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I've heard that it's a practice to cool strawberry plants to a low temperature (~2 °C/~35 °F) for some time before planting them. Supposedly this results in an increased growth tempo of the plants in good weather.

What is this method called (so I can learn more about it) and why is it useful?

  • For seeds it's commonly called "stratification" or cold stratification - same basic idea where some plants need to know that it's been winter before they will take off and grow (or sprout, in the case of seeds.) – Ecnerwal Jul 15 '14 at 13:27
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Chill conditioning or chill requirement. Certain plants need certain hours of chill time to increase production. For those plants you need to get the right amount to strike a good balance between vegetative growth and fruit production. Good info on chill conditioning strawberries here.

  • Yup, strawberries need artificial cooling, if the conditions are unnaturally warm for the plants. Many plants are this way, sometimes for flower production (like blueberries), sometimes as a clearly defined dormant period for the plant (which is why many temperate perennials make poor house plants). – J. Musser Jul 13 '14 at 20:08

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