HOW TO TAKE CUTTINGS FROM STRAWBERRY PLANTS

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Strawberries are arguably one of the most succulent and flavoursome of all berrying fruits, although strictly speaking a strawberry is an aggregate accessory fruit and not a true berry in the botanical sense. Of course there are many strawberry cultivars available today, each one of them having a slightly different flavour and texture characteristics. So if you come across a particular variety that blows your socks off and have access to the parent plants then with the owners permission you can grow genetically identical plants from cutting material.

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The easiest way to take cuttings from strawberry plants is to remove the runners and pot these up into individual pots. A runner is a length of connective tissue which in this case emerges from the parent plant and connects to a juvenile plant. In fact a mature strawberry plant can produce many runner with multiple juvenile plants along the runner.

The runners are produced freely on most strawberry varieties from June onwards. The best practice is to fasten the the runners into loose, cultivated soil, or into a pot of good quality compost such as John Innes 'No1'.

When you are selecting runners for propagation purposes, do so carefully! Make sure that you choose healthy, disease-free parent plants. Also, remove any flowers a month or so earlier before removing the runners as this will persuade the parent plants to produce runners with increased vigour. Do not allow a parent plant to produce more than five runners as it will struggle to support them. In August, when the pot-grown runner plants are well established, cut them from the parent and transplant immediately. Don't forget to water the runners once they become rooted.