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MMmmmmm Oregon strawberries.  They are so sweet and juicy and their aroma is intoxicating. No offense to those that live in other states but Oregon strawberries are the best hands down in my opinion.  Now when ours aren’t in season I will eat those from the grocery store but they just aren’t the same and I am sure I have others who would agree. (Ahem, I’m talking about you Dad:)

Oregon strawberry season is very short but oh so good while it is here. The most popular variety of strawberries grown here are Hoods, Tillamook, and Shuksan. Growing up my parents were partial to Hoods or Shuksans so those are the plant varieties we always grew. I’ve always known I wanted to have strawberries at my house someday and now that we have the farmhouse with some acreage I knew it was time. But where to put them has become another story. We are still figuring out our yard, garden area, and orchard and ultimately unsure as to where strawberry plants would fit more permanently. So I decided a planter box it is for now.

But first I needed strawberry plants. Since my parents already have some and being the frugal person I am I was excited when my Mom offered to have us come dig the runners in their strawberry rows.

If you don’t have a family member or friend who is willing to let you dig some runners you can always purchase your own strawberry plants.

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Sources for Strawberry Plants

Digging Strawberry Runners

Now you might be wondering what a runner is, well basically when you plant strawberries in their rows the plants will send out new shoots or “runners” into the aisles of your rows each year. They will root themselves in the center where you normally don’t want them.

My Dad will normally use the roto-tiller to knock down the weeds in the aisles but he hasn’t done that yet this year. So…..perfect time for me to dig these runners and plant in our planter box! The pic below is pointing out the runners in the sea of weeds.

The kids were more than happy to help dig up the runners and they were sad when we had enough plants to fill our planter. They love to dig! And my sister found a kid-sized shovel at her house that the previous owners left and gave it to Sawyer. He was so excited to have one that was his size! Addie preferred her Minnie trowel. I have linked some below if you are interested. If you have an elementary school aged kid these shovels are a perfect size.

Because the aisles were full of weeds and to make it easier for the kids to identify where to dig I pulled all the weeds around the little plants. You won’t need to dig deep either, the roots are pretty shallow so about 3-5 inches should suffice.

A young boy using a shovel to dig a strawberry plant
A young girl crouching down with a trowel in the middle of a strawberry row, digging a plant

Next step is to plant! I got this planter box last year for my small herb garden (let’s not talk about how that worked out: ok they all died, but I will try again!) This planter box came from a local store but you really could use anything that will give the plants some room to grow to about 3-4 times their size. Or just plant directly into the ground if you have space!

A cardboard box filled with dug up strawberry plants

I just used regular potting soil to fill my planter box, you will just want to use something that will hold moisture and not dry out.  After planting make sure to water the plants sufficiently until they are able to root themselves. Because these plants are so young we may not get many berries from them this year but we are hoping for a good eating crop next year.

An overhead view of a planter box with equally spaced strawberry plants
A close up of two strawberry plants surrounded by soil

I can already smell the strawberry aroma now! MMmmmmm!

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1 Comment on How to Dig and Plant Strawberry Runners

  1. By transplanting strawberry runner plants at this time (in late August), the yields obtained during the following growing season will be maximized. Remember, however, that strawberry plant transplants can grow successfully at just about any time during the growing season as long as they are well-watered and have a hospitable growing location, but transplanting them during the hot summer months takes its toll on the plant. It is important to know how to transplant strawberry plants correctly so that they aren’t unnecessarily damaged and the stress to the transplant plants is minimized.

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