Today we are going to explore starting strawberry plants from runners.
With my herbicidal tendencies, it gets expensive if I try to buy all the plants I use in my garden, however, I have found a couple of strawberry plants that have survived a couple years under my tyrannical rule – since these plants are survivors, I wanted to continue their genetic lines.
Using the strawberries tendency to reproduce using runners, I am able to reproduce new plants at no cost, as well as get new plants with the exact same genes as the plants I choose to propagate.
This is even better because Strawberry plants are only productive for three to five years. Aging plants yield smaller and fewer berries, by using runners I can keep myself in new plants without breaking my piggy-bank.
Fall is a good time to cut runners from existing plants and re-plant them to establish new plants. Fall planted runners will produce a crop the following spring; However, spring planted runners will not produce berries until the following spring.
Starting Strawberry Plants from Runners is Simple:
- As the plants grow they put off runners – basically long vines with small leaves at the end – ensure the end of the runner contacts bare soil – it will then start to root. You don’t want to bury it though – if it is covered with soil it may rot. I use a bent wire to hold it gently to the ground like a staple
- After a few weeks, the runner will root. Cut the stem that connects the runner to its parent plant.
- Clip all but two or three of the leaflets from each new little plant.
- I then plant the new plant in a new bed – about 6-8 inches from other plants.