Planting and growing your own fruit can be very rewarding, not to mention healthier than buying store-bought fruit. If you know how to plant strawberry seeds in a pot or container and harvest the fruit later, you may find it easier and more rewarding than you thought.
Soil Mix Ingredients
- Gardening Soil
- Sharp knife
- Tissue paper
- Plastic plate
- Roll of Plastic wrap and scissors
- Watering jug
- Plastic bottle with a hole in the lid
- Lant lable
- Table fork/small spade/gardening tool
- Tub to mix potting soil
Buy fresh strawberries at the store or a market. The size of the strawberries is important. Larger strawberries will have more seeds on the surface and be easier to handle and cut in the beginning steps. Gather your tools and then follow these steps to plant strawberry seeds in a pot or container.
The best planting time for strawberries is in the winter months, from October to February, or when the average temperatures range from 43-76 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 1. Cut the Skin off the Strawberries
First, check the color of the strawberry seeds. If they are brown to black, they will work well for planting. If seeds are green or pink, they will still need some time before they will be ready for planting.
Strawberry seeds are found attached to the fruit's skin in the flesh's dimples. These seeds will be harvested so that you can plant your strawberry seeds in a pot or container.
Cut the top layer of skin off the fruit using a sharp knife, like you would peel an apple with a knife. Place the strawberry on your fingers or palm, letting it rest in the crook of the fingers so that you have a good grip on the fruit's underside.
Place the knife's sharp edge on the strawberry's skin and cut only the top layer off. Don't cut too deeply into the fruit; you only need the top layer of strawberry skin with the seeds still attached.
Top Tip: Cut slowly and intentionally, being careful not to cut yourself. Cut the strawberry's skin off so it can be laid flat on the palm of your hand.
Cut the skin off two to four strawberries in this way. Put the inner fruit to one side and place the cut strips of strawberry skin on a clean surface or plate.
Step 2. Lay Tissue Paper on a Plate
Lay tissue paper on a plate, so the individual tissues do not overlap.
Top Tip: The remaining fruit can be added to smoothies, jams, or sorbets. Or you can eat what was not cut off.
Step 3. Place the Cut Strips of Skin on the Tissue Paper
Lay the cut pieces of strawberry skin on the tissue paper, so the seeds face up. Gently press each strip down so that the flesh of the strawberry sticks to the tissue paper and absorbs some moisture.
The strawberry strips should not overlap, leaving a 1/2-1 inch gap between each strip. If you have more strips than space on the tissue paper rather, place them on a new piece of tissue paper than overlap or crowd them together.
Place the plate in full sun and away from moisture or rain for two to three days, so the skin dries out completely. If the skins are not dry, you will struggle to extract the seeds from them.
The strawberry skins will stick to the tissue paper and curl inwards during this time. This is normal. If they have not dried completely within two to three days, place them in full sunlight for another day or until they are completely dry.
Step 4. Rub the Seeds off the Dried Strawberry Skin
While drying, the strawberry seeds should have pulled away from the skin so that they are no longer sunk into dimples but are exposed on the flat, dry skin.
Lift each piece of tissue paper, place the underside of it on your fingers and use your thumb to gently rub the seeds. Use a back-and-forth motion with the pad of your thumb to gently loosen the seeds.
After a small amount of rubbing, the seeds should come loose. Once the seeds are free from the skin, tip the loose seeds off the skin and tissue paper onto the plate.
Repeat this on all the pieces of dry strawberry skin until all the seeds are off.
Step 5. Place Stones at the Bottom of a Medium Sized Pot
Prepare a medium-sized pot with drainage holes at the bottom by placing stones over the holes. This will ensure good drainage once the pot is filled with soil.
Top Tip: Only place enough stones in the pot to cover about 1 inch at the bottom. Be sure to cover all the drainage holes.
Step 6. Make a Mixture of Cocopeat and Compost
Make a soil mixture to plant the seeds in. Use a mixture comprised of 70% cocopeat and 30% compost. Mix these two soils in a separate container to ensure they are thoroughly mixed, then transfer the mixture to the pot.
Top Tip: Mix one tablespoon of fungicide powder to the soil mix to avoid root rot problems.
Fill the pot with the soil in handfuls, stopping every few handfuls to gently compact the layers of soil mixture. This will assist with moisture retention and slow down soil settling. Ensure the last surface of the soil is even and flat.
Leave about 1 inch of space at the top of the pot and gently compact the soil before moving on to the next step.
Step 7. Sprinkle the Strawberry Seeds Over the Soil Surface
Gather the seeds in a pile on the plate and pick up a pinch at a time, sprinkling them onto the soil's surface.
Letting the seeds drop from between your thumb and forefinger, spread the seeds as evenly as possible. Not all the seeds will sprout, so be sure to sprinkle a generous amount across the whole surface of the soil.
You do not need to cover the seeds with soil.
Step 8. Water the Soil
Using a gentle watering system, thoroughly water the pot. Do not use a traditional watering can or hose pipe. Rather use a plastic bottle with a hole in the lid to water the pot.
A watering can or hose pipe may have a heavy flow of water from the spout which will wash the seeds to the side, over-drench the soil, and disturb the seed distribution. Use a gentle watering system. A plastic water or soda bottle with a small hole in the lid will only allow a drizzle of water to come out the hole at a time, allowing the soil to absorb the water without it becoming drenched or overflowing.
Top Tip: Label the pot with a small plastic marker at this point, as you may forget what is in the pot before the seeds sprout.
Step 9. Cover the Pot With Plastic Wrap
Tear two sheets of plastic wrap from the roll. The sheets should be big enough to cover the mouth of the pot with about 2-3 inches of overlap so that the plastic wrap can be stuck to the sides. Seal the sides well.
This will create a greenhouse effect in the space between the soil and the plastic wrap in which the seeds can germinate. Keep the pot in full sun.
Germination of the strawberry seeds can take between 12-35 days. Once seeds have germinated and grown a few small leaves, remove the plastic covering and moisten the soil.
Step 10. Individually Remove the Seedlings From the Pot
Once the seedlings reach about one inch in height and have a few small leaves growing on them, carefully dig the seedling out of the soil.
Top Tip: Do not pull the seedlings out by the stem, as this will damage the stem and the roots. Rather dig around the seedling's roots and remove the whole seedling and roots in a clump of soil. A table fork or a very small spade will work well for this.
Step 11. Transfer Baby Strawberry Plants to Individual Cells
Fill individual cell pots with a 70% cocopeat to 30% compost soil mixture, gently compacting the soil with your fingers, so the pot is full to the top.
Using the tip of your finger, make a small hole large enough to hold the roots of the strawberry seedling. Place the roots into the hole, being sure to cover all the roots with soil.
Leave the seedlings in a sunny place and water regularly.
Transfer more than one plant into a bigger pot when they start to grow.
Step 12. Inspect Plants to Determine if Ready to Transplant
Inspect the size and number of leaves on the strawberry plants. Plants can be transplanted when they have three to four true trifoliate leaves.
Step 13. Mix the Potting Soil
Use a soil mix composed of 50% garden soil, 30% compost, and 20% cocopeat. Mix the soil in a separate tub and pour it into six to eight-inch pots. Compact the soil lightly as you place the soil in the pot. Do not over-compact the soil, as you will need to make a hole for the plants in the next step.
Step 14. Transplant the Strawberry Plants Into Individual Pots
Dig individual plants out of the original pot with a gardening tool, ensuring you keep each root ball intact. Do not pull the plant out of the soil by the stem, as this will damage the stem and roots of the plant.
Plant one seedling per pot. This will give the plants enough space to grow and fruit without interference from other plants.
To plant each one, make a hole in the soil in the middle of the pot with your fingers. The hole in the soil should be big enough to fit the whole root ball of the strawberry plant.
Cover the roots, but leave the plant's crown above the soil surface. The crown on the strawberry is the part of the plant above the root system where all the leaf stems come together. Gently compact the soil around the roots and stem to support the plant.
Plant all the seedlings in their own pots in the same way. Water all the plants immediately after planting.
Keep the plants in a sunny place and water whenever the soil starts to dry. Strawberries need 5-7 hours of direct sunlight a day. The ideal temperature for strawberries to grow is 47-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 15. Add Fertilizer to the Pots Regularly
Add fertilizer to the soil at intervals of 18-20 days. This will ensure the plants have the correct nutrients and promotes growth.
Top Tip: Make a small hole away from the plant and place half a spoon of mustard cake powder, or any other recommended fertilizer, into the hole. Cover the hole and water the plant.
Step 16. Harvest the Fruit From Your Strawberry Plant
About 110 days after the strawberry seeds were first planted, the plant should start to flower. About 4 weeks after the plant has flowered, fruit should begin to appear on the strawberry stems. Wait until the fruit is fully red and ripe before harvesting.
Top Tip: When harvesting the strawberries off the plant, cut the stem about half an inch from the fruit rather than pulling the strawberry until the stem breaks. Pulling the strawberry may accidentally pull the plant out of the soil.
Hang fruit by the stem over the edge of the pot. Strawberries that sit in soil too long will rot.
Top Tip: Cover strawberries in bird netting to stop birds from eating them before you can harvest them.
Strawberries are perennial and can survive mild winters. Plants should flower and fruit for more than one year.