By Marie Mulrooney
Strawberry plants propagate through seeded fruits–that would be the strawberries–and also by sending out runners from parent plants, which then root and grow into mature plants themselves. In order to preserve the runners from strawberry plants, you must first allow them to root, then chill them. This chilling also speeds growth in most strawberry varieties, so you should have a strong, vigorous crop once you plant the chilled runners.
Use hair pins to pin the tip of the strawberry plant runners in a small pot or other container of soil.
Wait until the runner has developed roots–it’s OK to gently move some soil aside to check on root development if necessary.
Cut the runner away from the parent plant near the root cluster of each plant.
Remove the rooted runner–now its own small strawberry plant–carefully from the soil. Gently remove excess dirt clumped around the roots, but don’t worry about getting them squeaky clean.
Insert the rooted runner in a bag made of breathable material–burlap is perfect–and chill it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to plant it out.
Make sure you’re using hair pins, not bobby pins, to pin your strawberry plant runners down. Hair pins are looser than bobby pins and thus less likely to crush the plant runners.