One of the great things when you grow strawberries from seed is that you do not have to spend much money. The other reason to use this alternative method for growing these precious, delicious and aromatic fruit is that in this way you may produce unique and wild varieties, which practically can’t be found on the market. In the next article, we are going to show you the specific approach on how to grow strawberries from seed. You’ll see that this is not difficult to perform, and as the result, you’ll have this marvelous and juicy fruits on your table!
Table of Contents
- Is it true that strawberries come true to seed?
- How to grow strawberries from seed: From first to last step
Is it true that strawberries come true to seed?
There are fruits, which come “true to seed”, that means their seedlings develop the same characteristics as the parents have. On the contrary, other fruits, like apple, don’t come in this way, and you are not sure what are you going to grow when planting them from seed. But strawberries in almost all cases do come true to seed. They are self-pollinating, that’s why the seedling will be the same as their “parents”.
How to grow strawberries from seed: From first to last step
Most of the strawberry varieties that you may find on the market are hybrids. That means they’ve grown from seeds derived after crossing of deliberately chosen parents. Though, when you grow strawberries from seed, the best approach is to grow using this method an old heirloom variety or from a wild alpine variety.
How can you get strawberry seeds for planting?
When you’ve decided to grow your fruits with this approach, there is one question that can naturally appear: “How do you get strawberry seeds from fresh strawberries?” It’s possible to derive seed directly from the fruits, but the process is not easy. It’s rather simplest to search on the market, instead. But the problem is that you won’t find heirloom or wild alpine strawberries and buy them. Fortunately, there are a some special markets where it’s possible to find strawberry seeds from these varieties.
Creating “winter” for strawberries seeds before planting
You’ll see that once you’ve learned how to grow strawberries from seeds step by step, this will become simple for you. Probably the hardest moment of the process is preparing the seeds for germination. Because most of these fruit plants require winter-like conditions, called cold stratification, to germinate. This is how the strawberry secures itself, as the seed in nature have to sprout just after the snowstorms have passed.
This is the reason why you should create “winter” conditions by putting the seeds in a refrigerator. So, place the packet with seeds into a tight-sealing jar and put them in the fridge for 21–28 days. When you then take them out of the fridge, the seeds will have their signal that the artificially created winter is over. After 21–28 days have passed, take the jar out of the fridge without opening it and wait one day until it to come to room temperature. At last, it’s time for sowing the seeds!
How to grow strawberries from seed after “wintering”
The proper time for planting the strawberries seed in containers is 70–85 days before the last spring frost. The germination of seedlings takes from 7 to 55 days, depending on the variety and planting conditions. Sometimes a second stratification is needed, this time for seedlings. If they have reached planting size, but it’s still early for them to grow outside, the seedlings should be placed into the refrigerator for 21–28 days before planting.
Transplanting, or how to grow strawberries from seedlings
When the strawberry seedlings have already reached 2-3 in (5-8 cm) height, it’s time for planting and growing them outside. Be careful: the transplanting should be after the last spring frost! And one other important thing: strawberry seedlings are fragile, because they had a consistent temperature and light at home, while outside conditions are too harsh for them. It’s vital to prepare the young strawberries to the change by exposing them from time to time outdoors.
After the seedlings are already hardened off enough, you may transplant them to the prepared garden patch with rich soil. The needed spacing is 8-12 in (20-30 cm) if you grow regular strawberry, and 6-8 in (15-20) in case you grow alpine variety.
How long does it take to grow strawberries from seed?
Sometimes strawberries developed from seeds may fruit in the first year. This is in dependence of the length of the growing season. When the climate growing season is short, you’ll wait to collect your fruits the next year. In all cases, the strawberries should be well-fertilized and mulched with straw in order to keep away the possible weeds.
Strawberry plants will actively produce fruits for about 4 years. During these years they’ll grow runners with young strawberry plants. After 3–4 years, you should transplant the runners to new patches in the garden, and remove the parent plants. In this way the strawberries will self-perpetuate and there will be no need to grow new plants from seeds again.