Strawberries are a favored fruit in almost every culture and cuisine because of their sweet, succulent taste and robust crimson appearance. And, while many people prepare with (and consume) them on a daily basis, few have contemplated producing them themselves. The good news is that growing strawberries from seed is simple and cheap. The plants, which are endemic to North America, aren’t fussy about where they thrive as long as their fundamental requirements are met. Keep in mind that producing strawberries from seed takes time—depending on your location and the duration of your growth season, your plants may not produce fruit until the following year. Nonetheless, with proper care and perseverance, you will ultimately receive the benefits, knowing that you looked to the delectable fruit from the start.
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When to Start Strawberries
Strawberries are perennials, so the bushes will return year after year. Taking the effort to get them off to a solid start will be well worth it in the long haul.
Plant bareroot strawberries after the last spring frost, or in the autumn before the first anticipated cold to overwinter. When starting strawberries from seed, however, you’ll want to keep them indoors until the last cold has past.
It’s an excellent time to start producing strawberries from seed in December. Before you start sowing strawberry seeds, they must be stratified. This simply means freezing the seeds for a period of time to aid in sprouting. Place the full seed container in a shallow fridge for three to four weeks. Remove the seeds from the fridge once they’ve cooled and bring them to room temperature.
Sow the seeds thinly in seed starting containers, pushing them into wet planting medium and scarcely covering them with growth mix. Strawberries require sunshine to develop, so place the container under grow lamps. Germination takes several weeks. Be patient: seedlings can sprout in 7 days to 6 weeks. Keep the germination container between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow the seeds to dry out. Maintain adequate ventilation to prevent damping off.
Once the seeds sprout, position the grow lamp about two inches above the shrub. Too much light away from the seeds results in slender, spindly plants. Transplant the strawberries into bigger receptacles once the sapling has developed and created three pairs of real leaves (the first leaves to emerge are the cotyledon, or seed leaves). Plants should be hardened off before being placed in the yard or outdoor receptacles. Plant after the last spring cold has passed.
One significant advantage of producing strawberries from seed is that you can sow a variety of various types as long as they can thrive in your environment. However, you will most likely not have a decent crop of berries for at least a year after sowing. Strawberry producers generally suggest cutting off the blooms the first year to direct the plant’s energy toward creating strong roots and a good, healthy plant. Fruit will be available the second and third years. This is unquestionably an instance of excellent things coming to those who endure.
Strawberry bushes can be planted almost anywhere. Strawberries can be grown in a variety of ways, including raised beds, pots, and in-ground plots, as well as interplanted in places that require ground cover. They also do not develop substantial roots. So, if you can locate a place for a receptacle or dedicate a portion of the yard, you can possibly grow strawberries there.
A few planting site options include:
Most strawberry plant types thrive in full sun, so make sure your growth area receives at least six to eight hours of straight sunlight per day. Also, make certain that you’ve chosen types that are resilient in your area, and double-check their care needs because not all varieties can be interplanted in the same growth circumstances.
Strawberries can be everbearers, which means they produce fruit throughout the season. Or they can be summer-fruiting, with a single large crop.
Provide well-draining dirt that is supplied with organic manure or fertilizer to promote the greatest development from your plants. In addition, putting a coating of fertilizer around your plants can help to keep pests away from your strawberries. Weeds should be pulled as soon as they appear, and yellowed or fading foliage on strawberry bushes should be pruned. This allows the plant to get as much hydration and nutrition to the healthier foliage and seeds as possible, resulting in a larger yield.
Many farmers clip off the first strawberry blooms to help guide the early development into thick leaves. A healthy strawberry shrub will be no taller than 6 to 12 inches. Strawberries grow best when placed 12 inches apart, and a few plants to a planter is plenty if you’re using pots.
Furthermore, after sowing and picking, as well as in the autumn, provide your plants with excellent, well-draining soil modified with compost or nourish them with compost tea. Plants can be significantly reduced at the end of the season to promote new development for the following spring.
Strawberries can be harvested as soon as they turn crimson (or white, if you have a white type). Even if they’ve gone too long and become squishy and gelatinous, they’ll still be delicious in preserves and other cooked-fruit dishes. If the birds are out-harvesting you, try building a low shelter over your vegetation.
By meticulously looking to your strawberries each season, you should be able to get several years out of your bushes. Strawberry trees, on the other hand, have a three-year crop output decrease. To expand your strawberry garden, simply cut strawberry stems from the main plant and transplant them.
- Many strawberry bushes require at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. However, if they become too heated, the fruit may become sunburned.
- Strawberry trees require daily watering and a lot of water, particularly during the hot summer months and when they’re producing fruit.
- Strawberry trees have tendrils that extend from the plant and form their own roots. You can remove them and place them in a separate receptacle or within the same planting area.