Straw bales can be purchased, broken up and strewn about to mulch strawberry plants during the growing season, as well as over the winter. Simply put, you need to winterize strawberries to keep them alive and well. Hay usually has … Strawberries, Fragaria × ananassa, are low-profile, fruit-bearing perennials suited to cultivation in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 10. To protect plants, cover them in the fall with a 3- to 5-inch layer of weed-free straw. During the winter, it's a good idea to spread straw over the top of growing strawberries to protect them. Sometimes considered a challenging crop, folks in cold regions with freezing winters often grow plants as annuals and discard them at season’s end. The strawberry plants should be spaced one foot apart from each other – going both directions. Straw makes good mulch because it’s clean, lightweight and breaks down easily to add organic matter to the soil. When do I need to put straw round the plants? 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