Expert garden advice from the RHS: my strawberries are producing long green shoots, can I cut them off?

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Question: I've bought a hanging basket of strawberries from the garden centre and they are already producing small green fruits, so all good. But they are also producing long green shoots that stick out and look a bit strange. Do I leave those or can I cut them off without affecting the growing fruits?

Answer: This all sounds encouraging and no doubt you'll be off to buy the cream to go with your strawberries in a few weeks. It would be best to remove the shoots you mention. These are runners and if left will take energy from the plants. They are, however, handy if you wish to make new plants. If I were you, I'd be making sure all the energy goes into producing strawberries! Feed your hanging basket with a tomato fertiliser for the best flavoured and coloured fruits and at the end of the season, you could plant the strawberries out in the garden ready for next year's cropping.

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