Everybody loves strawberries! These delicious and aromatic fruits are the essential summer treat. So why settle for expensive supermarket strawberries (that are mostly GMO) when they’re so easy to grow at home? Plus, homegrown strawberries are full of flavor and freshness and you can plant, weed, and harvest all from the comfort of your own home! In fact, the strawberry plant is ideal for small pots or hanging baskets because they grow as well in containers as they do when planted in the ground.

There are two ways you can plant strawberries – either by using existing plants, or using seeds.

Prepare them for Planting

 

Using Existing Plants

Clean up the strawberry plant before you plant it. Remove the old leaves as well as the runners, and trim te roots to a length of approximately 4 to 5 inches. Also, if there are any damaged areas on the plant remove them as well. Soak the roots in water for an hour or so before planting.

Note: The Red Alpine strawberry is the best indoor everbearing variety because they don’t produce runners and make a very neat potted plant.

Using Seeds

It’s also very easy to grow strawberries inside by seed. You can either buy your strawberry seeds at a nursery or online, or you can use a toothpick to remove the seeds from the store-bought strawberries (preferably organic).
If you use the seeds of store-bought berries, keep in mind that you will not know what type of strawberry it is, and your plant may have a limited harvest or grow large and unruly. However, if you decide to go this way and remove the seeds by yourself, put them in a container and let them dry near the window for three to four days.

When your seeds are ready, put them in a sealed container and place them in a freezer for two weeks. This will help jump start your seeds once planted because it stimulates winter weather.

Prepare a seed tray with a 1/2 inch of soil, 3/4 inch of peat moss, and 1/4 inch of potting soil. Dampen the soil mixture and sprinkle your seeds on top of it. Add a light dusting of peat moss over the top of the seeds. Keep the seeds moist and in direct sunlight (near the window). It should take two to three weeks for the seeds to germinate and once they grow their third set of leaves, they are ready to be transplanted to the containers of your choice.

Note: Strawberries started from seed will produce berries in their second year.

Prepare the Container

 

The best soil for growing strawberries indoors has a PH between 5.3 and 6.5. You should mix a controlled-release fertilizer with the soil so the strawberries will get enough nutrients while they grow in a pot or basket.

Use around 24 strawberry plants for a 16-inch basket. You can also use a traditional strawberry pot and plant one strawberry in the smaller pockets and up to 10 in the center opening, depending on the size of the pot.

Choose a sunny south facing a window, or an enclosed porch that receives bright sunlight.

Plant the Strawberry Plants

 

Place 18 of the plants to the sides of the basket, through the moss. Fill the basket with potting soil and then plant the remaining strawberry plants in the center. A basket like this should be able to produce strawberries for at least three years.

Make sure that the crown of the plant is even with the soil surface and that the roots are fanned out in the soil. The plant will not grow well if it is planted too deep or if the roots are not spread out.

Care for the Strawberry Plants

 

During the first six weeks, any blossoms need to be pinched or cut off. This will ensure that the strawberry plants have enough time to get accustomed to their new environment before using up all their energy to grow the strawberries. The plants should be watered daily until the plants start to produce, sometime after the six-week period. At that point, water only when the top inch or so of the soil is dry.

The plants should be fertilized at least once a month. Organic fertilizers such as a sea weed-fish blend are ideal. They should have at least six hours of sunlight each day.

You can pick and enjoy your delicious homegrown strawberries as soon as they turn red!

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Everybody loves strawberries! These delicious and aromatic fruits are the essential summer treat. So why settle for expensive supermarket strawberries (that are mostly GMO) when they're so easy to grow at home? Plus, homegrown strawberries are full of flavor and freshness and you can plant, weed, and harvest all...