I've had some strawberries growing outside in containers all summer. My daughter wants to bring them inside our house and keep them growing over the winter. I'd like to do so but fear bringing in bugs with the plants. Is there a way to bring the plants and containers inside and keep our house bug free (without spraying the strawberries with insecticide)?
I believe strawberries need a winter chill to start up fruit production for next year. However, I understand that it's possible to force them to produce earlier by bringing them indoors mid-winter, so long as they have sufficient light--a windowsill might not be enough but a greenhouseshould be. Is it possible to put them someplace outside but sheltered over winter? Depending on your winters, they may do fine outdoors in containers (I live in zone 8 and it's no problem here).
As for bringing them in, it might be best to pot them individually into small pots, and wash/brush off any bugs they might have while doing so. I can't imagine they'll be too buggy anyway. They'll want to be in a cool place and kept fairly dry until they go outside again.
Re-potting them in new containers and new potting soil (preferably outside so that you can inspect and remove any visible bugs) would probably give you the best chance of not having bugs. That said, you can usually find bugs in new potting soil, just not as many as you would in soil that has been outside all season.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. -B. Franklin
I have a window that gets full sun. I built a frame around it that pushes the blinds out a bit over a foot. I cut up my blinds into 3 segments and placed them on frames and hinges so i can access them. I have strawberries hanging from grow baskets and some in trays and cups getting going. The strain is Tristar. I have 4 strains out side. Im curious about the winter chill comment. I guess ill find out in the months to come how it will go. But I got plenty of sun on them. Let us know how it gos.