The need for gardeners to actually ‘propagate’ strawberries is quite unnecessary as they pretty much do all the work themselves.

From about June onwards - and without the need for pollination, seed production or even the slow process of germination - strawberries will naturally produce genetically identical clones of itself on the end of specialized, ground creeping stems known as runners. So long as the bases of these juvenile clones are touching soil the embryonic roots will form.

As the juvenile plant matures the runners will die off as the nutrients within are absorbed back into the parent plant and its progeny. Should you wish to intervene you can help speed up the process of rooting by pegging the clones to the soil. This ensures that the embryonic roots have good contact with the soil, speeding up root initiation.

Alternately – as shown in the above photograph – the clones can be secured directly into a pot of John Innes No 2 compost.

This method of production will be a drain on the parent plants resources and can result in it producing a depleted crop with smaller fruit the following year. To help avoid this, give your plants a late summer mulch of well rotted farm manure.

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