Spring Care for Strawberry Plants | 3 Step Pruning Guide

Taking care of strawberry plants in spring will prepare them for a big harvest over summer. Preparing a garden bed for new plants in spring is also important to set them up for years of growing lots of strawberries. In spring remove old leaves, new runners and make room for plants by removing baby plants.

This article will explore all you need to know to care for established strawberry plants in spring. If you are ready for new strawberry plants, this article will also explore how to prepare your soil and choose new strawberry plants.

Take care of your strawberry plant in spring to prepare for a good harvest.

How to prune strawberry plants in spring

Established strawberry plants will benefit from a good prune in spring. This is a great time to clean up the plant after they have come out of their dormant period over winter. In spring, the strawberry plants will be ready to grow new leaves, flowers and fruit so it is important to make room.

Here are 3 easy steps to prune established strawberry plants in spring

1. Remove old brown and yellow leaves

The first step is to find clean, sharp secateurs and snip off old, brown leaves. These usually grow from the base of the plant and are usually the older leaves. They may also be frost damaged leaves that have suffered over winter.

It is also a great idea to remove yellowing leaves from the base of the plant as well. These leaves will turn brown so trim them off to make room for new leaves.

Wear garden gloves and remove any old, brown leaves that have fallen off around the plants. Take these leaves and throw them in your compost.

Remove any old or damaged leaves from strawberry plants in spring.

2. Remove new runners

The next step to encourage more flowers and fruit over summer is to remove new runners. Established strawberry plants will grow runners in spring to try to reproduce and grow new plants. If your strawberry plants are only 1-2 years old then it is best to trim off runners and let the plant focus on growing flowers and fruit.

Trim the strawberry runner off as close to the base of the plant as possible. This will allow the plant to focus on producing flowers and strawberries instead of plants and leaves.

If you have an older plant or want to grow more plants then you can allow these runners to establish. After around 1-2 months these runners will have established in the ground and you can snip them off from the main plant.

Strawberry runners will grow from the crown of the plant.

After around 3 years it is a good idea to let the strawberry plant reproduce. New baby plants can replace the mother plant and will be more productive in their next year. Strawberry fruit production will go down after the plant is more than 3 years old.

3. Transplant baby plants

The next step to prepare your strawberry patch in spring is to remove last years baby plants. Strawberries can produce runners in fall and these plants should be established. Once the plant has established roots, cut it off from the main plant and transplant it to a new garden bed or pot.

Make sure the strawberry plant has at least a foot of room around the plant. This will give it the space to get plenty of sun and allow the roots to establish to grow a healthy plant.  

Move baby plant established in fall to a new space to give the plants more room to grow.

How to fertilize strawberry plants in spring

It is important to fertilize your strawberry plants in spring to provide them with the nutrients they need to produce strawberries over the season.

Fertilize strawberry plants in spring with pelleted chicken manure. Add a handful of chicken manure at the start of spring and summer. if the soil is healthy then this is all they need over the warmer period.

Give them another feed of pelleted chicken manure in fall and they will be happy until the next spring.

Fertilize strawberry plants in spring too give them a nutrient boost to produce strawberries all summer.

How to mulch strawberries in spring

Mulch is important for healthy strawberry plants so top up the mulch in spring. Mulch will help to stop the plant from drying out as quickly and prevent weeds. Mulch will also lift strawberries off the soil to reduce pest attack and keep them clean.

Top up old mulch to 2-3 inches thick. The best mulch choices for strawberries are straw, sugar cane, lucerne as well as bark mulch.

How to plant new strawberry plants in spring

Spring is the perfect time to plant new strawberry plants. Preparing your soil is important for healthy plants and fast growth. They need well-draining soil and lots of organic matter for good root growth. Here are 3 easy steps to successfully plant new strawberry plants in spring.

1. Prepare the soil

The first step is to prepare the soil by building it up with organic matter. Mix through compost and aged cow manure to help to aerate the soil. If you have worm castings, mix a few scoops through the soil as well. This will help to feed the plants, soil bacteria and worms.

2. Purchase your runners or plants

Spring is the best time to buy new strawberry plants or runners. Runners will be sold in good garden centers and will look like bare rooted plants. These crowns or runners will quickly grow new leaves when the are planted. They are often cheaper than established plants and are a good way to establish a large strawberry patch.

You can also buy establish strawberry plants in pots. I recommend buying small strawberry plants because they grow so rapidly and transplant easier than a large plant.

There are loads of strawberry varieties available in spring.

3. Plant the runners in the right way

To plant new strawberry plants or runners it is important to build the soil up slightly to lift the crows up and make sure they are not covered in soil. Lifting the plant up slightly will help to prevent the crown rotting in the soil.

The plant can then send out new leaves and flower stems ready to grow new strawberries.

Spring Care for Strawberry Plants | Summary

Strawberry plants will reward you with a big harvest over summer if you care for them in spring. Clean them up with sharp secateurs and remove old leaves. Remove runners if you are planning on prioritizing strawberry production over new plants. You can also prepare garden beds for new strawberry plants in spring because garden center and hardware stores will be full of new varieties to try.

My new favorite is my red flowering strawberry plant. It produces fruit well and looks cute in a pot.

My red flowering strawberry plant produces loads of strawberries throughout summer.

Happy growing.