Around now we’re coming to the end of the strawberry season and it’s time to tidy the plants up and get the ready for next year. Spending a few minutes now will really pay off next year as you’ll have bigger stronger plants and more fruit!
First off, if you used a mulch (I use straw which helps keep the strawberries off the compost) clear this away so you can better access each plant.
Now, time for a bit of house keeping. Cut off any leaves that have started to turn red or brown, trying to cut them as close to the crown as possible. The leaves will naturally turn red as they grow old, so cut them back and watch new leaves grow.
Next you can use runners to create new plants. The runners look like long stems with a little bit of growth attached. Each runner will produce new strawberry plants, and it’s really simple to do!
Simple Guide To Strawberry Runners
- Fill some small pots with compost.
- Place the new growth on the runner on top of the compost. This is the crown.
- Gently push the runner into the compost. You may want to use a small stick to peg the runner down.
- Water the compost lightly. The crown should rest on the surface rather than being completely submerged, and you want to keep the surface of the compost damp to encourage the crown to send out roots.
- After around 6 weeks your runner should have rooted. Now you can cut the runner off from the main plant.
Each new strawberry plant should fruit next summer, but you’ll have to wait another year for them to really get gowing.
Of course if you don’t want any more strawberry plants then make sure to cut of the runners, as each runner will drain the main plant of its water and nutrients.
Strawberry plants tend to last around three years, so remove any old ones and keep planting new runners to ensure a long lasting crop.
Now to enjoy the last few strawberries until next year!