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Growing my first strawberries. Plain and simple.

Updated on November 14, 2014
one of my strawberry baskets
one of my strawberry baskets | Source

Mother Nature does the work for you!

I always wanted to grow my own fruit and veg and be more self sufficient when it comes to food however i was put off by thinking i couldn't fit in the work involved into my hectic lifestyle. The truth is that there is very little work involved, especially when it comes to strawberries.

I don't know what made me do it but i saw some strawberry plants being sold at a farmers market in a place called farmleigh in phoenix park in Dublin. I just thought why not and bought two plants to give it a go. At just 2 euro 50 per plant i think it was a sound investment. I bought two baskets to hang them out the back at either side of the door out the back yard and almost every morning since then there has been fresh strawberries every morning.

Huge strawberries every day, for free.
Huge strawberries every day, for free. | Source

Things i learnt along the way

Not only do they provide you with a delicious fruit but the white flowers of the plant make it a beautiful compliment to any garden. Once the flower blooms it is just a matter of days before it is a plump red strawberry. The bonus of having them in baskets is that they are up out of the way of pests such as slugs etc. There are just a few simple things i learnt to keep in mind in order to get the best out of your strawberry plants;

  • Water the plants to the extent that the soil is always at least a little bit moist.
  • If possible, keep them in the sunniest part of your garden as this will speed up the process of fruit production. However, this is not necessarily mandatory as they will still grow in part shade.
  • The reddest strawberries are always the sweetest.
  • As the plant develops trim away any older stems and leaves that look worn or withered so as to make room for the younger shoots.
  • You will never have to buy strawberries or even another plant again as you can get new plants from runners

Kids love strawberries! And they love to pick them too. Growing your own means that you have a handy snack at your fingertips whenever you want. I think strawberries are a fantastic starter for any would be fruit gardener and its so easy anyone can do it!




One of my hanging baskets
One of my hanging baskets | Source

A Strawberry runner

The runners shoot out from the mother plant to find soil to root.
The runners shoot out from the mother plant to find soil to root. | Source

Peg down the runner and leave it for a week

Source

Get new strawberry plants for free by growing runners!

Your average strawberry plant will bear a good amount of fruit for at least two years, maybe three. The older the plants get then the less fruit they will bear from year to year so it is always a good idea to start new every year with a runner from the year before. It is a very simple process.

A runner is a long skinny shoot coming out from the plant and it is literally running away from its mother plant to find soil to root itself to become a new plant. To help this runner on its journey and get a free strawberry plant just follow these steps:

  1. Fill a small pot with 3/4 of soil.
  2. Find the runner and peg it down into the small pot (I use toothpicks). You may need to prop the small pot up with something so that it is level with the runner.
  3. Leave the runner in the small pot for just over a week and water the runner also.
  4. Once it has rooted itself (test by giving it a small tug) you can cut it off from its mother plant.

You can keep repeating this process and get as many runners as you like! One thing to keep in mind is that taking runners will decrease the amount of fruit you get as the plants energy will go to the runner instead of the fruit so its always a good idea to peg your runners in late September.


Getting runners from baskets

I use a recycled coke bottle to get my runners from the strawberry plants in the baskets.
I use a recycled coke bottle to get my runners from the strawberry plants in the baskets. | Source

Comments

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    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I planted one strawberry plant in the garden last spring, knowing that it will be next year before we reap the benefits. The plant has done very well and looks great as we go into fall and winter. I'm counting on a bountiful plant and hoping for runners as they're in an area where I can allow them to spread. We're definitely strawberry fans and I can't wait to enjoy an actual crop of them.

    • kevin murphy-87 profile imageAUTHOR

      kevin murphy 

      3 years ago from Ireland

      O yes! :) gotta love them!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 

      3 years ago from London

      Isn't it wonderful when you eat that first strawberry!

    • kevin murphy-87 profile imageAUTHOR

      kevin murphy 

      3 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks everyone for the positive feedback :)

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 

      3 years ago

      How nifty. I'll have to try this when we get back into our growing season. Summer in Florida is too hot for strawberries, but they're a big deal here in the winter. I like the hanging basket idea a lot. Lovely idea.

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 

      3 years ago from SE Michigan

      I love how you used the upcycled coke bottle to pot your runner. I will definitely be using that trick!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      3 years ago from San Francisco

      Your strawberry plant looks so healthy! If I had any sunny spot the Fire Department would permit a basket, I'd hang one and try your method. Lovely page. Thank you for sharing it.

    • kevin murphy-87 profile imageAUTHOR

      kevin murphy 

      3 years ago from Ireland

      wow thanks guys! yea its so handy alicia, they are just there for me every morning haha. And thank you moonfroth. I was just browsing around on HP and stumbled upon one of your poems and really liked it.

    • moonfroth profile image

      Clark Cook 

      3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      The Fraser Valley in British Columbia produces arguably the best strawberries n the world--hundreds of acres of huge, succulent berries that explode with flavour. I live 400 miles N of the Valley, but we're still able to grow wonderful berries in our short growing season. We harvest about 60 lbs. a year. BUT, my young friend, you've taught me something--I've never heard of growing them in hanging baskets! This I must try next year..

      Thank you for following me. I have reciprocated. Your writing style is descriptive and clear, a pleasure to read. I don't post much on HP anymore; most of my online poetry I post on LinkedIn. hw did you get onto my work? Welcome to HP!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing the instructions for rooting runners. It must be lovely to pick strawberries so close to your back door!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      3 years ago

      The berries look so inviting!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 

      3 years ago from USA

      l live in a cold area. I wondered about having them overwinter in pots too. I wonder if they'd make it through the winter here. I guess I will try to I'm not losing much since they have spread from the neighbors yard.

    • kevin murphy-87 profile imageAUTHOR

      kevin murphy 

      3 years ago from Ireland

      wow thanks guys! In ireland normally our winters arent too bad. you can either put a frost proof cover over them for protection (which can be bought cheap at any garden centre) or take then indoors. a lot of people though would get new runners from the plants and basically get rid of the old ones and have new ones for next year. I'll do a hub on runners too! thanks again.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Great idea! I may try this sometime.

    • misterhollywood profile image

      John Hollywood 

      3 years ago from Hollywood, CA

      Really cute hub and I like the idea of growing them in a basket! Thanks for sharing.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This is great; never thought of growing them in a basket! How will you store them this winter?

      Welcome to HP! Voted up and sharing!

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