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Don Kinzler, Published November 01 2013

Fielding questions

Q I have strawberry plants growing in a wooden keg. What’s the best way to overwinter them?

– Patricia Jasek, Fargo

A It’s a challenge to over winter perennial plants like strawberries in containers above ground because the roots are exposed to greater extremes of cold than roots buried at ground level. But challenges are fun, so why not try the following method. Move the keg to a sheltered spot close to your house foundation and cover completely with a deep mound of leaves or straw. Water the keg before covering.

During winter, shovel insulating snow over the area. It usually does not work to over winter strawberries indoors or in a garage. Let us know next spring how it worked.

Q Is it too late to apply winterizer fertilizer to the lawn? I wanted to wait until leaves have been raked first.

– Gloria Bohnenberger, Moorhead

A Fall fertilizer is best applied when the grass is still green and growing and the soil has at least several weeks before it freezes solid. Some late-applied fertilizer could dissipate over winter, but much would still be available. When the grass begins to turn brown and dormant, it would be better to wait until spring.

If you have a gardening or lawn care question, email Don Kinzler at ForumGrowingTogether@hotmail.com. Questions with broad appeal may be published, so please include your name, city, and state for appropriate advice.