Obtaining Strawberry Plants
There are many ways that strawberry plants can be obtained. It depends on gardeners skills, free time, desired number of plants etc.
Strawberry plants can be obtained:
- As one year old grown plants in containers from garden centers
- As plants grown from the seeds at home
- As plants grown from the runners at home
- Some varieties also can be grown by dividing central stem, usually in late vegetation period
One year old grown plants in containers from garden markets are probably best solution because one gets plants that can bear fruits same year, plants should be certified (type, virus free etc), and are easily potted in larger containers. When starting strawberry planting for the first time or just wanting to test some new variety, it is best and easiest solution to buy one year old plants in containers. This is also the most expensive solution per grown plant – which is not so important for small number of plants.
Plants grown from the seeds require more time and much more work. Plants usually bear fruits next year, and if they do bear fruits in the first year, fruits are usually small and of low quality. Plant that bears fruits in first year don't bear fruits very well next year. There are some varieties of day-neutral and ever-bearing strawberries that can bear fruits in the same year, but much better harvest can be expected next year, especially if first-year flowers are cut off before strawberry fruits start to grow. This is the cheapest way for larger number of plants, but some disappointments are possible – especially if one uses non-certified seeds.
Plants grown from the runners require less work when compared with growing strawberries from the seeds. Also, ever-bearing and day-neutral strawberries grown from runners can give some harvest same year, although they require god soil, sunny position and plenty of moisture – be careful, strawberries don't like to have their roots submerged in water – proper drainage is very important. June-bearing strawberries grown from runners will give normal harvest next year, so be patient. When growing strawberries from runners, always use runners from the best plants.
Plants grown from divided central stem are similar to plants grown from runners. Some varieties of ever-bearing and day-neutral strawberries are mostly grown this way. Again, use only the best plants and discard others.
To keep your strawberry plants strong, use only certified plants in the pots and seeds. Even than some disappointment cannot be avoided, but first harvest will make you forget all downfalls.