Less Noise, More Green: Transplanting strawberry runners

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Transplanting strawberry runners



These runners were hiding amongst the green beans.


There are chores in my vegetable garden that I just haven’t done and now I am running out of time. After I planted the last of the fall crops, including the garlic, I just ran out of steam. Writing yesterday about winter moving closer each day motivated me to get back out into the beds and wrap this up, already.  


On the list today was pulling up all the remaining flowers and annual herbs that are dead and a general tidy up of pots, frames and supports. Check and check.


 I also needed to transplant strawberry runners which had crept into neighboring beds. I should have done this task six weeks ago. The weather today was mild and wet so I took the opportunity and moved the runners.

 



Transplanting runners is not hard. Strawberries send out runners from the main plant from which a new plant forms.  Resting on the soil, the new crown will grow roots and establish itself while still receiving support from the original plant through the runner. 

The roots on an established runner.

If you are happy where this new plant is forming you don’t have to do anything. To help it grow roots, you can gently pin the plant to the soil. If you wish to move the plant to another spot, the runner can be cut, the plant gently dug up and transplanted. Make sure that the crown is above the soil line when replanting. If the new plant has not put down roots yet, it can still be transplanted and pinned to the soil, again making sure the crown is not buried.  

Make sure the crown stays above the soil line.
 
 Gently mulch around the plants and leave over the winter. Established plants can be cut back and mulched. I went to do this and found fruit on the verge of turning red! I guess no one has told the strawberries winter is almost here. I’ll check again in a few days and decide if these berries are really going to turn and whether or not I’m mulching.

Transplanted runner.

Once you buy strawberry plants, you can keep propagating new stock each year. The original plants will become less productive in four to five years and should be replaced. With this method, after a few years, you will always have some plants at peak production. Just remember to plant new plants in a new spot to avoid growing in depleted soil.

Transplanting runners in November may be a bad idea but I felt better about the decision once I saw the fruit growing. This warm fall has certainly extended the season and in my experience strawberries are hardy plants. Who knows, maybe I’ll have homegrown strawberries on my granola for breakfast next week!


I also checked on my community garden plot today which I have basically ignored since September. 


To my delight I found red cabbage going strong, a cauliflower head developing and baby brussels sprouts! 

Is this a sprout I see before me?

 Have you ever transplanted strawberries this late? Do you transplant them into the soil or do you pot them over winter?

See you in the garden ( at least for a couple more weeks),

Sue

2 comments:

  1. I am hoping to plant strawberries in the spring, we are now going into fall in the North East United States. Thanks for the help about transplanted. Hopefully I will remember where the suggestions were.

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