Strawberries are delicious and juicy fruits. They're also very easy to grow. The problem with growing strawberries is that most people don't know how to do it right. Most of the time, they end up buying them at the store or, even worse, not planting them at all because they think it's too much work for something so simple.
This guide will teach you everything about growing strawberry plants from seed, including where to buy seeds, when to plant them, and what kind of conditions are best for germination. We'll make sure you get your first harvest in no time. Also, learning how to grow strawberries from seeds is the cheapest method to produce lots of strawberry plants.
What You Need to know about Strawberries
- Growing strawberries from the seed requires patience because the germination can last up to 3 weeks and strawberry plants grow very slowly.
- When planting strawberry seeds, you should be aware that self-pollinating strawberries will not produce any fruit. For your plant to bear fruit, you'll need another variety of strawberries nearby. Unfortunately, many gardeners end up growing strawberries from the seed without getting any fruit.
- If you're expecting to have strawberries in the same year, you'll need to start your seeds indoors, about eight weeks before the last frost, and transplant them outside once they're 2-3 inches tall.
- Growing strawberries from seeds begin with selecting your preferred strawberry varieties. After selecting the strawberry cultivar that suits your garden and buys the strawberry seed, move to the plant.
- Also, remember that strawberry seeds from hybrid cultivars won't reproduce the true form. But varieties such as alpine varieties and heirloom seeds can produce just as delicious fruit.
- If you're growing strawberries from the seed, it's helpful to note that strawberry seeds can remain dormant for up to two years and should be planted in autumn or spring. And plant them about 1/4 inch deep.
- You also need to cold-treat the seeds before planting to encourage germination. You can cold treat by wrapping the seeds, putting them in an airtight container, and placing them in a freezer.
- You can also increase the speed and likelihood of germination by placing your strawberry seeds in a sealed plastic bag with damp paper towels. This will make seeds think that winter has come and gone. After this, remove and keep them in a sealed container until it reaches room temperature.
- Once your strawberry seeds have reached room temperature, you can plant them in a seedling starter mix. Then, keep them under a light source of 100 watts.
- After two weeks, water your strawberry seeds and note any sprout that comes out from the soil. This will allow you to know which ones have germinated and which one hasn't.
- Seeds should then be planted just beneath the soil surface in either autumn or spring after cold treatment. The seeds should be planted about 1/4 inch deep.
- Strawberries are perennials, so you can plant once and enjoy fruit for many years. However, strawberries grown from seed are unlikely to produce the same fruit as the parent plant.
When to Plant Strawberries
You can plant your strawberries in the fall, winter, or spring. It’s recommended to sow seeds in a pot indoors and wait until they show signs of sprouting before planting outside.
Being that strawberries are perennials, they come back every year. Of course, bare-root strawberries can be planted anytime. But if you want to plant your strawberries from seeds, keep them indoors in the early spring. This will help them until the last frost since they are very cold hardy.
When it comes to planting bare root strawberries, you can do that any time after the last frost until mid-summer. However, keep in mind that your strawberry crowns will be more productive if they are planted during times of less heat stress.
Location for Planting Strawberries
Strawberry plants can grow almost everywhere. A strawberry plant isn't picky, which makes it comfortable growing in almost any soil condition. But to make sure you are successful with your strawberry plant, there are some things you need to consider first.
You can grow them in containers, hanging pots, and raised garden beds. Most strawberry plant varieties do well where there's sunshine, so make sure your growing location gets enough direct sunlight. Also, choose varieties that are hardy to your region. Your strawberry seeds should be able to germinate in two to three weeks if you keep them in a well-lighted room with direct sun.
Double-check their care requirements since they vary from variety to variety. The best time for planting strawberry plants is in spring so that their roots have enough time to establish themselves before winter comes. Then you can enjoy fresh strawberries from late summer through fall.
Caring for Strawberries
Strawberry plants can provide fruit to harvest for all seasons. It can also be summer-fruiting, monthly-fruiting, or everbearing. Strawberries need full sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. They also require moist but well-drained soil, so it's best to plant them in raised beds if your garden soil is heavy clay.
You can also encourage the best growth for your strawberry seed by providing well-draining soil with organic compost or fertilizer. You can also block the weeds from competing with your plant by adding organic mulch around the base of the plant. Remove your weeds as soon as you see them.
Prune off the yellowed or brown leaves from your strawberry plants to help them get as much moisture and nutrients as possible. Many gardeners also like pinching off the leaves once they blossom, so you can do the same. This will help direct the early growth into your bushy leaves.
If your strawberry plant seedlings are not getting direct sunlight from supplementary light, you can provide additional warmth with a grow light. If you do not have such a lighting system, provide at least six hours of sunshine for your plants each day. And if your strawberry seedlings sprout too close to each other, thin them when they're about an inch tall.
Strawberry Planting Guide
Gather the Supplies
- Pots with holes in their bottom for drainage
- Potting soil
- Watering can or hose
- Twist ties, string, or mesh screen
- Optional: Strawberry potting mix
- One fresh strawberry
- Scissor or knife
Get at Least One Strawberry
Of course, you'll need a strawberry plant to get the seed. You can pick one growing from outdoors or buy a pack of fresh strawberries from the shop.
Extract the Seeds
Take one strawberry, then use a toothpick or knifepoint to scrape off the seeds from the fruit. It might be difficult to extract the seeds, but it depends on the ripeness of the fruit and other factors. Sometimes, the seed can come out with some fruit flesh, but it's okay. After extracting, place them in a piece of paper towel to dry them off.
Create Seedling Pots
You can use toilet paper rolls for this. Flatten the roll, then cut it in half lengthwise to get two equal pieces. Put a few drops of water on the surface of the soil, then put four or five strawberry seeds each into two toilet paper rolls that you have prepared. Cover with some more soil and flatten gently with your fingers. Water again, making sure not to overdo it. You can learn how to make a compost bin for the purpose of growing your plants, such as strawberries.
Prepare the Seedling Pots
Fill up each pot to the top with soil using a gardening trowel or a large spoon. Make a small hole in the middle for each seedling you have placed on the surface of the soil using a pen or just your fingers. Dip one end of a popsicle stick into some water, then place it gently over the hole and leave it to dry a bit before removing it. You don't want to drown your seeds by giving them too much water before their first leaves have appeared.
Make the seeds easy to move around by placing the entire container inside a clear plastic bag. Seal the bag by knotting it with a rubber band or a small piece of wire. You can now move the container around until you find the best spot for it, away from direct sunlight and preferably at room temperature. Your seeds will be able to create a small visible seedling in two to three weeks if they are viable.
After two weeks, you can take off the bag and open up any vents in it to help improve humidity while reducing the risk of dehydration or fungal infection. Remove them once the seeds appear because the intensified sunlight can burn them in a sealed container. The strawberry seeds will germinate anywhere between 10 days to three weeks, which is why it's important for them to not be buried too deep in the soil at this
Transplanting and Harvesting
After the plants have turned six to eight inches tall, you can transplant them to larger pots or outdoors if it's the right time of year for your strawberries. You should harvest them around 12 to 18 months after they are initially transplanted.
FAQs on Growing Strawberries from Seeds
How long does it take to grow strawberries from seed?
Your seeds will germinate in one to six weeks. After that, you can transplant them into a larger pot or outdoors. It takes around 12 to 18 months for your plants to mature and produce strawberries.
What is the fastest way to germinate strawberry seeds?
Allow your seeds to germinate for a few days, then place them in a warm place. Once they're dry, damp them with a paper towel, then scatter your seeds onto a moist paper towel. Place the entire sheet into a plastic bag, seal it, and then place it in a warm spot. Check on them once or twice a day, adding water when necessary.
What is the best soil for strawberries?
Strawberries thrive in nutrient-rich soils but will grow well in most climates. Also, make sure to test soil pH since strawberries need a pH of 5.4 to 6.5.
Final Thought on How to Grow Strawberries from Seed
As you can see, growing strawberries from seeds is not a very tricky task, and it will pay off. There is nothing more rewarding than harvesting fruits you've grown yourself, especially after the long wait to see your plants blossom into beautiful strawberries.