My strawberry patch was an explosion of runners recently, the patch had become overcrowded with baby plants self-rooting all over the place and was in desperate need of thinning out. I set to work by digging up well rooted runners gently with a hand fork, potting them up as I went. Smaller plants have been left where they are for now in order to establish a better root system. I’m aiming to plant the largest plants at the allotment sometime this month, this should allow them enough time to settle in before the cold wet weather comes.
If you were to compare prices to garden centres right now (strawberry plants are mighty expensive at the moment) I’ve at least £40 worth of strawberry plants that I’ve gained for nowt. Strawberry plants are brilliant!
Some of my strawberry plants needed replacing, they were in their fourth year of fruiting and the yield was much less this year. Throughout summer the plants threw out lots of runners so I potted them up to be the replacements rather than buying new plants. This is how I did it:
- Fill 3in pots with compost
- Select a few runners from the adult strawberry plants, place the largest leafy section of each runner onto the surface of a pot of compost and place a small stone on the runner stem to weight it down
- Leave the pots in place until the leafy section of the runner roots into the compost, usually in a few weeks
Once the baby strawberry plant puts on some growth you can cut the runner stem, basically you are cutting the cord from the parent plant. You can then move the baby strawberries to wherever you like. If you grow your strawberries in a bed you could allow the runners to root themselves straight into the ground, dig them up if you need to move them to a better position. I have already dug up my old strawberry plants and replaced them with the strongest baby plants in a new patch, the smaller runners will overwinter in my mini unheated greenhouse and these will be planted out next spring.