Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Increasing your strawberry patch for FREE

If you live in a similar climate as I do...and you have a few strawberry plants...Now is the time to gather your FREE plants...If you look amongst the leaves, you will notice runners that you can turn into new plants.

It's really simple to increase your strawberry plant numbers during this time.....all you have to do is plant the runners on. If your garden bed has the space, nature will most certainly do it for you...but seeing my strawberry bed is a bunch of self-watering pots.....I feel I need to guide nature a little and give my strawberry plants some extra help along the way....Of course, saving these extra plants pays off by rewarding you with lots more free strawberry plants.....Did you know you can get roughly 20 runners off an individual strawberry plant? (I'm not sure if that is the entire life of a single plant)

There are many ways to collect your strawberry runners, but this is the method I prefer to use....I was never told how to do this, but my theory is.....the longer time the runner can be attached to the mother plant, the better the survival of the baby plant, while it is vulnerable and growing. Remember, the mother plant is usually growing in a larger amount of soil AND mulched...which limits the possibility of the new plant drying out while it is setting roots.

Consider it the umbilical chord for the baby plant.

Below, you can see that I use little wire pegs to keep the plant attached to the soil, so the runner can set roots easier. The peg is just a loop of wire, sometimes I use one on each side of the plant, sometimes it just needs  one.....

Once they are well rooted, these will be planted out into a new garden bed.
There's plenty more FREE strawberry plants coming along.
Below: I'm also helping out the Barrack Heights Community Garden with their strawberry patch and I gathered these runners  last week, and bought them home to grow. Seeing they don't have the mother plant...I will be keeping an eye on them...and once they are well rooted, they will be returned to the Community Garden for a new strawberry bed in the making. 
Barrack Heights Community Garden
Strawberry runners
On Saturday at the garden course, Richard demonstrated that you can completely cut the leaves off the crown, along with most of the roots, and they will still grow.....but I had already done these this way.
I still prefer to keep them attached to the mother plant for the health of the new plant, but if/when you are gifted runners to take home....plant them however you feel works best.

In the garage we have/hoard/collect/recycle a draw of electrical wire of all different diameters and/or plastic coated, that is just another form of recycling that we do....Sometimes I strip the wire, depending on what I need it for....but for strawberry runners...no need. (see the red pegs in the picture above)

Here's some light humour for you....
If you think you have removed all the seed from your Pak Choy seed pods
and decide to use the dried pod shells for mulch.......

Be prepared for seeds to pop up anyway. (below)
don't worry; once these Pak Choy seedlings are a bit bigger
they will be moved on to another area in the garden.

Do you save your strawberry runners? 
Have you ever used your empty seed pods as mulch?


  1. oh poop,I just cut all mine off and put them in some more pots...maybe I shouldnt have...I think your idea of keeping them on the 'cord'..lol..is a good idea...and probably more successful.

  2. yay :) guess what i will be doing tomorrow- hunting out those strawberry 'cords', lol.

  3. Your strawberries look so wonderful. I have used a strawberry pot, but that didn't work so well, so I'm going to take the plants out and divide them. I hope they will be doing better this year !!
    Have a wonderful day and thank you for sharing !!

  4. Lovely idea, I only have 1 plant looking quite nice at the moment, I´m sure I will be able to get some runners.

  5. Thanks for this reminder. I usually do this in the fall, and I forgot. I almost let my plants die out last year, but then I realized that each plant is worth money and strawberry plants aren't cheap! love,andrea

  6. I need to sort out my strawberry patch this spring.

    Gill in Canada

  7. Thanks ladies,
    Enchanted Moments: Don't be discouraged, cutting them off will still produce lovely new plants for you.

    Monique Elisabeth: I have also tried a few strawberry pots over time....I still have one left with plants in it, but they just don't seem to do as well, I think maybe because they don't have room to grow...or maybe the pot is in the wrong area in my yard.

    Sami: If you gather your runners this season, you will soon have plenty more lovely new plants. One is all you really need to get going.

    Andrea: Your right! Strawberry plants are definitely not cheap!

  8. Thanks for the reminder to tidy up the strawberry bed and box. I had heaps of runners and not many strawbs last year. The strawberries in the box are bigger and better than the variety in the bed, so I'm going to transfer some box plants to the bed. I like your way of getting runners going.

  9. Fantastic Narelle! This year I will have oodles of runners... looking forward to relocating my patch as it's outgrown it's current "nursery". Need to wait for the snow to melt, first :)

  10. Great looking strawberries, and I love the way you pin the runners down. I am using seashells, one over and one under, works quite well and quick. Thanks so much for your informative and easy to understand posts. Also enjoy your preserve/recipe posts. cheers


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