Do you remember that book The Little Mouse and The Red Ripe Strawberry? Maybe you read it to your kids when they were little, or you remember reading it yourself as a child. That book was so enticing because of the promise of this BIG, red, ripe fruit! It always made us want to go outside and pick the biggest, juiciest strawberry you could find.
Unfortunately, unless you lived among lots of land for gardening, it was probably hard to find a strawberry patch. Well, lucky for you, growing strawberries indoors is a wonderful, and sometimes even easier, option. Growing strawberry plants indoors allows you to control factors such as light and temperature, and avoid things like pests and other outdoor critters just waiting to pounce on your big, red ripe strawberries. With the proper care, attention, and timing, they can thrive among your other kitchen herbs and indoor plants. Soon, you’ll have your own urban garden in the middle of the city!
So, how do you get started? Read on for more tips and tools for successfully growing your own strawberries at home!
Where To Grow Strawberries?
Make sure you find somewhere in your house that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. If you don’t have many sunny spots, you may consider a grow light, as edible plants, especially strawberries, need lots of sun in order to thrive. Also, consider the space. A couple of ideas to save space are to use strawberry pots or even grow strawberries from containers that hang from the ceiling. Otherwise, dedicate a whole area of your home or apartment, or a long windowsill specifically for your strawberry plants. Just be sure not to overcrowd the plants, as they can become susceptible to disease and mold.
Can You Grow Strawberries Indoors?
Yes, but it helps to start with the right type of strawberries. There are generally 2 major types of plants to consider when growing strawberries:
- June bearing strawberries (produce fruit in June), and
- Ever-bearing strawberries (will fruit two times a year).
The Alpine strawberry is another great choice for indoor growth, as it maintains more of a clumping habitat, rather than ranging – which is convenient if you are worried about space.
Starting strawberries from seed is possible, but is a little more complicated than planting herb seeds. Try freezing the strawberry seeds for 2-4 weeks before planting to jumpstart the germination process. When done freezing, leave them out to thaw until ready to plant. This ‘tricks’ the seeds into thinking they have just emerged from Winter into Spring, and that warmer brighter days are ahead (both of which strawberries need).
When to Plant Strawberries?
Early spring is a great time to plant your strawberries. A general rule to note for strawberries’ growing season, is that they typically die back in winter and start growing vigorously as the soil warms in spring. Before planting, remove runners, or daughter plants, trim any dead or old leaves, and trim the roots about 4-5 inches (you definitely don’t want them longer than 8 inches).
Can You Grow Strawberries In A Pot?
Yes – strawberries can be grown in a pot, or in the garden outside. A few pointers/tips however:
- If you are starting from seedlings, then soak the roots before you plant, then plant the strawberries so that the crown is even with the surface of the soil, and the root system fans out.
- Be careful of planting the roots too deep – this will cause the plant to suffocate.
- Strawberries have a shallow root system, and are not picky about what they are planted in, as long as they are given the correct soil, light, and water.
- The soil should be slightly acidic – a pH of about 5.5 – 6.5.
How To Grow Your Own Sweet Strawberries?
Strawberries don’t require too much once they are planted. Just be mindful of a few simple tips, and your harvest should be successful! When growing strawberries indoors, be sure to remove the blossoms for the first 8-12 weeks after planting – some sources will even tell you to wait a full year. This will allow the plant time to establish itself before expending its energy-producing fruit too soon.
When growing strawberries indoors, the soil should be checked daily to see if the plants need water. Keep checking daily through their growing season and then only when the top inch is dry. Strawberries like water, just not too much. Be sure to nourish your strawberry plants with one inch of water per week, as their root system is shallow and they rely on this water from you.
Strawberries can take a bit of patience, but they sure are worth it! Try our Mini Fruit & Veggie Kit (coming April 17th) and receive all you need to grow your very own strawberries. This variety produces deep scarlet berries that are smaller in size but jam-packed with flavor. Perfect for a summertime strawberry shortcake, strawberry jam, or strawberry daiquiris. And if you can’t wait for the fruit, their edible flowers add an aromatic garnish to cocktails, drinks, and desserts.
Become like the little mouse and grow your very own Big Juicy Red Ripe Strawberry today.