When you bring the pots indoors (or, if plants will be staying in the ground, before you cover them up), take the opportunity to treat your plants to a tidy up. Over the Winter lots of the previous year's foliage will have died down and may be harbouring pest and moulds, and it's best to give the plants a good tidy-up before they spring into new growth. With a little yearly maintenance, you can keep them bearing well longer. This is a good time to remove weeds, too. The first job to do is to remove the straw mulch spread below strawberry plants to protect the fruit from soil splash. Although strawberry plants are considered perennial, they are most productive in their first one to five years. This prevents the build up of fungal infections such as botrytis, and also removes shelter for pests such as slugs and snails.. 0 shares. It’s a good idea to tidy congested strawberry beds before the growing season begins. Cutting them back helps produce more fruit the following year. Weeds reduce the amount of moisture and nutrients available to the strawberry plants. I will make jam as soon as I get time. Late winter or early spring is the best time to bring strawberry plants under cover for forcing, as they'll have experienced a good cold snap and will be ready to burst into growth. 0 shares. The old straw is the perfect hiding place for pests such as slugs, so is best removed and composted or disposed of. The best way to keep a strawberry bed going is to renovate it by thinning the existing plants and allowing runners to root and become new plants. After my strawberries have finished fruiting, I cut them back and have a general tidy up around them. This is a good time of year to start preparing your Strawberry plants for the new season. How to tidy up the strawberry patch. We had a relatively mild autumn here in the south and my strawberry plants have kept on growing and, amazingly, producing flowers and even fruit. Lesley Upton; January 12, 2018. The important bits of the plants are the small shoots in the crown’s centre, which produce flowers then fruit. After cutting the foliage, remove the oldest plant crowns until the plants are spaced 12 to 24 inches apart. The strawberries are sitting in my freezer, waiting for me to make strawberry jam for my youngest daughter, she absolutely adores it. Set the mower blades on the highest setting and mow the bed, making sure the blades don’t damage the crowns. Next work along the rows in your bed tidying up the strawberry plants by removing any dead or dying leaves. Gardening Editor Ruth Hayes looks at removing old foliage and leaf litter around strawberry plants.