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Purdue Extension Martin County Blast September 25. 2023

The Purdue Extension Martin County weekly column is provided to help all learn
about programs & opportunities. We highlight events from Purdue University & Extension
where we hope you will choose to be part of Extension….. where there is Opportunity4All!

You now have an option to text with Extension staff.

Text 812-653-2089 to reach Purdue Extension Martin County.

All are invited to send a text with your name and in return a full detailed contact card will be texted back for you to save in your device contacts. The contact card will include helpful links will be easy for you to save in your contacts for future use. Then, going forward, you may text as a straight communication option for your Purdue Extension needs!

For more than 100 years, 4-H has inspired families, shaped careers, and impacted communities. From October 1-7, we will celebrate the impact of 4 H during National 4 H Week and we need you to celebrate to!

The theme of this year’s National 4-H Week is “I 💚 4 H.” As you plan ahead for how you will celebrate National 4-H Week in your family and places and spaces, here are some ideas of you can celebrate 4-H and show all the ways you 💚 4 H:

• Wear green or the 4-H Clover anytime – but especially on Thursday, October 5th for Wear Green Day! Share pictures of you and your family and friends by texting pictures to: 812-653-2089
• Post pictures on social media and celebrate
• Share 4-H ideas and encourage other 4-H professionals, alumni and 4-H’ers to participate in wearing 4-H clothing!
• If you are Kindergarten to 12th grade – enroll in 4-H during 4-H week at
• As an adult – help youth enroll
• As an adult – become a 4-H volunteer
• Speak to elected officials on how 4-H has impacted you and why their support is needed and appreciated

4-H is open to all youth in grades 3 to grade 12 ($20 enrollment fee) and Mini 4-H is open to grades Kindergarten through 2nd (no enrollment fee.)

Here is the great opportunity: Enroll from October 1st to October 20th and the $20 enrollment fee is paid by the Martin County 4-H Council.

How to enroll? enroll at starting October 1st. The 4-H Program year runs from October 1st to September 30th annually. Enroll early to take advantage of all the projects, trips, and experiences Indiana 4-H offers!

Come spend a day filled with activities and speakers all about drones.
For: Youth in Grades 3 – 12
Where: Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds
When: Saturday, October 28, 2023, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm EST.
Limited participant spots, register early!
Register: Enroll in 4-H and then sign up for this program on 4-H online at

Sunday, November 5, 2023
Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds & Event Center, Community Building

Sunday, November 5, 2023 12 noon EST to 12:30 pm EST
Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds & Event Center, Community Building

July 11-16, 2024

4-H is a part of the community. A club becomes involved with improving economic and social conditions where the members live. They learn how to be good citizens by taking community responsibility.

4-H is “learning by doing.” It’s an action program. Participants watch others, they study, they experiment, but they “do and practice” themselves. People remember 20 percent of what they are told, 30 percent of what they see, 50 percent of what they hear, 70 percent of what they say, and 90 percent of what they do and think. 4-H offers much DOING AND THINKING!

4-H is Inclusive. Youth of all races, places of residence, socioeconomic situations, and educational backgrounds are welcome. Youth may become 4-H members when they enter the third grade. They may continue membership until they complete the 12th grade. Maximum 4-H membership is 10 years. It is the policy of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service that all persons have equal opportunity and access to its educational programs, services, activities, and facilities without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, disability or status as a veteran. Purdue University is an Affirmative Action institution. This material may be available in alternative formats.

4-H is real life experience. It is learning how to do jobs and how to make decisions similar to those that are important in adult life.

4-H can be a family affair. There is a place for all family members if they want to participate. Sometimes you can reach and teach others: friends, parents, brothers, and sisters through the 4-H members.

4-H is adaptable. Programs can and should be “tailored” to fit any individual, any home, or any community. You can help your club adapt the program so that everyone gains from the experience.

4-H is decision making. Learning to stand on one’s own feet and learning to work with a group are important. Early practice in making both personal and group decisions builds for the future. You help members find possible answers. You encourage them to explore and decide which path they will follow.

4-H provides for ownership. Making, buying, and selling are included. Each project “belongs” to the member.

4-H is based on science and fact. The resources of Purdue University, our Indiana land-grant college, are used consistently in developing and implementing projects and activities.


Youth can participate in 4-H in a variety of ways, below is a list of ways.

Organized 4-H Community Club - Club members meet as a group on a regular schedule under the direction of an approved adult volunteer with a planned program. Clubs typically have elected youth officers and a set of rules approved by membership to govern the club, or for very young groups, other developmentally appropriate structures and operating processes. Community clubs typically meet in the evenings or on weekends and offer self-chosen, multiple learning experiences and activities.

Organized 4-H Afterschool Club - Club members meet as a group on a regular schedule under the direction of an approved adult volunteer with a planned program. 4-H after-school clubs are organized within after-school programs administered by cooperative Extension staff or other organizations (i.e. other youth development organizations, housing authorities, faith-based groups). They meet the above definition of a 4-H Club, and the young people and adult staff identify themselves as 4-H members and volunteers. They may have officers and elements of a club structure.

Special Interest or Short-Term Program - Special interest and short-term programs include groups of youth meeting for a special learning experience that involves direct teaching by Extension staff or trained volunteers, including teachers.

4-H SPARK Clubs – provide six hours of instruction on a specific topic of interest to the youth and adult volunteers. SPARK club audiences are typically new to the 4-H program. The SPARK club topic is designed to “spark” an interest in further 4-H participation.

Overnight Experience - Youth taking part in an Extension-planned educational experience that takes place over multiple days away from home.

Day Camping Program - Day camps consist of multiple-day programs with youth returning home each evening.

School Enrichment - School-aged youth receive a well-planned sequence of learning experiences during regular school hours.

4-H Projects: A 4-H project is one of the areas where learning-by-doing takes place. As members gain experience, the scope of their projects may be increased and/or they may choose to take on additional projects.

Characteristics of a 4-H Project include:
•Planned work in a subject area of interest to the 4-H members.
•Guided by a volunteer, or other caring adult.
•Aimed at planned objectives that can be attained and measured.
•Summarized by some form of record keeping.

4-H Activities Presentations - opportunities for youth to organize their thoughts and present them to their peers and adults.

Workshops – planned educational program on a specific topic.

Showmanship – youth demonstrate their knowledge about a specific subject or project area, typically in the areas of livestock.

Record Keeping – written document outlining the knowledge that the member has gained in the 4-H experience, including the financial revenue and expenses.

Community Service – opportunities for 4-H members to give back to their communities individually or as a group.

Career Development Events – individuals or teams compete to evaluate specific subject matter areas Fair Exhibits – youth display a product that demonstrates the knowledge they have gained during their 4-H experience.

Multi-county, State and National – wide variety of 4-H opportunities that are available for youth beyond the county borders at the area, state, and national levels. Some of these include camps, workshops, conferences, etc.

4-H Recognition Scholarships and awards – recognition given to 4-H members for their accomplishments during their 4-H tenure

Judging may be through the Danish system or placing. In the Danish system, individual entries are classified as Blue (top), Red (average), or White (below average) based on criteria established for the category. The Placing system is where individual entries are ranked from top to bottom as compared to all other entries in the category

Conference/open/interview judging – youth are present while the adult judges or evaluates their entries. Youth will typically be asked by the judge to explain how the entry was completed and what was learned during the process.

Applications will be accepted for the 2024 Junior & Senior Boiler Vet Camp until February 1st, 2024.

The Junior Camp will run from June 2-8 and Senior Camp will run from June 9-15.

The only camp of its kind in Indiana, Boiler Vet Camp gives want-to-be veterinarians or veterinary nurses the chance to live out their dreams. This camp is designed for students who are interested in becoming veterinary healthcare professionals and provides a preview into the real and vast fields of veterinary medicine. Students who attended a previous camp cannot repeat the same camp.

Through presentations, demonstrations, laboratories, visits and in-depth, hands-on activities, students will discover what modern veterinary medicine is all about. Students will gain personal experience of what it is like to attend vet school and what it takes to become a veterinarian or veterinary nurse through this seven day on-campus experience at one of the premier veterinary schools in the country. Students entering 8th and 9th grades are eligible to attend Junior Camp and students entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades are eligible to attend the Senior Camp. The minimum age required to attend Vet Camp is 12 years of age.

Many partnering organizations have joined with the College of Veterinary Medicine to provide financial assistance for both camps. Partial scholarships are available. Camp fees are all-inclusive for the hands-on in-residence camps.

Learn more and apply now at

More bull for your buck – performance tested; ranch ready
When: Saturday, October 14, 2023
Where: Springville, Indiana - Visitors are welcome at any time
For more information: Indiana Beef Evaluation Program,1117 State Road 458, Bedford, IN 47421 (812) 249-4330

Monday, November 6, 2023 10 am – 12 Noon EST
Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds & Event Center, Community Building
RSVP by calling 812-295-2412, texting 812-653-2089, or e-mailing
Learn to be a Leader in Watershed Management & sign up now to improve your watershed management skills. If you’re interested in water quality and watersheds, consider applying for the 2024 Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy.
Working Together for Program Excellence: Indiana Watershed Leadership is a program of Purdue University. The program draws on expertise and resources at Purdue and collaborates with Indiana's major conservation agencies. Support was previously provided by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management through section 319 of the Clean Water Act. A diverse Steering Committee and project team representing a dozen different agencies and organizations is involved in developing and teaching the academy.

Application and Fee Information: The registration fee is $1300, reduced to $800 for non-profit employees or board members, county employees, SWCD board members, students or self-funded attendees. Limited scholarships of $400 are available for applicants that do not work for a funded project or an agency. Registration Fees cover all workshop materials as well as food and lodging for the in-person workshops. Single rooms are available at an additional charge. See information at the end of the application. The registration is payable by December 4, 2022. Accepted applicants will receive information on how to submit payment to Purdue University.
The Academy, organized by Purdue University with support from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and other Indiana conservation agencies and organizations, gives participants the chance to:
• Engage with watershed topics covering leadership principles, watershed science, organization and communication, technology and GIS, stakeholder involvement techniques and policy skills
• Meet, learn from, and engage with others who work in watershed management
• Interact with topic experts
• Gain strategies, skills, and resources for successful watershed management
• Earn a Professional Certificate in Watershed Management
For the online application and information about the Academy, visit
The program includes three face-to-face group sessions, plus distance learning and online networking (approximately 2 hrs/week). The Academy will run from January to May, 2024, with workshops on January 3-4, March 27-28, and May 22, 2024.
In-depth Training to Strengthen Watershed Leadership: Developing and coordinating a local watershed organization can be a daunting task, especially if you are the person responsible for leading the process. If you would like to build your capacity for successful watershed management, we encourage you to enroll in the Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy. The Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy is designed for anyone with watershed management responsibilities or interests
Recognition: Participants who complete all requirements earn a Purdue University Continuing Education Professional Certificate in Watershed Management.
Applications are due by Friday, November 3, 2023

Climate-Smart Grasslands – the Root of Agricultural Carbon Markets
Farms implement up to six specific practices, each of which has previously documented potential increase soil organic carbon storage, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and enhance system resilience, all while making a positive contribution to profitability, drought resiliency, soil and water quality, and habitat for at-risk grassland birds and pollinators. For more information contact Abby Heidenreich at

You can’t take care of your farm, your livestock or your family if you don’t first take care of yourself.

The Purdue Farm Stress team is part of a 12-state collaborative effort that was awarded the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network grant administered by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The goal is to create/expand stress management and mental health resources and services to agricultural producers/stakeholders in the North Central region. Listen to the podcast! Tools For Today’s Farmer. Featuring interviews with leaders in the agriculture industry. Find it anywhere you listen to podcasts or simply google search “Tools for Today’s Farmer Podcast.”

Resources for Farm Families:
Need help and don’t know where to start:
Call: 211 OR
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Call: 988 OR
Be Well Indiana
Call: 211 OR 1-866-211-9966 OR https//

Concern Line for Farmers (Hosted by Iowa)
Call: 1-800-477-1985
Farm Aide Hotline
Call: 1-800-327-6243
Strong Couples Project (Partnership with IL)

Check the website for more resources and information:

You’re Invited! Make plans to attend the Fall Seminar “Once Upon A Garden” hosted by the Gibson County Master Gardener Association with 4 Guest Speakers plus several vendor booths.
Join us October 21st, 2023 at the Toyota Event Center in Princeton, Indiana.
Doors open at 8 am Central Time, Seminar starts at 9 am.
Register online at

February 28, 2024
Beck Agricultural Center, West Lafayette, IN
The Indiana Organic Grain Farmer meeting increases participant understanding of organic transition, certification and cropping systems through peer learning and networking. This annual event includes education and workshops on transitioning to organic grain, breakout sessions, farmer panels, networking time and an industry trade show.
For more information contact: Ashley Adair - Extension Organic Agriculture Specialist Email:

WHEN: Thursday, February 29, 2024 – March 1, 2024
WHERE: Hendricks County Fairgrounds, Danville, Indiana
The Indiana Small Farm Conference is a unique space to learn new techniques, see what works, and network with others. Over 400 attendees, 40 + exhibitors and a vendor trade show along with several national speakers.
To learn more about the conference and the work that the Purdue team does to make your small farming program work.

Contact Information: Amy Thompson,
If you are interested in being a show vendor, contact: Phil Cox at

Adapted from:
By Hans Schmitz

For both temperature and precipitation, Indiana has equal chances for below-normal, normal and above-normal conditions. Luckily, recent drought conditions that have lingered on the U.S. Drought Monitor have largely eased. The seasonal outlook for drought keeps excessive dryness out of Indiana through the end of November. Meanwhile, the El Nino we are currently in is expected to last throughout the fall, with a 95 percent chance of extending through the winter months.

The intense heat wave experienced in August left us something to remember summer by, although 90-degree temperatures remain possible in the autumn months. Martinsville had temperatures greater than 90 degrees on four days in the last 10 years, while South Bend exceeded the threshold on five dates, and Evansville exceeded 95 degrees on five dates.

With equal chances of below-normal temperatures over the September-October-November period, the chance of an early freeze in October is also possible. Most of the state received a killing frost the morning of October 9 last year, with a subsequent event on October 20 taking out any remaining susceptible plants. For much of the state, the first event was anywhere from one to three weeks early. An early freeze is certainly possible this year although an unusually late one is equally possible. Halloween forecasts should not be trusted until the week prior to the holiday.

As of this writing, none of the state is in drought, although abnormally dry conditions linger in areas. A return to some drought conditions is certainly possible, especially when considering long-term climate change trends increase the likelihood for less precipitation in autumn. Luckily, the national Climate Prediction Center Drought Outlook does not include any real persistence for drought, should it appear. Drought is predicted to persist in states to our northwest, including Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. This trend may create some blocking for fronts proceeding across the nation, allowing for the inability of some systems to pick up enough moisture to deposit that precipitation in Indiana.

Potentially counter-balancing that effect is the prediction for a more active hurricane season, which traditionally persists until the end of November. Indiana, particularly southern and eastern Indiana, has a history of getting a precipitation event or two, particularly from tropical storms that aim for the western side of the Gulf of Mexico. The unusual warmth observed in the Gulf of Mexico this year may intensify any tropical disturbance that encounters those waters.
The presence of an El Nino has a significant effect on Pacific Northwestern and Southeastern U.S. weather. In the southeast, warm and wet conditions prevail, while the Pacific Northwest trends warm and dry. That signature shows on the three-month outlook for autumn, but Indiana does not tend to get much of a trend in any direction either in the autumn or the winter during an El Nino year. Instead, watching the oscillations that occur on shorter time scales, such as the Arctic or North Atlantic Oscillations, may determine large shifts in temperature or precipitation more closely. For more information, please contact the Indiana State Climate Office at 765-494-8060 or

Adapted from:
By Rosie Lerner
Given a proper start, your home strawberry patch can bring many years of rewards. The most important considerations for getting off on the right foot include site selection, soil preparation and vigorous, disease-free plants.
Choosing which strawberries to grow requires a bit of homework. Most strawberries flower when days are short in spring, producing their bounty of ripe, juicy strawberries in June; such plants are known as June-bearers. Among the June-bearing strawberries, plants can be selected for early, mid- or late-season production, depending on the cultivar. Early bearing strawberry cultivars recommended for Indiana include Earliglow, Annapolis, andDelmarvel.Guardian, Honeoye, Redchief and Surecrop are suggested for mid-season production. For late-season production, Allstar, Jewel and Sparkle are recommended.
Some strawberries are commonly called “everbearers,” but, in fact, they really only produce a small spring crop followed by a small fall crop, with no production during the summer. The cultivars Fort Laramie and Ozark Beauty fall into this category.
The more modern cultivars that are called “day-neutral” strawberries are the true everbearing types. Cultivars such as Tribute and Tristar will flower and produce fruit throughout the summer into the fall. Day-neutral types can be grown like an annual crop, planting in early spring, removing flowers for the first two months, and then begin harvesting in July right up to autumn frost. These plants dramatically decrease in production in subsequent years so that new plants should be set out each year. Day neutrals also tend to have low yields during extreme hot weather.
Strawberry plants can adapt to a wide range of soil types but perform best on well-drained loamy soil. Avoid planting in low-lying areas to minimize late-spring frost damage. Good drainage is a must. If your soil tends to let water stand, create a raised bed at least 6-8 inches deep and incorporate good-quality top soil and organic matter, such as compost, rotted manure or peat moss. Good soil quality doesn’t happen overnight–in fact, planting the area to a green manure crop, such as oats or rye, the year before is an excellent way to build up organic matter content and improve aeration and drainage.
If this is a new garden area, a soil test will target specific nutrient applications to get off to the best start. In the absence of test results, apply about 2-3 pounds of a high-phosphorus fertilizer, such as 6-24-24 or 5-10-5, to the bed and work it into the top 6 inches of soil.
Strawberry plants are generally sold in bundles of bare-root plants. Try to purchase the plants as close to planting time as possible to avoid excessive drying of the unprotected roots. If planting must be delayed, keep the plants cool and shaded and keep moist packing material around the roots.
Planting rows should be spaced 42-48 inches apart, with plants set at 15-24 inches apart within the row. Plants should be set with the crown (the fleshy part from which the leaves develop) at the soil surface. If plants are too shallow, they may dry out before they establish new roots, and if too deep, the plants may rot. Gently firm the soil around each plant and water thoroughly to encourage good contact between the soil and the plant’s roots.
Remove blossoms the first year for June-bearing plants so that the plant can concentrate its resources on growing vigorous leaves and roots. The mother plant will form daughter plants on long, horizontal stems known as runners. For ideal spacing in the mature patch, the runner plants should be positioned, as they develop to allow a density of about 5 plants per square foot. Rows should be maintained no wider than 18-24 inches and when the desired plant density is reached, all additional runners should be removed. Can strawberry runners be cut and replanted? Yes. Each runner has a tiny plant at its end and these can be rooted and grown and will go on to produce new plants. Runners take a lot of the plant's energy to produce, so in the first two years of life they should be cut off from where they emerge to concentrate the plant's efforts on fruit production.
Though invisible to the gardener, the strawberry plants will begin to initiate flower buds within the crown of the plant during late August to early September. A side dressing of about 1 pound of 12-12-12 per 50 feet of row applied alongside the plants will help encourage this bud development. Avoid contacting the foliage with the fertilizer, and wash off any stray particles as soon as possible to prevent burning of the foliage.
Planting strawberries in fall allows for plants to become fully established sooner and gives close to, if not full, fruit production the following spring. Most strawberry cultivars can do well with this system, but planting them sooner rather than later is better to give them adequate establishment time.
Strawberries will need to be protected through the winter to keep the plants in the ground and to prevent cold injury. After plants become dormant in fall (generally in late November to mid-December), apply a 2-inch layer of straw, hay, chopped corncobs or bark chips. Tree leaves and grass clippings are not recommended, since they tend to mat down and smother the plants. About 2-3 inches of mulch, after settling, should provide adequate protection.
Winterizing Strawberry Plants. Perhaps the last garden chore of the season is tucking in the strawberry plants for the winter. Strawberry plants have already set their buds for next spring’s flowers and the crop can be lost unless you protect them from harsh winter conditions. A fully dormant strawberry plant’s flower buds can be damaged at temperatures below 15 deg. F. In addition to flower bud damage, the alternate freezing and thawing of the soil that commonly occurs in winter and early spring can cause plant roots to break and the plants to be heaved right out of the ground.
Mulching strawberry plants will insulate them from extreme low temperatures, minimize soil heaving and decrease excessive drying (desiccation) of the plant crowns. But be sure to wait until plants are dormant before you pile on the mulch. Applying mulch too early can cause the crown of the plant to rot. Plants should be mulched before the temperature drops below 20 deg. F, usually by late November or early December in most parts of Indiana.
Put a note on your garden calendar to uncover the plants in spring as new growth begins. Rake off most of the mulch as soon as the first new leaves develop and spread it between the rows to help conserve moisture and prevent weed growth. It will also help keep the berries clean and is a source of emergency cover in case frost threatens. The new growth will probably look a little yellow at first but will green up with exposure to light.
If you’re growing your own strawberries you’ll probably be familiar with these long, wiry stems racing out from your plants. They’re called ‘runners’ and are perhaps the most efficient way that strawberries reproduce themselves. We can use this naturally occurring habit to grow replacement plants – or to expand strawberry growing areas to other parts of the garden.
Botanically speaking, what we’re seeing here are stolon’s – creeping horizontal stems that produce roots at intervals along their length, where these little clusters of leaves are, to form new plants. Look closely at the plantlet at the end of the runner to see tiny roots already beginning to form. This can be rooted and will grow into new plants.
Growing new plants from runners is pretty much bulletproof – it’s hard to go wrong. And when you grow new strawberries this way you’ll get identical plants, because they share the same genetics.
• Only propagate using healthy plants, so you’re not passing on any diseases or viruses to the new plants.
• Runners are best taken from plants that are at least one year old.
• Remove runners coming from younger plants as they take a lot of the plant’s energy to produce and you want the plant to concentrate on establishing itself first. Cut off from where they emerge to concentrate the plant’s efforts on fruit production.
• Unless you plan to dispose of the parent plants, limit the number of runners to five per plant.
If you want to simply bulk out an existing strawberry bed, you’ll just peg down the runner right in the soil where they are—with a hairpin, A u-shaped clip or a length of garden wire bent into shape. You can direct the runner to where you want it – they’re nice and flexible like that.
But if you want to transplant your runners elsewhere, then root your runners into pots. You’ll detach them from the mother plant. (Note: It really helps to watch the video for this section unless you’re familiar with how to plant runners.)
1. Prepare your pots. Fill them with an all-purpose/multipurpose potting mix, firm down then water to thoroughly wet the mix.
2. To secure our runners onto the pots: Wherever you see a small cluster of leaves, no matter how small, is where the runner wants to send out new roots. You may see the very beginnings of roots, you may not – but this is what we want to pin down into our pots.
3. To pin them down, you can use a small rock or a hairpin, for example. Another option is to make your own staples using thick-gauge wire or perhaps lengths cut from an old wire coat hanger. But you could use anything to make your staples, even a wooden skewer.
4. Each cluster of leaves, or node, is pinned down with the staples. Hold the leaves so they’re pointing up and make sure the base of the node is pushed down onto the potting mix. Push in the staple to hold it in place. We want to make absolutely sure the bottom is in really good contact with the potting mix, so it knows to start pushing out those roots.
5. If the runner has already rooted into the soil, no problem – just carefully dig it up with a hand fork and then repot into your prepared pot.
Older, longer runners may have more than one node along their length, and you can use each of these to create a new plant. If you have lots of runners, though, limit things to one node per runner, pinning down the one closest to the mother plant and cutting off the growth beyond where you’ve pinned it down to concentrate all of the energy from that runner into producing just one strong plant.
In general, if you’re not propagating any more strawberries, it’s best to remove any runners that are formed, to keep the energy within the plant so it has more oomph behind it to produce plenty of flowers and, of course, berries. If you don’t cut back your runners, you’ll end up seeing way more leaves than fruit! Just reach down and clip off the runners. We do this around the time when school’s go back but any time between spring and fall is okay as long as the runners have produced adequate root growth.
Cutting off the New Plant. Think of runners as an umbilical cord. It’s the lifeline of the new plant, and you want to leave it attached to the mother plant for as long as possible.
• Keep the pinned-down runners from drying out. Water regularly, as much as once or twice a day in very hot, sunny conditions.
• Only cut off the new plant from the mother plant once it has properly rooted into the potting mix.
• After about 4 to 6 weeks, a small strawberry plantlet will have started to grow new leaves, so it’s time to cut it free from the parent plant. Detach it too early and the young plant may not be able to fend for itself and could simply shrivel up.
• It’s good to see the roots at the edge of the pot before planting it elsewhere. Choose a sunny position in well-drained, fertile soil for your new plants, or plant into suitable containers. Continue to water then begin feeding with a liquid tomato feed when they start to flower, usually next spring.
• Alternatively, overwinter your strawberries in a greenhouse or cold frame if it’s nearing winter, then plant out next spring, which is particularly useful if winters are harsh in your area.
How Often to Cut Runners? Strawberries become less productive over time, so you need to grow more plants from runners every 3 to 4 years to ensure continuing good harvests. For best results, grow each new generation of strawberries in a completely fresh bed enriched with compost to avoid the buildup of disease. You could also use your new plants to fill a special strawberry planter, troughs, or perhaps a handsome terracotta pot.
If you love getting something for free, then propagating new strawberry plants from runners is well worthwhile! By using the runners produced by existing plants to grow new plants, you’ll be able to keep your strawberries going on and on, season after season, far into the future. Sweet, juicy strawberries… for free… for life!

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture is seeking applicants for a new soil sampling program. The program called, Indiana’s Mississippi River Basin Soil Sampling program, is free to applicants. This seeks to encourage farmers to include soil sampling in their plans for nutrient management.
This program will provide soil sampling and analysis at no cost to the producer along with lab recommendations for nutrient applications based on yield goals and soil test results.
Producers will work with ISDA staff to coordinate soil sampling and to provide the best available information for the most accurate recommendations. Soil sampling will take place prior to fertilizer application.
Samples will be submitted to contracted labs for routine soil fertility testing.
This program includes row crop fields, pastures, and specialty crops located within Indiana’s portion of the Mississippi River Basin.
Participating growers will be prioritized by:
• Fields that have never been sampled before, or
• Fields that haven’t been sampled regularly (i.e., not sampled within the last 3-4 years), and
• New program enrollments.
Further prioritization may be implemented based on interest in the program.

Producers can register via the online form, by reaching out to their Resource Specialist, by reaching out to the Program Manager at or 317-605-0701.
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