june bearing strawberry runners-trim or not?

yesika_1999April 30, 2009

Hi All,

I'm new to gardening and have come across conflicting information on June bearing strawberries. I am going to be planting them in a raised bed (it's 5x10-too big for true SFG I realize now but I don't dare make my husband change it). The information I got from the extension office said that on June bearing strawberries I should leave all of the runners but now I'm reading in various posts here that I should trim all of the runners and keep individual plants-planted 4/square.

Also, any input on pinching the flowers off the first year? Some say it doesn't matter but the extension office stuff says I need to pinch them.

Any advice would be great!


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Well, if you let them spread, you will lose all control on your patch and you will get worse quality berries compared to if you cut them.

If you let them spread and root, you can cut the connection to the parent plant and plant the new plant in a pot to use next year or to replace not so good looking plants.

I would cut them. You shouldn't need to replace the plants for at least a year or two, so you shouldn't need to plant them. Just chuck them into the compost pile.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 11:51PM
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i've been researching the same thing. i kept the berry plants i bought in pots and i've cut the runners. i heard that allows the plant to use its energy on flowering and producing fruit. i put one runner in a bowl with water. i'm going to see if it will root and then i'll try to plant it. i probably should have waited for the runner to root first in the soil. oh well - next time i'll do that!

i've also heard you should pinch the flowers the first year but i just can't bear to do it!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 3:28PM
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Kelli, I think I remember hearing something about how runners only send out roots if they touch soil, so I'm not sure if that will work. Let me know if it does end up working for you.

If it doesn't, next time just fill a small pot with soil and pin the runner into the soil in that pot and wait for it to root then cut it as soon as it's dug in. Then you'll have another plant and your parent plant will stop wasting energy on runners.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 4:00PM
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thanks! do you suggest i place the runner on soil now? i cut it yesterday.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 5:03PM
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beginnerkelli, let the runner root before you cut it from the mother plant if you want to plant it elsewhere. You can do as homertherat says (above) or just pin it down to your garden soil...you can use a small rock, or a u-shaped wire, or just cover the runner's stem with some dirt to hold it in place. Then you can dig it up and move it after roots form. You can tell when it gets roots, as you won't be able to just pick it up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 5:21PM
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I have never had a problem because of the runners. Nor have I seen any reduction in the quality of fruit. If you feel they are starting too many plants you should have a friend or neighbor that would love to have a few plant starters. I have never picked of the flowers and had no stunted plants because of this or had any other problems.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 8:02AM
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west_texas_peg(8a West Cen TX)

I am using the bottom 3" or so of soft drink bottles (12 to 20 oz) and sinking these in the ground near the strawberry that puts out a runner. I pin the runner in the pot and make sure it gets watered when I'm watering. Since the pot is clear, I will be able to see when roots form and it is ready to be cut off the mother. Two of these have sent a runner out from the baby plants but I cut them off...didn't want to take any energy away from that baby that is trying to root. I plan to start another strawberry bed with the babies. We have had a steady supply of strawberries for the last 3 or more weeks. So nice to walk out into my garden and come in with a bowlful of fresh/ripe strawberries!


    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 9:44AM
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It seems runners don't have a negative effect on quality or amount of fruit. I don't have the article handy, but an American university studied the effect of reflected light on strawberries. They found that strawbs and tomatoes did substantially better when planted in beds covered with red vinyl ground cover. Red plastic sheeting is sold by a mail order company I deal with but late frost this year did in almost everything but the perrenials. Next year the raised beds will be ready to rock when the strawbs go in. Has anyone else tried this process ? I will try and find the article that explained the experiment and it's outcome. Or..., I might just google it .

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 1:40AM
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I too found conflicting info on the Junebearing strawberries, so I'm experimenting a little. I bought 25 plants, planted them into a 4x5 bed, let half flower and half not. I'm letting some runner and some not. So far, the ones I let flower gave me a few small berries and now they do seem a little smaller than the others. I'm not seeing a size difference between those I'm allowing to runner or not. I won't really know anything until next year when it's berry time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tales of a Transplanted Gardener

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 1:59PM
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My June berries have been going on strong 4 years now with no noticeable difference in size.

This year, I've been keeping a few of the runners just in case I'm not so lucky next year.

I did not pinch off any flowers during the first year.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 4:22PM
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There's a great article in this month's Organic Gardening that talks about maintaining strawberry beds. It's worth checking out.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 9:57PM
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