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Each year since I'm following Gardener's World (a BBC show for gardeners), Monty Don cuts off the leaves of his early strawberry plants once the harvest is done (in June or July). Last year I did it for the first time on my plants. This year I had the biggest harvest in 4 years.

What is the reasoning behind the idea of cutting off the leaves? Was this (one of) the reason(s) my harvest was outstanding this year?

  • I can hardly wait to hear an answer! Obviously you aren't using ever-bearing plants. Is this your second year? What varieties are you growing? Most strawberries need to be replaced every 2 years for best production and disease considerations... – stormy Jun 24 '15 at 22:48
  • I have plants of 2 to 4+ years in the same spot for the second year. Yes, that might sound bizarre, but I cannot get rid of plants if they are not dead. Yes, I only have early/once a year bearing plants on this spot. – Patrick B. Jun 25 '15 at 7:28
  • I agree...I HATE killing healthy plants, too. Love my everbearing strawberries! Haven't grown once a year...this is my second year and they are so vigorous! Amazing crop! I've got to go look at all these other related questions/answers soon. I need to be convinced these strawberries won't produce and stay healthy for next year. Never stop learning as a gardener!! – stormy Jun 26 '15 at 19:44
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+50

You've got what are known as June bearers by the sound of it - the reason you cut them right down or mow over them after they've finished fruiting is to prevent excessive runner production - if you leave them, they spend the rest of the summer throwing out long runners and rooting elsewhere. If you cut them down, they don't waste energy doing that and are able to concentrate on recovering as individual plants and putting their energy into making fruit the following year.

  • Thanks Bamboo...new to me but this makes sense! – stormy Jun 28 '15 at 22:52
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June strawberry pruning

This makes sense, reduces disease, one can thin and reorganize... I still need to incorporate the 2 year thing. I used to rip 'em all up at the end of 2 years for this farmer years ago. If you've got June bearing, this is a nice video that makes sense.

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