You’ll notice your strawberry plants putting out runners during late summer and early autumn. It’s easy to plant these on to make more plants to add to your strawberry patch…
Strawberry runners are the long shoots that you will see growing out of existing strawberry plants. At regular intervals along the shoots a couple of small leaves will appear and new roots will start to form. This is essentially the strawberry replicating itself and the plant naturally wants to put these roots down in the soil to continue growing. You can intervene by planting these new roots in small pots of compost (a 5-10cm wide pot is fine) whilst leaving them attached to the original plant (i.e don’t cut the runner off). You will need to use something to secure them in the soil until they put their roots down – you can use a small tent peg (or similar) or U-shaped clips. Keep the soil moist and after a couple of weeks they will have fully rooted in the compost. You’ll know they are ready to be cut free by giving a very gentle tug to see if their roots are firmly established. If they are, then simply snip the stem that connects them to the original plant.
You can then plant them on in your strawberry patch – remember to leave approx 30cm between plants. Alternatively, they make a very lovely little gift for friends and family.
If you don’t want too many plants and prefer not to do the above, then simply cut the runners off as they appear and continue to look after the original plant with watering and feeding and it will crop again for 2-3 years anyway.