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We love them in salads. They perfectly complement spinach, and putting them in smoothies gives you just the right sweet. Let’s not forget how delicious they are when you dip them in chocolate or fudge. The thing is, to get good quality strawberries you have to buy them organic, which means digging deeper into your pocket. You’ve toyed with the idea of growing your own strawberries, but you’re at a loss as to how to start the seeds out.
Do you take a pair of tweezers and pick them off of the fruit? Do you stick the whole fruit in the ground? Fear not! Here are a few pointers for growing strawberries from seeds.
Where do I find the seeds?
This may seem like an unnecessary question, but there are 103 different types of strawberries. There are also early, mid, and late season varieties of strawberries. Some of our favorite berry varieties are even different colors. You can find the seeds online, or you can buy organic strawberries from your grocery store. Organic strawberries don’t have pesticides and they haven’t been treated not to bear fruit.
I have the strawberry. Do I need to pick the seeds off?
Nope. You can cut your strawberry into sections and plant it like that, or you can just cut the skin off of the fruit and plant the skin. You can pick the seeds off, but leaving them on the fruit will give the seeds a start to being fertilized and thus a great chance at bearing big, beautiful strawberries.
Okay, I sliced the seeds off. Do I have to dry them?
Nope. Your refrigerator naturally dries produce. This is why you need to place your produce in the bins your appliance comes with. When you are ready to plant your seeds, take out a strawberry and let it sit on a shelf of your refrigerator for three days.
How do I get them started?
You need 10-10-10 fertilizer or compost tea. Put a tablespoon of the fertilizer in a gallon of water and mix it completely. Dampen a paper towel and place your strawberry slices inside it. Fold the towel over and place in a cool spot. When they start to sprout, place them in a bowl of water and let the root system grow out a bit more, keeping it in a cool spot.
Getting your plant spot ready…
If you are growing them in a small patch in your yard, mix in some of the fertilizer or add manure from a DIY or nursery. This is especially important if you live in an area heavy with clay. Clay can stifle growth and become too hard for the roots to grow. Plant your strawberries about 18 inches from each other and four feet apart in the row. This is due to the plant’s nature of being a ground cover plant. This will also give you the best chance of getting the most out of your patch. Strawberries also grow very well in containers.
They love a good bath and lots of sun.
Moist soil gives your strawberry plants the best chance to bear fruit. If they are already showing fruit, you can water to an inch above the ground. Keep in mind the best times to water are in the morning before the heat of the day and after the sun has set. They need to be in a spot where they get six good hours of sun light. Fruit-bearing plants love the sun.
I want to plant early spring, but it’s still too cold.
There are some varieties of strawberries that can withstand 35 degrees and still give you beautiful and delicious fruit. You may want to keep an eye on the weather and cover them up if your region is expecting a last-minute cold snap or frost. You can also start them indoors.
Anyone can grow strawberries from seeds, but you need to have some patience. You will also need netting to drape over them to keep the birds, who love that fruit as much as you, away from your harvest. Prudence at the start can give you a large and bountiful harvest later on. If you want to make sure the birds stay away, you could always grow a smaller strawberry patch on another part of your yard and let them snack there.
I know people who grow extra fruits and vegetables to keep deer and other animals away from the main crops. If you’ve done what is suggested here, get ready for more strawberries than you can shake a stick at. To prepare for this, you can look up recipes for jellies, jams, and preserves. You can even freeze some for smoothies. Enjoy your strawberries!
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