How do you Grow Strawberries from Seeds?
There are several tricks to growing strawberries. The first is to start with seeds well before the end of the frost. (why at the end of the frost?) This allows the seeds to be raised indoors in greenhouse temperatures, ready for planting when the ground is no longer frozen.
Take one packet of seeds. Write the date on the packet, and place it in the freezer. Wait 2-4 weeks before bringing them out. This tactic shocks the strawberry seed into thinking it is a very harsh winter. During these weeks, prepare a seed tray with rich soil full of compost and sand. When the seeds are removed from the freezer and placed in soil, the seeds will germinate faster and produce heartier plants. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of peat so that the seed is insulated from the heat lamps.
The seed trays should be placed on a growing mat that will provide a steady warm temperature for the growing plants. Place a grow light overhead, or a fluorescent light (use Hydrofarm FLCDG125D Fluorowing Compact Fluorescent System), so that the plants will have simulated sunlight every day. If at all possible, place the seed tray by a window so that real sunlight will also filter in.
While the seeds are germinating, begin collecting milk cartons, orange juice containers, and juice bottles. Cut the tops off of them so that your container is 6-8 tall and 6 across. Cut holes in the bottoms to drain the excess water.
When your seedlings have their tertiary leaves, that is there a third set of leaves emerging, they will be ready to transplant. Fill your containers with more of the same rich compost-filled mixture. Carefully press on the seed tray from the bottom to pop out the plant on top. Transfer the plant to the waiting container and water. You will need a water collector on the bottom to prevent spills.
The plants are not yet ready to be transplanted to the garden. They are too small and too tender to take the spring weather, which is often hot in the daytime and near freezing at night. Only when spring has sprung and the nights are hot will you be able to transplant.
Transplanting to the outdoors is tricky. The plants can experience shock when it comes to moving them from the even temperatures of indoors to the hot and humid climate outside. In order to reduce the risk of shock, it is essential to acclimatize your plants to the weather outside. For two weeks, take your plants and set them outside. At first only take them outside for 2 hours, then after a few days, make it 4. Do this until you have them outside for 12 hours at a time. Then they are ready to leave outside.
Before planting, remove your strawberry plant from its container and place it in a bucket of water. This will loosen the soil, allowing the roots to rearrange themselves in preparation for the ground outside.
When you plant your garden, make sure that the ground is loose. Use a roto-tiller (See Rototiller on Amazon) or a garden hoe to churn up the soil and break it apart into smaller grit dirt. This will allow the strawberry plant to spread its roots further out and deeper down. Once the plants are in the ground, you may wish to mulch the entire area. Mulching allows the water to be trapped in the ground, rather than absorbed into the atmosphere by the sun. This is a good tactic for strawberries, which love moisture.
Strawberry flowers develop into strawberries. Once the flower petals fall off, a tiny strawberry will form from the center of the flower. Over time it will grow, develop, and ripen. Some farmers pick off these flowers to give the buds that are currently developing more of the plant's nutrients. The remaining berries will grow bigger most of the time, however that is not always the case.
When a strawberry is ripe for the picking, it will be bright red all over. Pick the strawberry from the stem, taking an inch of the stem with the strawberry. This part of the plant, if left on, will suck up the plant's nutrients until it eventually withers away because there is no more strawberry for it to feed.
Once your strawberry plant is done producing berries, trim off all the dead leaves and stems. The plant will now attempt to survive through the winter. Some farmers choose to roto-till their plans into the ground, starting with fresh seeds the following year. However, if you leave your untended garden through the winter, it will come back the next year.
Strawberries are a delight on everything from breakfast oatmeal to strawberry shortcake. They are good in jams, breads, as toppings, and eaten plain by themselves. The avid strawberry lover may wish to purchase strawberry plants fully grown from a garden center, however there is nothing quite like enjoying a home grown strawberry from seed.
More resources from web
John Watkins predicted that Strawberries as large as apples will be eaten by our grandchildren
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Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
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Strawberries: are they Natural Weight-Loss Foods?
Botanico Let us Grow Strawberries Planter: A Review on Amazon : A way to grow fantastic crop of strawberries from the planter which can hold 10 strawberry plants comfortably. I would recommend this planter over the more traditional barrel planter for strawberries etc and with the price and easy of use I can see myself buying more in future.
Strawberries for Home Gardens : Growth cycle, soil, soil preparation, planting, care for young plant, winter protection, novelty methods, varieties and more.
Californiastrawberries.com : Research designed to unlock the true power of strawberries and to provide clues about the nutrition and health benefits of strawberries.
Author: REBECCA GOLDENBERG, United States
Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )