I'm still learning how to deal with these strawberry plants and I'm lucky the mistakes that I've made have not been fatal. It seems I probably left the straw mulch on the plants longer than I should have. I could have seen crown rot, but it seems that the plants LIKE me and they came out doing well.
I started by getting all of the old straw off the plants. Well, not all of it. Yes, my OCD kept trying to kick in and I'd get a little bogged down. But, then I'd tell myself to stop and just clear the bed. If you'd have been out there you'd have heard me doing it. All of this straw went into the compost area in case it had some health issues.
After the clearing, I went back and cleaned out every old, dried leaf I could find. This is where I lucked out again. No fungus or mold. I probably covered the plants too early last Fall and I could have blown it. Now that I've figured out the overwintering plan, I will need to do more trimming before it's cold this year.
I used my ph test strips for the first time. Seems my soil is at 7 and it needs to be around 6. Acidic fertilizer went down next. Then a little regular fertilizer.
The hose has been secured so watering will be easy and no water will get on the leaves. Next came a test of the new hose. No holes, other than those SUPPOSED to be there.
New straw was added for mulch and the bed is now ready for the growing season. Lots of flowers are already on the plants so I'm excited.
The newest plants, the June bearing, will not be allowed to flower or produce this year. This can be the hardest part of gardening. You want the produce, but delaying it the first year will mean bigger and better next year.
Probably should do some house Spring cleaning next...