Strawberry plants and runners


Beautiful deep red flowers of strawberry 'F1 Tarpan'
Despite all the rain, slugs and depressing lack of sunny days, each the strawberry plants are bulking up and each has set dozens of little green strawberrylets. Fingers crossed, for strawberries and cream, Eaton mess and most importantly PIMMS!

While pottering around and oogling my potential haul, I noticed little green strawberry runners shooting off in all directions from almost every plant. Some I snipped off, if the main plants were a little on the small side but others I potted up to grow into whole new strawberry plants. These will grow until next year when they'll start producing -modestly at first, but soon enough they'll get going and I'll be happily overwhelmed with strawberries.

Strawberries are one of the easiest things in the world to grow. They'll happily live in almost anything you care to put them in ( boots, boxes, I have some in an old colander), there are lots of different varieties, and you can choose different sorts to keep you in fruit for longer. Almost all are self fertile so you can get away with just having one plant and even from that you can still easily end up with half a dozen by the end of the year because around mid to late June many varieties start throwing out runners. Runners look a bit like a long stem running from the middle of the plant and depending on how developed they are, might few little leaves on the tip or even have already started to grow roots.

Little roots have grown where my pineberry runner was pegged down. Make sure that the point where the leaves are is the bit that you've buried, as roots don't just grow anywhere.

To make new plants from runners:

Dig a small hole next to the parent plant and pop a small pot in. Fill the pot with dirt or good quality compost and peg down or lightly bury the runners on the surface of the soil in the pot where they are showing leaves.
In a few weeks, when the plants have rooted and established in their pots and have several leaves, snip the connection between the parent plant and the new one and pry up the pot. Ouila! New plants! More strawberries! Omnomnomnomnom

It's worth giving each plant plenty of space. While most should be replaced after three to four years, they'll get surprisingly large in that time and if you want to make the most of their potential, be sure to give them at least a foot and a half in between plants and feed regularly with tomato feed once they've started flowering to give them that little boost and encourage good fruit production.

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  1. Last year my strawberries put out hardly any runners and the slugs ate most of my berries - I'm trying some new techniques this year but so far the 'easy' part of growing them has eluded me. Yours look fab though - beautifully coloured flower.


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