By Nannette Richford

Fresh, juicy strawberries straight from the garden are perfect for eating fresh, making jams and pies or freezing for winter. This delightfully sweet berry is high in vitamin C and contains phenols, powerful antioxidants that show promise in fighting heart disease, cancer and inflammation. Growing them in the home garden is relatively simple as they require little care and reproduce freely on runners, developing new plants that are identical to the mother plant.

Watch for runners to form after blooming. These appear as slender red stems growing from the base of the strawberry plant. Runners reach lengths of 12 to 18 inches, depending on the cultivar and the growing conditions.

Train runners to settle in the location where you want a new plant to grow. Pin the runner to the soil with a florist pin or a U-shaped wire to hold it in place and prevent it from growing to new areas.

Keep the soil moist, but not soggy, and watch for roots to form from the base of the runner. Allow it to stay in this position until new growth appears.

Clip the runner once the new plant is established, and gently dig under the root system to transplant the new strawberry plant to a new location.

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