On June 25, 2011, Monty asked:
Now, where to start…early this spring I ordered a pack of 25 Earliglow plants from a supplier (who shall remain nameless). The plants arrived in excellent condition, however, instead of receiving 1 pack of 25 plants, I received 25 packs of 25 plants, so 625 plants in all! I called the supplier to inform them of their mistake and was to to just keep them, throw them away or give them away. Being an avid gardener, I couldn’t throw them away. Since I own a couple of acres, I decided to put in a dedicated bed and planted 100 of them (the rest I gave away to friends and family).
Here’s the problem: I amended the soil for the bed, planted, and pinched every bloom this year. Now the plants are going crazy. I have runners everywhere. The rows are 3 feet apart, but the plants are only about 12-18″ apart. At the rate they are growing, I won’t be able to walk in the patch by the end of summer.
So, my question is, this fall, can I remove some of the runner plants and transplant them to another larger bed that I will prepare during the summer? Should I do it now, in the fall or wait until spring? We preserve many different things from the garden such as tomatoes, beans, beets, grape jelly, etc, etc so adding strawberry jam would be a welcome addition. Thanks for any advice.
Answer to: Moving Strawberry Runner Plants?
Congratulations on your good fortune! You can most certainly transplant some of them to a new bed. Here is how I recommend doing it if you want to keep the beds in tip-top shape Transplanting Strawberries. If you let them root into the ground, you should let them establish themselves until fall before transplanting (although it can be done earlier if needed). However, there are other things that can be done as well. Allowing several (3-4) runner plants per mother plant to root can form the base of a solid matted row system for you. Additionally, if you are looking to produce the largest possible strawberries, actually snipping off the runners as soon as they start to form will induce your plants to put more energy into developing perennating buds (that will become next year's strawberries) and deeper, more expansive root systems (which will nourish next year's strawberries). The combination of those two things will give you larger berries than you might otherwise harvest. Keep in mind, however, sheer quantity of strawberries is achieved with more plants, so be careful about snipping all your runner plants off! To see a video of how to root runners in easy-to-move containers, see here. Good luck!
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