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Propagating Strawberry Plants Through Runners

Anya Osatuke, WNY Berry Specialist

March 8, 2022
Propagating Strawberry Plants Through Runners

The production of strawberry plants is challenging due to the rigorous sanitation needs that must be met, especially in field propagation settings, but also in greenhouse settings. Growers in New York may find it more difficult to obtain their preferred strawberry varieties in the coming years, as fewer nurseries are propagating strawberries. The production of strawberry runners in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse or high tunnel must be kept separate from the production of strawberry fruit, because the energy allocation of strawberry plants will tend to favor either runner production or fruit production, but not both. 

From conversations I've had with growers, there could be a market for plug plants in the northeast market, particularly when it comes to rarer varieties that do well in the region, such as 'L'Amour' for perennial matted row systems and 'Everest' or 'Albion' for early-season annual plasticulture. Plug plants will fetch a higher price than dormant bare-root plants, due to the higher cost of production and lower availability in the Northeast, especially if plants are available in August. Propagating Strawberry Plants Through Runners, written by Anya Osatuke of CCE Harvest NY and Brad Bergefurd of The Ohio State University, only discusses production and marketing potential of plug plants because successful field production of bare-root strawberries is very difficult to achieve without the use of highly restricted soil fumigants. 

Propagating Strawberry Plants Through Runners (pdf; 1032KB)

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