University of Illinois Extension

Tips for Renovating Strawberries

Strawberries, particularly the June-bearing types, tend to produce a lot of runners and daughter plants in a patch.

Maurice Ogutu

This leads to overcrowded plants that compete for light, moisture, and mineral nutrients leading to reduction in amount of berries produced in a strawberry patch, said Extension horticulturist Maurice Ogutu.

"In order to minimize competition among plants and maintain a productive June-bearing strawberry patch over an extended period of time, the patch needs to be renovated immediately at the end of harvesting season every year," said Maurice Ogutu.

"The patch can be renovated until the plants have had three to four fruitings or until the plants are not performing optimally. The plants that are not performing optimally may be destroyed and a new strawberry planting established on a different location."

Renovation is the removal of a higher percentage of old strawberry plants from established plantings to allow natural replacement with new daughter plants that will produce more fruits. Renovation leads to thinning out of old plants hence providing more space for new plants and keeping plants in a row that is easy to pick. Weeds are also controlled during renovation and it enables fertilizer to be applied and incorporated into the soil.

When the strawberry plant has fruited, its ability to further fruit is drastically reduced. The patch can only be rejuvenated by removing most of the old plants so that the remaining plants can produce runners that in turn develop into new plants. The new plants will produce more berries hence higher yields from the patch.

Strawberries

"Renovation should be done every year no more than one week after the harvest," he said. "The strawberry plants tend to go into a semi-dormant stage of growth for a period of four to six weeks after harvest. If the weather condition is dry during this period, the plants may resume growth when a suitable rainfall occur or irrigated that is why it is recommended that renovation be done during this period."

Renovate strawberries by following directions below: