strawberries are fairly hardy. in places where
there is a lot of freeze/thaw cycling a light mulch
can help keep them from getting heaved out of the
ground. best to do after the ground is frozen, but
probably ok in late fall, don't need to cover the
leaves of the plants, just the soil and let the
leaves poke through.
as the weather warms up in the spring pull the
mulch away from the plants to give the plants full
exposure to the sun and to let the sun warm up
the soil. also a good time to trim off any damaged
or withered leaves.
last season i left some plants without mulch at
all and they came through just fine, but it was
fairly heavy soil (so they would not get dried
out or heaved easily). i'm in mid-Michigan (zone
5) where it can get to minus 15F. snow cover is
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