Learning Download: How to Grow Strawberries
Strawberries are frequently grown from bareroot, which are seeds that have developed and grown into roots, which are then easier to start in a garden. However, it is possible to start strawberry plants from seeds as well.
Before Planting: Bareroot strawberries can be planted at any time, strawberry seeds must be started indoors in to ensure they are ready to go when it comes to their normal growing season. To ensure strawberry seeds will grow when you plant them, you must first stratify them. To do this, place the strawberry seeds in an envelope or sealed plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator for a month.
Planting: For strawberry seeds, sow seeds thinly in 8-10 weeks before last frost in a fine soilless mix. Press seeds into moist mix and keep moist until plants emerge in 2-3 weeks. Keep soil temperature constantly at 60°F. Transplant to plug trays when true leaves emerge. Transplant outdoors anytime after last frost, 1′ apart. Tolerant to partial shade, and they prefer moist soil. For strawberry roots, healthy root systems will arrive fresh and ready to plant. Once they have arrived it is important to plant with a few days to keep the roots from drying out. If the strawberry roots can not be planted right away they should be stored at 28-35ºF to keep dormant. In general the strawberry roots can be planted in the ground, containers, or hanging pots. Strawberries are extremely adaptable and are grown in every state in the U.S. They will benefit from mulch such as straw, pine needles, or plastic. They prefer a soil rich in all the basic nutrients with a pH of 6-6.5.
Watering: Water the strawberries at least 1 inch a week.
Fertilizer: Begin the fertilizing process when seedlings are still indoors. Start fertilizing with liquid kelp every two weeks for the first month of growth.
Days to Maturity: Strawberries are ready to harvest as soon as they turn red.
Harvesting: When they are ready to harvest, cut the berry off at the stem. Do not pull the berry from the stem to harvest it. Unwashed strawberries can be stored in the refrigerator for three to five days.
Tips: When the strawberries are harvested, they should be slightly firm to the touch, but if strawberries are too mushy, they can be used to make jellies and jams.