Strawberries, which aren’t true berries, by the way, wear their seeds on their sleeves. Although I’ve never counted them, someone has and determined that the outside of a strawberry contains over 200 seeds and each one of these. seeds represents a potential strawberry plant. Now, how to get the seeds out of the strawberry and into the garden? It’s not as difficult as you may think. Just follow these easy steps.
Tools you’ll need to get the seeds out of a strawberry
- Fine sieve or cheesecloth and strainer
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Planting container
- Coarse sand (sometimes called builder’s sand)
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Plastic wrap
- Small, individual planting pots
Take these steps to remove the seeds from a strawberry
1. Use fully ripe strawberries — the ones that are far too ripe and mushy to eat.
2. Place the strawberries in the blender and blend on the lowest speed for 10 seconds. Allow the ground strawberries to sit until they have settled. Bad seeds will float to the top, so scoop those out and get rid of them.
3. Pour the remainder of the mixture into a fine sieve, set over a bowl, and allow it to drip through, leaving the seeds in its wake. If you don’t have a sieve, line a strainer with four or five layers of cheesecloth and set the strainer over a bowl.
4. Soak the strawberry seeds in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide. It is important to remove all of the pulp from the seeds. Since they are so tiny, however, this isn’t always possible, so the peroxide will hopefully keep the fungus away.
5. Place the strawberry seeds on top of a mixture of sand and compost in a planting container. Sprinkle a shallow layer of sand over the top of the seeds and squirt the sand layer with water. Cover the planting container with plastic wrap and leave it in a greenhouse or room that remains no warmer than 75 degrees. They should receive indirect sun and consistent moisture. Although the plastic wrap should keep the soil moist, check it periodically and if it’s drying out, spray it with water.
6. Remove the plastic wrap when the seeds sprout — which may take as long as one month — and keep them moist and in indirect sun. Transplant the seedlings into their own pots when they are large enough to handle as they will need to be grown on until fall, when you can set them in the garden.
7. Check the soil’s pH about 6 months before planting and if it’s not between 6.0 and 6.3, you’ll need to amend it to bring the pH into the appropriate range for strawberries. Your soil testing kit should list what to use and in what amount to raise or lower the soil’s ph. You can purchase an inexpensive kit online, here.
Full disclosure: I get commissions from purchases made through links in this post. I haven’t received any products for free — all of the ones I refer you to are those that I purchase and use in my own garden.
8. Amend the soil with 2 pounds of 5‐10‐10 fertilizer for each 100 square feet of planting bed, two weeks before planting. In six weeks, fertilizer the plants with one pound of the same fertilizer per 100 square feet. The safest way to do this (to avoid burning the strawberry plants’ roots) is by side-dressing. This method of fertilizing requires that you dig a trench, about 8 inches from the row of strawberry plants and about 2 to 3 inches deep. Spread the fertilizer along the length of the bottom of the trench, fill the trench with soil and water to a depth of 6 inches. Repeat this procedure again in August.