Organic strawberry could be extremely expensive. The non-organic one might be cheap but comes with pesticide residue. Which one do you prefer? If you ask me the same, I’d recommend you to grow strawberries from seeds instead of shopping. Growing strawberries at home is actually inexpensive and easy. It helps you save money while teaching you something new.
Interested to plant your own strawberries? Then you must first know the best place to grow your strawberries. You also have to prepare some tools that help you growing the best strawberries. Everything you want to know about this fruit can be found down here. Learn everything before you start digging.
When to Grow Strawberries from Seeds
Strawberries are categorized as perennials. This means your strawberry plants are going to come back to you every year. It is always better to take time so you can give your strawberries good start which will be worth in long run. You can plant barefoot strawberries anytime. However, if you prefer grow strawberries from seeds, you have to start inside the house. Here are some reasons.
- By starting inside your house, especially in early spring, you will help them grow better at least until last frost is gone.
- Prepare potting medium that is moist enough. Then in the starter trays press your strawberry seeds. Leave them for few weeks to let them start the germination.
- Grow strawberries from seeds allow you to plant some different varieties of strawberry, just make sure those varieties will be able to grow in the climate of your area.
By now, you probably are so excited to plant your own strawberries. But, which type? There are at least three types of strawberry you can grow in the garden: day neutral strawberry, ever-bearing strawberry, and June-bearing strawberry. Can you grow all of them together?
Three Most Famous Strawberry Varieties You Can Grow
1. Day-neutral strawberries
This type is extremely unique. Day-neutral strawberries are going to give you good yield for first year you plant them. This type of strawberry plants will flower then set the strawberries whenever it is surrounded by 35 to 85 degrees temperature. The plants will keep producing fruits in milder years’ October. Why don’t you think about grow strawberries from seeds at home?
Compared to the other varieties of strawberry, this day-neutral strawberry produces smaller fruits. The fruits you’ll get will be in small size to medium size. To grow this type of strawberry, you can use hill system. You can also plant this strawberry in location that has limited space.
2. Ever-bearing strawberries
When you grow strawberries from seeds in ever-bearing variety, you’ll harvest the fruits twice a year. First is in spring and the next harvest will be in autumn or late summer. If the conditions are ideal, you’ll be able to harvest the fruits three times a year. Generally, ever-bearing strawberries will put out fewer runners compared to June-bearing strawberries.
Just like the day-neutral strawberries, ever-bearing strawberries can be planted using hill system and in limited space.
3. June-bearing strawberries
This variety is the most famous and common type to grow strawberries from seeds. If you want to harvest the biggest strawberries, this variety is what you need. Most varieties of June-bearing strawberries produce the fruits in June. Yet, the varieties of this strawberry type are classified into three types: early season strawberry, midseason strawberry, and late season strawberry.
Choose strawberry varieties that will produce during many season parts so you will be able to prolong the harvest as well as enjoy the fresh strawberries more often. To grow strawberries from seeds in this variety, you will need to use the system of matted row.
Where to Grow Strawberries from Seeds
You actually can grow your strawberries anywhere. Indoor pots can be great medium to grow your strawberries. Interplant areas which require ground cover and outdoor patches can also help you growing strawberries. Besides, strawberries don’t grow extremely deep roots. Just try to find spot where you can place your container or a section somewhere in your garden to grow the strawberries.
Some excellent planting sites to grow strawberries from seeds are including:
- Raised garden beds
- Hanging pots
Many varieties of strawberry plants can grow with bunch of sunshine. Make sure the location you’re about to grow strawberries from seeds get between six and eight hours direct sun every day. Since not the entire types of strawberry can grow in same conditions, you better choose variety that grows in your area.
Helping Your Strawberries to Grow Better
Whether you’re growing ever-bearing strawberries that provide fruits you can gravest during the entire season, or the summer fruiting strawberries that give one harvest time, you need to help them to grow maximally. There are some things you can do to grow strawberries from seeds successfully.
1. Providing the best soil to grow the plants
Provide soil that’s well drained. Also, feed your soil with organic fertilizer or compost. This good quality soil will offer good foods for your strawberry plants. Keep in mind that good nutrients mean good growth.
2. Protecting your strawberry plants from danger
You need to protect your strawberry plants from weeds since weeds will compete with strawberry plants in eating nutrients from the soil. To beat the weeds you just need to add mulch layer around the strawberry plants. If you spot weeds, pull them immediately.
3. Keeping your strawberry plants clean
Prune off browning or yellowed leaves from strawberry plants. Doing this is going to help your strawberry plants to spread the nutrients and moisture only to healthy fruits and leaves. Healthier leaves along with healthier fruits mean better harvest.
4. Directing strawberries’ early growth
Pinch off your strawberry plants’ first blossoms in order to direct your plants’ early growth to bushy leaves. Usually, strawberry plants height grows between 6 and 12 inches. Plant your strawberries but add 12 inches gaps between each plant.
5. Feeding strawberry plants
Your strawberry plants will grow much better if you could feed them with compost tea or other composts. Feed the plants after you plant them, after harvesting, even in autumn. Cut down your strawberry plants at season ends in order to encourage the new growth.
Eliminating the Slugs After You Grow Strawberries from Seeds
Growing strawberries might be hard since there are pests that are ready to eat your fruits. Birds are actually the most annoying for berries. But then there are gastropod and insect pests. Main enemies of your strawberry plants are including weevils, slugs, spittlebugs, sap bugs, and tarnished bugs. Let us see how you can face slugs after you grow strawberries from seeds.
- If you’re facing slugs, you need to eliminate the slugs’ hiding places. You can do it by removing plant debris, mulch, and leaves from your strawberry plants. If the hiding places of slugs are gone, slugs won’t be able to damage your plants anymore. You also need to water your plants deeply but less frequently. Wet soil is slugs’ favorite place.
- Use board to trap the slugs. Slugs are going to crawl under your board at nights then cling to that board. Always check your trap every morning, if there are slugs in there, remove them. If you don’t remove them immediately, slugs are going to come back to eat your strawberries the other night.
- Traps can also be made of citrus rind. Just place limes’, oranges’, or lemons’ rind around the strawberry plants’ base. Slugs love citrus so they won’t hesitate to gather in your trap. Remove them the next morning.
Protecting Your Strawberry Plants from Tarnished Plant Bug
These insects are winged insects that have oval shape in brown or grey color. Their color is tarnished or brassy. If you see brown mottled insects with reddish, yellow, or bronze marks, you’re seeing enemies of your strawberry plants. Here are steps to grow strawberries from seeds free from these insects.
- Clean the area around your strawberry plants from plant debris and weed. This step is to remove the environments that are ideal for tarnished plant bugs to lay their eggs.
- Make a bug trap by placing white colored sticky traps all around your garden. Always check your trap every day to see if you catch the bad bugs instead of beneficial bugs.
- Complement your garden with plant that is producing pollen. That plant is going to attract the predators that will kill the tarnished plant bugs. Some predators that can help you facing the bad bugs are pirate bugs, big eyed bugs, and damsel bugs.
- Once you grow strawberries from seeds, you need to keep your garden free from weed. This is especially important during blooming season until fruiting season. Pigweed, curly doc, wild mustard, smartweed, lamb’s quarters, chickweed, and dandelion are some weeds that are going to be food for tarnished plant bugs. Remove them all.
- Use insecticidal soap to remove the bugs from your strawberry plants. Always check your plants twice a week or more before your plants start blooming. Apply the soap immediately as you find bugs on the plants.
- Another way to keep the plants free from bugs is to grow strawberries from seeds under floating covers. Row covers are going to protect your plants properly if you install them right at the planting time.
Grow Strawberries from Seeds without Being Interrupted By Spittlebugs
Clear and bubble foam you see at your plants’ base are signs of the spittlebugs presence. Spittlebugs are going to grow into adults, become froghoppers. Spittlebugs are not going to kill your strawberry plants, they’re just going to puncture your plants’ stems then eat the juices of your plants. You don’t want them to take all the berries you deserve. So here is what you have to do.
- Inspect your strawberry plants. If you figure out the spittlebugs, pick off and crush that foamy material. This is going to kill those bad insects that ruin your happiness.
- After you grow strawberries from seeds make sure you remove all old plants around your strawberry plants. Repeat this process when the season ends. Spittlebug eggs are going to overwinter in some old plants. Cleaning up the old plant is going to limit eggs number so they won’t be born in spring.
- Floating covers for the row of your strawberry plants can always help. Covering your strawberries row in summer is going to protect your plants from adult insects that are looking for place to lay their eggs so there won’t be spittlebugs.
- Another alternative to protect your strawberry plant is using homemade spray. Make the spray from hot pepper or garlic that’s mixed with water. Spray your plants to clean them from spittlebugs. Insecticidal soap can also help. Or you can use insecticidal oil that’s based on citrus to prevent the infestations.
Grow Strawberries from Seeds Tips Securely
You sure can secure your strawberry plants from the sap battles. Sap battles have small oval shape that the size is just 1/8 inch. They have dark color usually with orange or yellow spots. Adult sap battles are the ones that destroy your strawberries. They will attack decaying fruits, nearly ripe fruit, and ripe fruit.
- Pick your ripe strawberries immediately. Over ripe fruits attract the sap beetles. When they come, they’ll the not only the over ripe ones but also the ripe fruits.
- Clean your garden ground from fallen fruits. Decaying strawberries are going to invite sap beetles as well.
- Place stale beer or containers to bait the sap beetles. Some other fruits like melon or banana can also be great bait. Place them far from strawberry patch. Replace your bait containers every three days.
You just read everything you better know about growing strawberries at home. The instructions above even show you how to protect the plants you love from various dangers. All you have to do right now is preparing the garden, getting the best strawberry seeds, start growing the plants, and treating them well so that you can harvest them on time.
Don’t let the bugs, birds, and other pests ruin your happiness when you harvest your beautiful strawberries. Follow all details thoroughly.