then they can be divided into three periods. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so we will discuss them separately.
Prune strawberries in spring
After a long winter, even hardy strawberries can lose some of their leaves. This is especially evident in areas where the winters are freezing but snowless. Mulch is able to preserve the roots of the bush, but the green mass will freeze and need to be removed in the spring.
If, after the ridges have dried, you see a large number of diseased, rotten or damaged leaves on the strawberries, carefully remove them, leaving the green leaves and undeveloped buds intact.
Remember that with mass pruning it is very easy to damage future flower stalks, so do not overdo it.
How to Prune Strawberries in the Fall
Fall strawberry pruning can become even more traumatic and dangerous for strawberries. They spend it, wanting to clean the garden and remove all plant debris from the ridges, but it does more harm than good.
Of course, damaged leaves end up in the compost with the pests, but strawberries without natural protection tolerate frosts worse and often die from real frosts.
If you still decide that you need to prune the strawberries in the fall, do it well before the cold weather and remove only the dried and damaged leaves without affecting the heart of the bush. After removing the foliage, mulch the bed with straw, mowed grass, conifer litter or peat.
When to prune strawberries after harvest
The most sensitive is the pruning of strawberries, carried out shortly after harvest. During the remaining one and a half warm months, the bushes manage to form a new green mass, form flower buds for the next year and stock up on nutrients. Before winter, they leave strong and prepared, and therefore they endure the cold season more easily than their prematurely cut brethren.
How to prune strawberries after harvest
Even for such a simple, at first glance, business as pruning strawberries, it is worth preparing. You will need:
- sharp scissors or pruner;
- container for collecting leaves;
- gardening gloves.
Strawberry leaves and whiskers need to be cut – do not try to tear them with your hands, they are very strong and you will rather tear off part of the bush than cut off the desired leaf.
Gradually moving along the ridge, inspect each bush and use scissors to remove any leaves of questionable quality that have fruiting peduncles and mustaches. Don’t leave them in the furrow, but take them to the compost heap. After removing excess leaves, loosen the aisles to a depth of 3-5 cm and water the ridges.
To reduce the risk of disease, pruned bushes can be fed with a weak solution of mullein (1:10) or bird droppings (1:20), then sprinkled with ash.
If some strawberry bushes are completely affected by pests or diseases, pull them out by the root and burn them, and spill the planting site with a pink solution of potassium permanganate.
When to Trim Strawberry Mustaches in Summer
Now that we’ve dealt with the leaves, it’s time to decide what to do with strawberry mustache, which most strawberry varieties produce throughout the hot season. The answer to this question depends on whether or not you need new strawberry beds in the near future.
If you want to replace some bushes with fresh bushes or just expand the planting, you need to let the mustache grow, and then carefully plant the first rosettes on a separate bed, cutting off all superfluous. If in the next two years this is not included in your plans, the mustache is regularly removed. This should be done before flowering, after fruiting and at the end of summer. You can also carefully remove the growing mustache whenever loosening or weeding the ridges.
Prune everbearing strawberries
Full pruning of remontant strawberries is not carried out, as it can significantly reduce the fruiting period. If dried or diseased leaves appear on the bushes, they are removed immediately, without waiting for any period of time.
The only thing that needs to be cut from everbearing strawberries in the fall are the late flower stalks. They will not give berries until frost, but they will take a lot of strength from the plant.
However, caring for strawberries after harvest is not limited to removing the leaves. In order to count on abundant fruiting next year, you need to take care of the bushes until very cold.