Growing strawberries at home is a very easy and enjoyable method. And believe me, you don’t want to buy strawberries from a supermarket after knowing how they grow strawberries commercially.
They use tons of chemical pesticides to kill the pests, they use so many non-organic fertilizers to increase the growth of plants or increase the size of the fruit. I saw all these things with my own eyes.
I live in a village and some farmers (near my house) are growing strawberries in a few acres (maybe 8 or 10). Those farmers are using all kinds of pesticides and fertilizers to enhance their crops. All are chemical and non-organic.
And for all those reasons, we should grow our own strawberries, not just strawberries but all other fruits and veggies and try to grow and eat organically as much as we could.
Here is how you can grow your organic strawberries at home.
How To Extract The Seeds From Strawberries?
The method to extract seeds from strawberries is very easy. Just buy some strawberries from the store for once. Pick some healthy and good looking fruits and rub your finger on the seeds of strawberries.
The black dots on strawberry fruits are seeds. Rub your finger on them and they will fall on the table (use a page or any paper to collect them). You can also use a knife or any sharp thing to extract the seeds from the fruit.
Be careful if you are using a knife or sharp things, don’t hurt the seeds. By doing this you can extract hundred of seeds from few fruits.
How To Sow The Seeds Of Strawberries?
After collecting healthy seeds, its time to sow them in the soil. The soil to germinate seeds should be special. You cannot use the normal topsoil of the garden. You can either use all-purpose compost to sow the seeds or use this simple recipe:
- 60 % coco peat or coco coir
- 40% organic compost
Mix these ingredients well and fill a seed tray with mixture. You can also use small cups or any kind of small container to use as a seed grower.
Fill them with the mixture of coco peat and compost and make a half-inch hole in every container with your finger. Sow 1 or 2 seeds in each hole and cover the hole with the same mixture.
Water the soil using a shower or spray bottle and put the containers or seed tray near to a window, that receives a lot of sunlight. Do not let the soil dry, keep it damp by watering carefully.
When Will Seeds Germinate?
Normally seeds of strawberries germinate in just 15 to 20 days. But the time period can be longer and shorter depending on your area, growing season and temperature.
After 20 days, the seeds will start producing small leaves. Those leaves are not true leaves, they called cotyledon leaves. If you are living in a very cold climate area or you wanted to grow strawberries off-season, you can use LED grow lights to supplement extra light for photosynthesis.
How To Transplant Seedlings In A Bigger Pot?
After 45 to 50 days, when seedlings will produce 2 to 3 sets of true leaves, you should transplant them in a bigger container, ground or raised bed. Strawberries grow very well in bigger pots or grow bags.
Pots or grow bags will keep the plants away from the ground, which saves them from pests and other problems like fungi.
Before planting in bigger pots, you should make your soil for containers. Again the garden’s top-soil is not good enough. You should make your own potting mix or buy from the market to grow strawberries in grow bags or any other containers.
Pick the seedlings from the seed tray with their root ball and plant them in the container (potting soil). Keep the set of leaves above the ground. Give them water and place them at a good sunny location which receives at-lease 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.
Strawberry plants are very sun-loving plants. But in a very hot climate (intense summer) you should change their location to a half shady place.
Plants in containers tend to need more water as compared to normal ground plants. So keep checking the moisture level of the soil. Do not overwater them, it can cause other problems like fungal infections.
Mulching And Fertilizing
Mulching is a good thing to do. It will stop the growth of weeds and improve the growth of plants. Use dry dead leaves, grass clippings or wood chips as mulch. These mulch are organic and will add nutrients in the soil after decomposing.
In pots, plants always need extra nutrients to grow well. Because they will use all the nutrients of the soil. Use all-purpose plant food. It is organic and in liquid form. Once or twice a month will do the trick.
After 20 to 25 days of transplanting in a bigger pot, the plants should start producing flowers. Again the time period can be a little different in different areas.
After a week or 2, the flowers will start to turn into fruits. Initially, the fruits will be green and will turn to red. Keep on checking the fruits and harvest them if they turn to red. Strawberry fruits ripe over the course of week or 2, so keep an eye on them.
How To Get Seedlings For Next Season?
This is an amazing trick to get hundred of seedlings of strawberry for the next growing season. After getting a few harvests from your plants, keep a few strawberries on plants and do not disturb them.
These unharvested fruits will lie on the soil and the seeds will germinate in next spring. These seeds can produce hundreds of seedlings for the next growing season. You can simply pull these seedlings from the soil and replant them in other pots or grow bags.