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'Fragaria' Wild Strawberry General Care Info

General Care Instructions:

Certainly! Here are the detailed care instructions for wild strawberries (Fragaria virginianna):
Spring: In spring, wild strawberries begin to emerge from dormancy. Clear away any debris and mulch from around the plants to allow new growth to flourish. Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to support vigorous growth and flowering. Wild strawberries spread by runners, so ensure they have enough space to expand. Water regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, especially during the flowering and fruiting period.
Summer: During the summer months, continue to water wild strawberries consistently to support fruit development and prevent the soil from drying out. Mulch around the plants with straw or pine needles to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and keep the developing berries clean. Harvest the small, sweet berries regularly as they ripen, usually starting in early to mid-summer. Monitor for pests such as slugs, birds, and aphids, and use appropriate measures to protect the fruit, such as netting for birds or organic pest controls for insects.
Fall: As fall approaches, reduce the frequency of watering as the plants prepare for dormancy. After the final harvest, remove any dead or diseased leaves and spent runners to maintain plant health and reduce the risk of disease. Apply a light layer of mulch around the plants to protect the roots during the colder months. Consider thinning out crowded plants to improve air circulation and prevent fungal diseases.
Winter: Protect wild strawberry plants from harsh winter conditions by applying a thicker layer of mulch around the base of the plants to insulate the roots and crowns. While wild strawberries are generally hardy, providing extra protection helps them survive extreme cold and fluctuating temperatures. Avoid heavy pruning during winter, but you can lightly trim any damaged or dead foliage. Monitor for signs of winter injury, such as crown rot or desiccation, and plan to address any damage in early spring to ensure a healthy start to the growing season.