Binomial name: Fragaria sp.
Life Cycle: Perennial
The strawberry, belonging to the genus Fragaria, is a group of over 20 flowering plant
species in the rose family (Rosaceae), known for their edible fruit.
Native to temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere, these berries have been cultivated in
various varieties and are now extensively grown globally.
Cultivating strawberries proves to be both accessible and rewarding, making them a favored
choice for home gardeners.
The allure of a freshly picked strawberry on a summer morning is unmatched, contributing to
their status as one of the most popular crops to grow at home.
PL gardening expert Leigh Clapp affirms strawberries as the go-to fruit for everyone, citing their
adaptability in towers, hanging bags, and vertical gardens.
Fortunately, these delectable berries are exceptionally easy to grow.
Our beginner’s guide empowers you to incorporate this luscious crop into your kitchen garden,
offering insights on the ideal methods.
Furthermore, understanding when to plant strawberries is key to ensuring a plentiful harvest of
these beloved and easily cultivated fruits.
Elevate your gardening experience with the simple joy of growing your own strawberries at home.
How To Grow Strawberries – The Different Methods,
Selecting the appropriate method for growing strawberries depends on your preferences and
the time of the year.
There are three main approaches: growing from seed, using bare-root plants, or cultivating from
Spring is the ideal time for seed growth, while bare-root plants thrive when planted in late winter,
approximately a month before the last expected frost.
Runners, which emerge from existing plants, fare best when planted in the summer, once the
parent plants have established themselves.
Regardless of the method you choose, gardening expert Leigh Clapp emphasizes the
importance of providing “rich fertile soil and a sunny spot” for optimal strawberry cultivation.
Tailor your approach based on your planting location and the specific requirements of each
method to enjoy a successful strawberry harvest.
How To Grow Strawberries From Seed
How to Sow Strawberry Seeds?
Fill trays, punnets, or jiffy pots with a good quality seed-raising mix, or use soil
Sow seeds 3mm deep.
Keep soil moist but never wet or dry.
Seeds should germinate in around 14-56 days at a soil temperature of 15-18°C.
Opting for the most economical approach, growing strawberries from seed requires patience,
as germination can take up to a month.
The ideal sowing time spans from January to April, and several tricks can expedite
and enhance germination.
One method involves placing strawberry seeds, still in their packet, in a sealed plastic bag and
refrigerating them for a month.
This simulates a winter period. Afterward, let the bag reach room temperature before sowing the
seeds on top of prepared seed compost in a tray, covered with a propagator.
Maintain a warm, moist, and well-lit environment until germination occurs, typically within two
to three weeks. Transplant the seedlings to permanent positions after two months.
For successful growth, Sue Sanderson recommends cultivating strawberries in full
sun, in fertile, moist, well-drained soil, spacing them 30cm (12″) apart.
While strawberries grown from seed will fruit in their second year, they are cold-hardy plants
that go dormant in winter.
In regions with harsh winters, protecting them with frost fleece is advisable.
Incorporating these techniques into your strawberry cultivation ensures a fruitful and resilient
How To Grow Strawberries From Runners
Established strawberry plants generate numerous runners during their growth phase, and these
can either develop into new plants or wither, depending on their contact with soil.
Propagating strawberries from runners is a straightforward process.
Identify a strawberry plant with a healthy runner, resembling a horizontally growing stem with
To begin, fill a small plant pot with compost, water thoroughly, and place the end of the runner
in the center, securing it with a U-shaped staple or bent wire.
Crucially, maintain the connection between the runner and the parent plant until the new plant
establishes its robust root system.
This ensures the new plant can sustain itself after separation.
Once separated, relocate the new plant to a sunny location, ensuring it receives adequate water
and repotting as necessary for optimal growth.
Learning how to grow strawberries from runners proves to be an uncomplicated and rewarding
method for expanding your strawberry patch.
How To Grow Strawberries From Bare Root
Growing strawberries from bare root plants proves to be a versatile and efficient method,
especially during the dormant period from February to April when these plants can be
conveniently mail-ordered. Matthew Oliver, a horticulturist at RHS Hyde Hall,
emphasizes that bare root plants arrive without pots or soil, allowing for efficient
packaging and delivery.
Upon receipt, immediate planting is crucial to prevent root desiccation and ensure plant survival.
Use a medium-sized plant pot, at least as deep as the bare root, filled with peat-free potting
compost. Completely cover the roots while ensuring the crown—the point where roots and leaves
meet—remains above the soil surface.
Matthew recommends placing potted bare-root plants in a cold frame throughout winter,
transitioning them to a greenhouse in late winter.
The greenhouse’s additional warmth stimulates plant growth, resulting in a crop around Easter.
Alternatively, if a greenhouse is unavailable, follow the same initial treatment and plant directly
into the garden in March, yielding fruit around June or July.
Mastering how to grow strawberries from bare-root plants provides flexibility and a promising
harvest with strategic planning and care.
Another variant of bare-root strawberries is the cold-stored strawberry.
These can be planted from late spring to early summer and often come with intact flowers.
These cold-stored bare-root strawberries are known to bear fruit within 60 days of
Although they yield early in their first year, subsequent years follow a more conventional growth
and fruiting pattern.
How Long Does It Take For A Strawberry Plant To Bear Fruit?
A bareroot strawberry plant typically requires approximately three months to start bearing fruit.
If grown from seed, strawberries will produce fruit in their second summer, as the first year is
dedicated to the plant’s establishment and growth.
This pattern also holds true for summer-propagated runners, who spend their initial year
establishing before yielding fruit.
Do Strawberries Come Back Every Year?
Certainly, strawberry plants are perennials, returning each year.
Typically, a strawberry plant has a lifespan of around six years.
However, there’s a noticeable decline in fruit production after the initial two years.
Consequently, some gardeners opt to treat their strawberry plants as annuals, cultivating a fresh
Propagating runners from your established plant ensures a continuous supply of young crops that
yield optimal fruit.
What is an important fact about strawberries?
Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
A berry has its seeds on the inside.
Since the seeds are on the outside, strawberries aren’t true berries, like blueberries
Each seed is considered by botanists to be its own separate fruit.
In conclusion, this comprehensive guide has provided valuable insights into the diverse methods
of growing strawberries.
From starting with seeds, propagating through runners, to utilizing bare root plants, each method
offers its unique set of advantages and considerations.
Understanding the specific steps involved in growing strawberries from seed, runners, and
bare root ensures that gardeners can make informed choices based on their preferences and
Additionally, the article has addressed the time frame for strawberry plants to bear fruit and
clarified the perennial nature of strawberries, emphasizing their ability to return year after year.
With this knowledge, enthusiasts can embark on a rewarding journey of cultivating delicious
strawberries and enjoy a bountiful harvest season after season.