As you know, everything has become more expensive, and here too. The price of garden strawberries (or strawberries as they are more familiarly known) has risen and bitten into the family budget.
But it doesn’t make sense to keep a strawberry garden in the same place for more than 4 years (maximent 5 years), so gardeners have to go to the nursery to buy new seedlings.
It is not difficult to grow even seedlings of new trendy hybrids on your own land with your own hands. In this publication, we will show you in detail how to grow Strawberry Runners (Stolons).
STRAWBERRIES WITH MUSTACHES ARE EASY TO PROPAGATE
The most effective way to increase the acreage of strawberries or (better) to renew them completely is to propagate them with mustaches. For garden strawberries this is acceptable, it is just a pity that not all varieties have mustaches, but the vast majority still have them (except for the remnants).
During growth, strawberries grow cotyledons, located on long stems with leaves. It is best to choose the best-developed cotyledons, without defects, rooted in a new place in a loose, moist, and nutritious soil, as free as possible from weeds. Then a new bush of strawberries will grow on the eye, from which you can taste the berries of the next season.
ADVANTAGES OF STRAWBERRY RUNNERS PROPAGATION
If you compare the propagation of garden strawberries by the beard with growing it by pre-sowing seeds and growing seedlings, the advantages of the first method are very many.
Of course, no additional space is needed for raising seedlings, no boxes or crates, no need to spend quite a long time waiting for seedlings to appear, no need to take care of them, no need to pick them, no need to plant them in the ground, no need for exact rearing – all this will be the fate of the breeder.
But when growing strawberries with beards, there are only advantages. In skilled hands rooted absolutely all plants, because we separate them from the mother bush with a stump, which means that they are practically independent, but still feed in two ways – through the stump, and through the “umbilical cord” of the mother bush. In addition, all the varietal characteristics inherent to the species (as opposed to sowing and propagation) are fully retained, as the genomes of both the mother plant and its branch grasses are identical.
There are even reports of complete success of growers who have tried to propagate new types of strawberry hybrids in this way. In this case, it is possible to obtain asexually propagated progeny that completely transfers the parental traits, but this certainly does not work when sowing. Perhaps some of these seedlings will be exact copies of the parents, but, alas, not all.
THE BEST TIME TO GROW STRAWBERRY RUNNERS
Now let’s talk about the right time to propagate garden strawberries with beards. This is the summer period. It is very important to try to have time to plant them separately from the mother plant in the soil and let them take root and germinate at the end of July or at least until the first days of August.
Only then the roots of the beard will grow rapidly, asexual reproduction will be formed, the plant will begin to develop actively, and by winter, which by and large is not far away, the strawberry will be ripe and the roots will be developed. If the gardener decides to grow such strawberries, they will withstand the winter with either no loss at all or with a slight loss, which usually happens with stunted beards.
Considering all of the above, try to spend some time and outline the rose in your favorite strawberry bush (for example, you can use thin strips of colored tape).
We have described the ideal choice and timing of strawberry garden beards, but it is not always and not everyone has the ideal bed, and not every gardener can collect enough beards to lay a new plantation or expand the old one during the summer period, under the right and exactly the conditions we described. It is then easy to accept that if you plan to separate the beards during the season, start preparing them in advance.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT MOTHER BUSH
So, even in the season when you intend to separate the strawberry bush, you can mark it out and distinguish it from the general bush. Check it out and take a closer look at those rosettes from where most of the biggest and same size berries (and, of course, delicious) come from. If so, why not tie a scarlet ribbon around the bush or put a stake with the same ribbon next to it?
In addition, many gardeners try to kill two birds with one stone, they buy expensive strawberry seedlings and go all out trying to get her and berries and beards (allowing to plant literally all beards, because it is precious planting material, they think), which often is insignificant leading to serious depletion of the bush and its long-term recovery.
But in order to harvest both strawberries and grow normal, not crazy beards, you need to tolerate only one year and give the mother bush normal fruit. What you need to do is advance the breeding season to the following year, but in the meantime, by looking at the bush, you can easily identify the roses that will bring the most production.
The next year leave the plant with only a few tendrils, you can leave three and unceremoniously remove the rest, however, and the flowering stems, which will allow the plant to divert all its energy to the formation of seedlings and develop fully.
OPTIONS FOR PROPAGATING STRAWBERRY RUNNERS AT INAPPROPRIATE TIMES
It is well known that from the date of planting strawberry seedlings and the activity of root development to the onset of winter, there should be enough time for the roots to be fully formed, and they will not be afraid of the winter cold.
But we don’t always have enough time, what to do when other concerns come in a hurry, some more urgent things and deadlines are shifted? There is a reliable solution to remedy this – propagate strawberry seedlings first in pots (but in this case there is nowhere to go without soil and pots), grow them initially in loose and nutritious potting soil, and then transplant them in place in due course.
GROWING STRAWBERRY RUNNERS IN POTS
Pot propagation may seem complicated at first glance, but in fact, it’s even fascinating. First, you need to buy pots in the cheapest plastic with a drainage hole (for seedlings), then dig out loose and nutritious soil in the garden, or just buy a few kilos of humus, mix it with the garden soil, and spread it somewhere in the garden.
We don’t need it yet, let it soak in the rain. Once the new season begins, remove boldly all the flowering stems from those bushes that we assigned with you earlier, because we are waiting for the children’s daughters rosettes in the form of berries that we do not intend to enjoy now with these bushes. Leave only the three strongest and most developed tendrils, and remove the rest at will: we do not need them anymore, they will only pull away nutrients.
Remember this trick – the rosettes of second and third-order strawberries are usually much weaker than the rosettes closest to the mother plant (the bush). Knowing this, you can safely cut the beard so that right after the first sub-bush, it has a so-called branch, the tail, that is only a few inches long.
After that, you can take the pot in your hand, wipe it with 1% manganese from the inside (just in case), and carefully fill it with the soil you prepared and folded in the garden. By the way, if such soil doesn’t suit you and it looks too easy, you can fill the pot with another mixture, nutritious and rich in organic matter. For example, my acquaintances always use a mixture of compost, mixing it with sawdust and vegetable soil in equal proportions.
To take it a step further, since we have chosen a pot, we can transplant the strawberry rosettes into the pot without even separating them from the mother plant. Simply wet the soil in the pot, make a depression, and gently transplant the rosette into the container, leaving the buds in the same place (i.e. close to the plant).
The main thing here is to water the soil every day, not over-watering it, but not letting it dry out either. So, with every pot and rosette, do you think it’s hard? Not at all. What is the point of this? By the time you transplant, your daughter’s roses will look perfect.
PREPARING THE BED FOR GROWING STRAWBERRIES
If you choose the usual method of beard propagation (without pots), you need to choose the strongest, most vigorous, and well-developed rosettes, but from those that have not yet started rooting (sometimes this is harmful because the roots can be damaged).
Next, prepare a new plot for the strawberries, or expand the old one, as you like, the main thing is that the soil on it should be loose, soft, and aerated. First of all, it should be plowed to the full bayonet of the spade, completely removing all weeds, then 250-300 grams per square meter of wood ash, non-acidic peat (one bucket per square meter), and sawdust (one bucket per square meter) should be introduced, everything should be thoroughly shoveled with a fork for better mixing and creating a maximum homogeneous composition. Of course, if the bed is dry, it can be watered and gently moistened without forming a bog.
FEATURES OF GROWING STRAWBERRY RUNNERS IN THE OPEN GROUND
When the bed is ready, we take the sharpest scissors and cut the beard from the mother plant, making the stem of the mother plant 7-9inch (18-25 cm) long and the foot at the rosette – about 0.6inch (1.5 cm). The feet will further promote faster rooting of the beard, while the stems will protect the bush from drying out.
Then you need to put the strawberry seedlings into the soil so that the feet are under the substrate, but the mother’s tail sticks out of the soil. Often these things are confused, but in fact, it is very important. The very heart should be above the surface, filling the core of the soil does not work and can have a disastrous effect on the plant. We can say this, perhaps, roughly written “put”, but in fact, of course, dig a hole, slightly moistened, it has put the seedlings.
After planting, which requires the most extensive watering, the bed should really become swampy, so that the roots do not interfere with anything to start developing as soon as possible in the new conditions.
If it rains a lot and the roots can be washed away, then above the bed, if it is not very large, you can install the usual curved strong wire and stretch the film over it, and the sides used for air passage and lowering the temperature can be left open.
HOW TO SPEED UP THE ROOTING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE?
Let’s imagine that time is running out before winter arrives and we need to speed things up as much as possible to prepare the newly planted plants for the winter. We water them heavily (but not inundating), and the beds do the same. We are careful to loosen the tops of the beds so that the slightest crust doesn’t form and even the smallest weed doesn’t form (it should be perfectly clean).
And of course, there are the fertilizers – you can’t do without them. Usually use mediocre nitromethane, a spoonful of which is dissolved in a bucket of water, and then water the plants, spending one bucket per square meter, it is the ideal fertilizer just for seedlings, which have the need for the presence of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
PLANTING OF STRAWBERRY SEEDLINGS FROM POTS TO SEEDBEDS
Since there the strawberry seedlings are already mature, feel free to cut the pot from the mother plant, cut the cups with scissors, – in the same bed we have prepared, making sure to leave a space of 8-10inch (20-25 cm) between the shrubs.
By the way, do not forget that from pots in a loose environment, the substrate can settle, sometimes quite strongly. This can lead to the exposure of the foot, in fact, it is she who must form additional roots. The roots can be exposed because, at that time in the cup, they may have formed.
What to do? You should dig a small hole before planting the seedling out of the pot, water it with a small amount of water, just to moisten the substrate, and then gently, but surely, press the seedling inside, tighten your fingers, and finally grow it as if it were there before.
Next, after a week, go over with a curtain, gently loosen all the plant’s strawberries, gently sprinkle the soil without light roots, and in some places the soil can be sprinkled and hands. The main thing is not to cover the heart and try to do so so that the soil is not even stained.
THE SECRET ABOUT PROPAGATING STRAWBERRY RUNNERS
Anyway, when you have learned how to separate strawberry runners and properly plant them on plots, prepare the soil for them and even finish growing beards in plastic containers, I would like to give a few valuable tips of my own.
So, if you don’t want to search for strawberry mother plants in the ground every year, just choose a few plants that have the most delicious berries and take the flower stems off them from now on, so that all the power of these plants will be directed towards the growth of the beard, thus propagating the instances you like. Or create a row of mother plants, but this is if you will need a lot of seedlings, which is already a profitable business, especially if you have good varieties.
Do not forget that the best time to transplant strawberry runners to the seedbed is the last days of July in the heat, until mid-September, but remember: the more you delay, the more you should do the late growth of beards in the way we describe.
Do not make what is almost the most common mistake of most gardeners and homesteaders: for some unknown reason, they stop watering the strawberry patch immediately after harvesting the whole crop or after planting the beard on the strawberries. Few of them realize that this is the best time to form flower stems and lay down future crops water is needed, and beards without water are mediocre and will wilt and die.
Primarily, it is a reborn variety of garden strawberries, but whether you need it, whether you need such a variety, this I do not know yet. So, write down your own opinion about it and everyone will be interested.