A 2023 strawberry analysis reported a 17.1% increase (within a year) in social conversations revolving around strawberries, with 36.78% of restaurants offering strawberries on their menu. The study also determined fitness as the trend behind strawberries’ soaring demand.
Searching for agrifood products? Discover Suppliers and Request Free Samples!Explore Agrifood Suppliers & Get Free Samples Now!
But what do strawberries have to do with fitness? Is it just about the dietary intake of fruits and vegetables? Is it different from blueberries, raspberries and any other berries?
A review of the functional and pharmacological activities of berries found strawberries to have the highest bioactive compound content, such as vitamins, more than blueberries, black raspberries and blackcurrants.
Generally, the levels of Vitamin C in berries range from 9.7-60 mg/100g, with strawberries having the highest and blueberries the lowest. Hence, including strawberries in your diet can improve gastric conditions resulting from oxidative damage.
Comparatively, blueberries have the highest anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory effects, and neurocognitive benefits. Black raspberries exhibit potential cancer chemopreventive activity due to their high content of phenolic compounds. Blackcurrants are best acting as prebiotic agents.
On the flip side, the pre-harvest and post-harvest management techniques affect the quality of strawberries, from the flavor to their nutritional benefits. As such, learning how to grow strawberries at home is significant as you can manipulate the conditions for high-quality berries.
This article teaches how to grow strawberries at home from strawberry seeds, divisions and runners indoors and outdoors.
For prices of strawberries in the United States please check the US strawberry prices page.
For nutrition, please check the breakdown of the nutrients in strawberries
How to grow strawberries at home
There are three types of strawberry varieties, but the June-bearing varieties are more favorable for home gardens.
You can grow new strawberry plants from:
1. Growing strawberries from seeds
It takes 2-3 months to grow strawberries from seeds. It is the best way as it produces naturally self-sowing sweet berries (alpine strawberries). The best time to grow the seeds is 8 weeks before the last frost in spring, and you will harvest strawberries the first summer after planting.
You can collect seeds from store-bought strawberries. However, most strawberries are modern hybrids, meaning the seedlings you get from collected seeds may not resemble the parent plant.
Look for quality seed packets with a specified strawberry type, preferably pre-packaged seeds to grow strawberries from seed.
How to grow strawberries from seeds in a pot
You can plant strawberries from seeds in pots. But you should transfer them outdoors later for quality harvest. Here is a step-by-step guide to growing strawberries from seeds in a pot
1. Planting the strawberry seeds
- Fill a pot with potting mix and moisten it
- Scatter the seeds on the potting mix
- Add another layer of the potting mix (lightly) to cover the seeds
- Cover the pot with a clear plastic paper
- Transfer the pot to a warm location, away from direct sunlight
- Water the seeds lightly every day
- Seeds should sprout in 7-14 days
2. Thinning the seedlings
- Keep watering the seedlings (lightly) every day
- When the seedlings are about 3 inches (8 cm) tall, transfer them to individual pots
3. Preparing strawberry seedlings for outdoor planting
- You need to gradually acclimatize the seedlings outdoors so they can adapt to the outdoor conditions.
- Take them outdoors for a few hours during the day and bring them outdoors at night for about a week.
4. Transplanting strawberry seedlings outdoors
- Alpine strawberries are low-growing edging plants. You can plant them at the front of a perennial border or landscape bed.
- The plants also do well in containers but need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily to flower and produce fruit.
- These strawberry plants grow in clumps (about 6-8 inches wide and 6 inches tall). Unlike most strawberry plants that grow runners, alpine strawberry plants form colonies instead of growing runners.
- Plant them 8 inches apart for denser coverage.
2. Growing strawberries from division
You can divide a strawberry plant to produce two separate plants:
- Split the crown at the center of the plant and carefully ease the plant apart.
- Replant the divisions.
You can learn more about dividing and propagating strawberry plants in this 2-minute YouTube video.
Note: Dividing a strawberry plant is risky as it may damage one or both divisions. Hence propagating from runners is more effective.
3. Growing strawberries from runners
Most strawberry varieties naturally reproduce through runners. These long, wiry stems creep out from the main plant and produce roots at intervals along their path.
You can grow new plants by carefully rooting these stolons (the botanical name for runners). Look closely at the tiny clusters of leaves on each runner, and spot small roots beginning to form. This is where you can grow new strawberry plants from.
When growing strawberries from runners, use runners from one year or older plants. It helps the parent plant conserve energy and focus on fruit production.
If you do not plan to discard the parent plant, limit the number of runners taken to five per plant. Also, when removing a runner, cut it off at its point of emergence.
Here is a step-by-step guide to growing strawberries from runners.
1. Firming the strawberry runner
- Select a healthy runner from the parent plant that has produced one or more leaves.
- Remove any stems emerging from the new leaves but keep it attached to the parent plant.
- Fill pots with multi-purpose compost.
- Place the strawberry runner on top of the compost and use a U-shaped staple or wire to firm it in place.
2. Caring for the runner
- After firming the runner, do not remove the stem linking it to its parent.
- Allow the stem to remain until the new plant has developed firm roots.
- Water the compost lightly to keep it moist
3. Disengaging the runner
- When the runner is established, and its roots are strong, cut off the stem that connects it to its parent.
- Transplant the new plant into a larger pot or outdoors on a pre-prepared growing site
Is there anything else that you would like to know about growing strawberries at home? Let us know through our contacts page.