Plant runners in containers now for an early crop of fruits
Next summer’s strawberries seem a long way off, but September is the time to plant rooted runners so they establish a good root system over the autumn. Alternatively, cold-stored runners - as used by commercial growers - are available in spring, but if you want to start now, you’ll need some new plants.
A recent method of propagating strawberry plants is known as ‘misted tips’. These are runners rooted under cover using mist propagation to produce strong plants early in the autumn. The advantage is you get new, healthy strawberry plants faster than the traditional method of rooting bare-root runners.
Misted tips are produced in cells, meaning no root disturbance, and when planted out they establish quickly, resulting in a larger first year crop of fruits. Many commercial growers in the UK now use this system to maximize an early crop of strawberries, but we can also use this new growing method in our own garden. Although the plants can be planted into the garden, they can be grown in pots and containers under cover to get fruit a couple of weeks earlier.