Thursday, July 14, 2011

Growing strawberries part 2

Strawberries are easy plants to grow once they are established. We showed you some tips for growing them about a month ago, and now I am going to expand on that. There are lots of runners coming off of our plants so we either want to cut those off, or help them turn into the next generation of strawberry plant.

Our strawberry plants with lots of runners
We started seeing the runners about 3 weeks ago and we showed you how we secured them onto a pot of good soil so they would develop roots.

Runners start to develop leaves, and when secured to soil, will develop roots.
It took about 3 weeks for the roots to develop enough for me to feel comfortable transplanting them. I could have left them longer but I have many more runners by now that I also want to get to root.

Root ball developing on 3 week old strawberry start
I felt comfortable that roots were developing before I took the plant out of the pot because I could see them finding their way out of the drainage holes on the bottom.

Root making its way out of the bottom of the pot.
Removing the metal piece off a binder clip that I used to secure the runner to the soil 
After cutting the main runner near the new plant, I removed the metal clip I used to secure the plant to the soil because I do not want it to stay in the soil and corrode.

I also noticed that I missed some more runners coming off my new plant. I should have removed these as soon as they started to develop because I want all the energy to go into the one plant I am trying to root. I missed these ones because they were hidden behind the box the strawberries are planted in.

"Do I have to come and help you with everything?"
Additional runners coming off of the plant I was getting to root. 
I cut these runner off before planting my new plant. I also went through and cut many of the new runners off of the main plants because I am unable to try to root them all right now, and I want the plants to have enough energy to continue to produce some fruit as well. Our plants are currently developing lots of berries along with lots of runners.

The runners after clipping the plants.
I went back and cut the runners at the base of the main plant. I did start 3 new plants with the healthiest runners I saw before clipping all of the other runners off. If your plants are directly in soil, you can simply secure your runners in place on the soil surrounding your plants, they will root in a few weeks and then you can cut the runners from the base of the original plant, and from the new plants. 

Runners, or "shoots" that I cut off of my main plants.
The four new plants that we started  from runners 3 weeks ago
After your initial investment in strawberry plants, you should be able to propagate more every year.
The plants I propagated last year from my own plants are the healthiest in our garden. I think they like being started right where they will live.

There's nothing like a long, relaxing bath after supervising my humans in my garden all day.

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