Transplanting Strawberries

Strawberry plants proliferate by sending out runners that look like vines. The runners grow and develop roots that form new strawberry plants. Last summer, I let our strawberries send their runners into the raised beds where we grow our vegetables, because I wanted to get more strawberries for next year. The strawberries are growing in about ten pots next to the raised beds.

I spent part of the day yesterday and today transplanting most of the runner sets into pots, as in the picture above. Strawberries transplant incredibly well. I often tear off many of the roots in the transplanting process. They don’t seem to mind though. The strawberries don’t wilt or show any sign of transplant shock even after multiple transplants.

I also trimmed the new and old strawberry plants. The older plants look especially scraggly right now. They are full of dead and yellow leaves. I cut off most of the leaves of each plant, including many of the green leaves, leaving just the newly developing leaves. It seems that trimming the strawberries each winter helps stimulate them to regenerate in the spring.

After about 3 years, strawberries begin to produce fewer berries. I keep individual strawberry plants about 3-4 years before discarding them. I don’t think that growing them as annuals is the best method. In general, our strawberries have reached their peak production of berries at about 2 years from the time they rooted as runners. I don’t see the point of throwing away good plants until they are past their peak. We are growing Sequoia strawberries. Sequoia is a particularly tasty variety that grows well in California.

I am still toying with the idea of leaving some of the strawberry runners to grow in one of the raised beds. I have had a lot of success so far with growing strawberries in pots. Although, I have a tendency to plant them too close together in the pots. I keep underestimating how large they will get, so they end up looking crowded. I think I will plant just one row of them in one of the raised beds with each plant about 12 inches apart, and then judge how well they perform in 2009. Hopefully, they won’t proliferate like mad and take over the garden.

December 29 2008 08:02 pm | Strawberries