Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Propagating Strawberries

For some reason, strawberry plants love my farm. They grow well and reproduce vigorously. They also produce berries but I lose most to birds and slugs. So I'm planning on trying to raise them in the pallet boxes so that I can better protect the berries. But first I need to grow some robust plants for transplanting into the boxes. 

Right now the strawberry bed is busting at the seams with runners. The runners produce new little plants. In the photo below you can see the white pipe delineating the bed's border. The runners have escaped the bed and are growing right into the pathway. 
Here's a close up of a plant sending out runners. The runner goes out about 10 inches then makes a tiny plant, which in turn sends out a runner and makes a tiny plant. I've seen three plantlets growing on one runner. So each main plant can reproduce plenty of plantlets. 
So I ripped out some of those runners in the pathway. Quite the tangled mess, I'd say. 
Armed with a pair of scissors, I snipped off the little plants from the runners. This is what I ended up with...
Now where to grow them temporarily. I choose a section of the garden that I had open. It's a spot where I have been mulching with grass clippings since May, attempting to kill the grass off. Most of the grass is gone although a few hardy plants are still struggling to survive. So besides these few grasses, most of the area is weed free at the moment. When I applied the first layer of grass clippings I had used a handpick to remove any surface rocks. So this area already has a start on becoming a garden. 
To get it ready to plant the baby strawberry plants, I used a shovel to flip the 2-3" of soil, burying the mulch. I didn't bother to try to dig deeper because first, the baby plants didn't need it, and second, there are plenty of rocks. Just digging 2-3" down was a chore! I just removed the rocks that interfered with using that top 2-3" of soil. I ended up with a nice pile of rock that I'll use somewhere else. 
Finally I planted to strawberries. This is just a nursery bed, so they are planted close. When they grow into sturdy plants I'll move the best of them to pallet grow boxes. I'd like to have at least 3-4 pallet boxes of strawberries so that I can experiment with different ways to prevent the birds and slugs from stealing the sweet red berries. 

1 comment:

  1. This plant like mint is extremely invasive, in the garden. I typically grow both in 5 gallon buckets. That allows me a better chance for controlling them. Also, keeps a limit on the time I spend on the plants, Since the birds, squirrels and rabbits eat 99% of the fruit.