Q.Should I cut off the runners from my indoor strawberry seedlings before transplanting outdoors?
I have searched, and can’t seem to find any specific info on the following:
I started strawberries from seeds indoors this year. They are the “temptation” ever bearing variety. They are starting to put out runners (they are still indoors under the grow lights, and it will still be at least three weeks before I can begin hardening them off for transplanting outdoors. I haven’t been able to find a single page that discusses whether runners should be cut off or left on when first transplanting new seedlings still in pots started indoors when they are planted outside.
Lots of pages talk all about transplanting runners or snipping them off of plants, but this all refers to plants which are already growing outside. By the time late May rolls around, my strawberry seedlings I’ve started indoors will have long runners hanging out of the pots all over the place. Should I clip the runners off now, or right before I plant the seedlings, or shortly after I plant the seedlings, or should I not clip them off at all, since these are brand new plants I’ve started from seed?
I would truly appreciate it if you could clear this up for me. I wasn’t counting on this, and from the looks of things, my new strawberry plants are going to be on big tangle of runners by the time they are ready to even begin the hardening off process, let alone by the time that process is finished. It will be at least a month from now if not longer until the plants are hardened off and ready to go into the ground. By then it seems there will be super long runners growing off the plants in every direction unless I cut them off – but I can’t find any info on what one is supposed to do with runners on brand new, still potted, strawberry plants started indoors from seeds. Please help if you can.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This young, the runners are no good, really. Anything that has not taken root can be snipped off safely to make them more manageable to transplant. It would be best to plant these in a container outdoors or a bed that you don't mind being completely taken over. Strawberries can be quite invasive in your area.