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Strawberry runners

Last post 14-08-2013 9:01 PM by Caravelle. 2 replies.

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  • 12/08/2013 04:32 PM
    • Caravelle
    • Surrey, United Kingdom
    • 12 Aug 2013
    • 2
    Not Ranked
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    My first post. Are there any rules about propagating strawberry plants from runners ? Last year I pinned down a couple of dozen runners into pots of compost and left them until well-rooted, kept them over-winter in a sheltered spot and transplanted them in spring to a series of tubs. They all survived and grew well, but only half actually flowered/fruited. One set in one particular tub fruited very well, the others much less so, with about 50% not flowering at all. Now I have plants and runners all over the place, but oddly not from the the plants which fruited well. My question is really, what do I do now ? Throw away the plants that did not fruit (and their runners?) or try again with runners from the ones that did not fruit? Or even just dispose of all the runners and see if the parent plants flower next year ? I don't really have room for even more strawberry plants, our tiny garden is full of tubs of this and that already. Incidentally, given that in previous years slugs and snails have got to my strawberry fruit before I did, I made it more difficult for them this year by gently tying the flower shoots to vertical sticks so that when the fruit came it dangled down from the top of the plant. I'm not sure if it hindered the slugs and snails or if there were just a lot less of them this year, but we didn't lose a single strawberry to them. It was also noticeable that in the one tub where I covered the soil in some wood chippings the plants grew less strongly. What was that all about ? Thanks

  • 12/08/2013 10:25 PM
    • GROWMORE
    • London
    • 12 Aug 2012
    • 736
    Top 25 Contributor
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    Excuse me for being a bit short here.  I had a nasty fall on Saturday, and still feel groggy.

    You did well pegging down the runners.  A good tip.  Sink a 9cm pot into the soil, and peg the runner into this.  When well rooted, sever the new plant from the old.  In time, plant out the rooted runner.  As you have done.  Likewise, the first season is of a mixed success.  A strawberry plant is at it's best during the second season.  The third season should produce a good crop, but some of the plants might by this time be showing a bit of tiredness.  I have picked fine strawberries from six year old plants.  Modern breeding etc, tends very much to dictate the life and performance.  Surplace plants, are always acceptible to the less fortunate gardeners.

    Growmore.
  • 14/08/2013 09:01 PM
    • Caravelle
    • Surrey, United Kingdom
    • 12 Aug 2013
    • 2
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    Thanks. Sorry to hear about the fall. I have no problem at all turning runners into plants. My fingers are far from green and most other attempts to propagate plants fail, but all strawberries seem to need is a bit of help to make their children stay still long enough to get their roots into the soil. I made a few dozen pegs out of thick plastic-coated garden wire and use them again and again; it was just a matter of cutting off 3 inch lengths of wire and bending them with pliers to a croquet hoop shape. Soil to sink pots into is in short supply. Shorter runners were pegged into small pots placed among the parent plants, longer ones were taken directly to the tubs which were to be their new homes and the weaker ones thinned out later. They all survived over winter in the shadow of a north-facing shed wall - nowhere else to put them. Some of my plants must be over three years old now - I know at least one is - the original one from the garden centre. I'm going to have to start labelling the tubs by year, I think. Anyway, your advice seems to be to let the plants that didn't flower stay where they are until next year, but I do have one question still. If a plant fruited well but has not produced any runners, does that mean it has had its day and is not worth keeping? Many thanks.