The strawberry plants that live in the tyres by the front doors of the polytunnel are running rampant with runners this year. It's a good sign that the plants are happy in their environment and want to multiply and who am I to stop them. I've found out from experience that virtually everything likes growing in tyres, we always ask to keep ours when the vehicles need new ones :-)
Once you have a few strawberry plants it's very easy year after year to keep yourself self sufficient in new plants rather than going out and buying some more, and it's so easy to do, in fact you barely have to do anything the plant does most of it for you.
The long leggy runners that come off the plant are the plants ways of reaching out for fresh soil for it's babies and all you have to do is direct them into a bit of spare ground or if they are container grown into more containers.
I have plant pots dotted all around the tyres ....
... and a long trough with lots of fresh compost.
You simply direct the end of the runner to the soil you want it to root in.
Mine have rooted very quickly, so quickly in fact that I didn't even get round to pegging them down, which it is best to do to help the end of the runner stay under the soil and develop a good root system of its own.
You can make little pegs out of snipped off wire, or do as I usually do and find some forked ended twigs and hold them down that way.
Then it's simply a question of waiting for nature to do her stuff and let the little runner develop roots to hold it in it's new home. Once it's got a good root system and a little tug no longer dislodges it from the soil you can simply snip through the long runner a few inches away from the new plant.
These last three photos are from Google Images.
And there it is a lovely new little baby strawberry plant ready to put somewhere sheltered before planting into a new bed with others, or adding to your existing strawberry bed for next year. And if you can be brave for their first year and not pick any of the berries off your new plants you will find that in their second year of growth you will have a bumper crop, one that will be well worth waiting for.
We have been self-sufficient in strawberry plants for about the last three years ... one more tick on the list on our journey to self sufficiency :-)