No Budget Strawberries


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Introduction: No Budget Strawberries

UPDATE EDIT: I would just order strawberry seeds! As some research indicates many or most shop bought strawberries are special hybrids where the seeds may never grow strawberries! The seeds are very cheap at least!

Not many things are as summery and cheerful as strawberries! In this instructable I will show you how to grow your own strawberries from seeds for virtually nothing! It is very fulfilling to be able to grow your own strawberries, AND even more fulfilling on a shoestring budget, using almost only recycled trash re-purposed for gardening. To the point! -

Step 1: Supplies

  • Toilet Rolls (empty yoghurt pots or similar small plastic containers will work but will need drainage holes made in the bottom with a knife)
  • At least one fresh strawberry (from the garden, a shop, or from the wild)
  • Toothpick or similar object
  • Scissor or Knife
  • Small plastic box/container for easily carrying seedlings around
  • Soil (from garden, a shop or from anywhere the outdoors)
  • Transparent plastic bag or sheet of plastic from trash
  • Trowel, spoon or hand for gathering soil with

Step 2: Find at Least One Strawberry

You could pick one growing outdoors or in the wild, or buy a pack of fresh strawberries from a shop.

Step 3: Extract Seeds

The seeds on a strawberry are those tiny little things found on the outside of every strawberry. Take one strawberry, and using a toothpick or knife point, scrape at the seeds to dislodge them and remove them from the fruit. It may be very fiddly to extract them from the fruit depending on the ripeness of the fruit and other factors. It is okay if a bit of the fruit's flesh comes with the seed. I placed them on a piece of paper towel to help dry them out. At this point you could extract far more than you are wanting to germinate to store for the future.

Step 4: Create Seedling Pots From Used Toilet Rolls

To create little pots for the seedlings to germinate in, acquire several used toilet paper rolls. It depends how many seeds you want to germinate, but using this method one toilet roll creates two seedling pots.

  1. Cut the toilet paper roll in half using a scissor or knife.
  2. Make roughly 1.5cm or 1/2 inch long slits about the same length apart all along one edge of the roll.
  3. Fold each segment so that each one overlaps the previous segment.
  4. Voila!

You now have small recycled biodegradable pots for your seedlings that can later be planted directly into a bigger pot once the seedlings have grown!

Step 5: Prepare the Seedling Pots

Using a gardening trowel, spoon or your hand, fill up each pot to the top with soil. You do not need to pack the soil in firmly - loose and well drained soil is best for germinating seeds because they need both water and oxygen to germinate. Once all the pots are filled, pour a little water in each pot, just so that the soil is wet, but not absolutely flooded with water. The soil will compact slightly as you water it.

Step 6: Sow the Seeds and Begin Germination!

  • Get your seeds, and let one or two fall into the middle of each pot. Do not bury them. Strawberry seeds need light to germinate. It is ok if they fall into holes inside the soil slightly.
  • Place the seedling pots inside a small plastic container, simply to make them easier to move around together, and place the entire container inside a see through plastic bag, or alternatively place a see through piece of plastic over the entire container. This helps keep the atmosphere around the seeds warm and humid. Seal the bag by knotting it or using a small piece of wire.
  • Place the sealed container in a window sill or area that gets lots of light.
  • Keep an eye on the soil and water it lightly if it feels dry to the touch. Opening the bag will also allow fresh air into the container.
  • Varying greatly depending on the seed condition, variety, season and ambient temperature etc, your seeds will hopefully germinate and create small visible seedlings in around 2 to 3 weeks. The seeds that I sowed that are pictured actually created small visible seedlings in 11 days. (UK, summertime).

  • Once the seedlings (tiny plants) appear, remove the plastic bag or plastic lid, because the intensified sunlight can burn them in a sealed container at this stage.

Step 7: Transplanting and Harvesting!

To protect my strawberries from insect pests and birds, I grow mine indoors. However, once the seedlings have grown large enough that you can carefully handle them without easily causing damage, you may transplant your strawberry seedlings into the outdoors (or simply into a larger pot to keep indoors). But it is highly recommended to "harden off" the plants if you intend to transplant them outdoors - which means for the week or 10 days prior to actually planting, to expose the seedlings to gradually increasing amounts of outdoor weather. A simple way to do this is to place the seedlings in a shaded wind protected area outdoors during the day, for a little while longer each day, and bringing them indoors at night time.

You can plant the seedlings with their biodegradable toilet paper roll pots directly into a bigger pot or into the ground outside. I recommend breaking or tearing apart the pot slightly though, but do take care to not hurt the seedlings when doing this.

Harvesting

When growing strawberries from seeds, the plant usually creates a crop of strawberries the following year. First the flowers will be produced, which then finally turn into strawberries. Patience is key! Note that seeds from strawberries bought from the supermarket will likely not grow into identical copies of the original strawberries, but this is all part of the surprise! A big tip is to pinch off the flowers (that eventually become strawberries) in the first year - this will allow the plant to become stronger and result in a significantly increased crop of strawberries in the following year. If you have planted your strawberries outdoors, consider using some kind of netting or mesh to protect your precious plants from birds or other pests that will want to eat your strawberries. I hope you've enjoyed this experiment in self sufficiency!

If you like this instructable Please click on the vote button above! :)

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55 Comments

0
MunchmahQuuchi
MunchmahQuuchi

21 hours ago

Deneva, you're nuts - stores do not "irradiate" potatoes. I literally have an entire garden full of potatoes growing right now from nothing more than potato scraps. I've always heard all my life that fruits and vegetables bought at the store can't or won't germinate into a new plant and that's nonsense. Stuff like planting depth and the right amount of sunlight, however, DO make a big difference as to whether or not your plants will germinate. For anyone wishing to try this with store bought strawberries, you can also just cut off thin layers of strawberry, dry them a bit, and lay them right onto the soil where you want the plants to grow. However, since strawberries from seed will not produce fruit the first year, it may just be more worthwhile to pick up a fresh plant from your local Home Depot/Lowe's and transplant it to your garden so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor sooner!

0
MunchmahQuuchi
MunchmahQuuchi

Reply 21 hours ago

And for clarification, yes, potatoes CAN be irradiated but this is done long before they arrive in your local store and seems to depend heavily on where you live. It is done to inhibit the sprouts on potatoes during the shipping and storage process and thus, is done before the potatoes begin their journey to your grocery store. However, most Americans these days are looking for more natural and holistic food sources. Almost all potatoes you could buy at the grocery store will eventually sprout, even the cheapest paper bag Russets, and once they do, go ahead and plant 'em!

0
StefanieH7
StefanieH7

7 months ago

This is a fantastic article, I read one earlier that didn’t have the toilet roll idea, I must say I love the toilet roll idea, protects the roots more when transplanting, thank you for sharing your knowledge

curious question in other article it mentions that every year you should trim the runners, that way you get more plants more fruit, it didn’t explain tho very well what they are, any know??

i will say though, instead of store bought, go to the organic shop and get fully organic grown, also make sure they are from your region, to ensure success, get organic high quality soil, and use fertiliser organic bought or you can also use ground coffee beans

good luck all I’m in Australia and about to plant mine woohoo

0
kastlesinn
kastlesinn

9 months ago

I like your step by step instructions but I don't think transplanting and harvesting should be considered the same step. You can't even do both in the same year. I'd call harvesting an eighth step.

0
1Someone1
1Someone1

1 year ago

What's the perfect season to do this?

0
ShySquirrel
ShySquirrel

Reply 1 year ago

In an earlier comment, someone says Early Spring is the best to start! :)

0
ShySquirrel
ShySquirrel

Question 1 year ago

Hi! I'm a complete beginner to gardening, so I'm sorry if this a dumb question.

When it says to pinch off the flowers, does it mean just the petals or the part that's going to become a strawberry as well?

0
Miss Mae
Miss Mae

Question 2 years ago on Step 3

How long should the seeds dry?

0
gauzz
gauzz

5 years ago

I live in hot weather, I'm thinking they won't grow here :(

0
Paulusvdh
Paulusvdh

Reply 5 years ago

I live in the Philippines and I grow my own strawberries. The temperatuur is sometimes around 95 degrees F and no problem. Just give it a try

0
rch
rch

Reply 5 years ago

I live in sunny SoCal in an area that gets temperatures up over 110 degrees F in the summer. We have had very good luck growing strawberries here, other than the occasional pest eating some of the fruit.

Give it a shot, you might be pleasantly surprised!

0
gkist
gkist

Reply 5 years ago

-Ola, espalhe cinzas de queima de madeira por cima das plantas de moranguinhos, informe-se na Internet.

Boate.

0
imerrymary
imerrymary

Reply 5 years ago

I lived in central Florida, next door to "The Strawberry Capital" of Plant City, where summers are in the high 90s for 3 to 4 months with high humidity. The strawberries LOVE it. They even have 2 growing seasons for the berries. Give it a try!

0
offseid
offseid

5 years ago

This is a great Instructable, thanks for posting!

0
lsadwdwadw
lsadwdwadw

Reply 5 years ago

thank you :)

0
ladymda
ladymda

5 years ago

I love this, it is easy to follow and it is very well written! Thanks for sharing ;)

P.S. I will certainly try this in the spring :D

0
PDF laboratory
PDF laboratory

5 years ago

What is the best month to start a plant seed ??? genuary i say.

0
lsadwdwadw
lsadwdwadw

Reply 5 years ago

Early spring is said to be the best time to sow strawberry seeds. It depends where you are in the world for what month your spring starts in. Good luck if you try it!

0
damionflynn
damionflynn

Reply 5 years ago

With the way you are doing them here Isad, it would be relatively easy to start them indoors 3-5 weeks before last frost (or your best estimation of it). Also, many growers use plastic to cover them in early Spring if they plant early and frost is expected. I live on the MS Coast and while hard freezes are rare, we can get them occasionally early Spring so many strawberry growers will use small row covers and start planting in mid February or early March outdoors. While most large growers are growing from previous year roots, those that do start with seeds can start as early as January to get the seedlings started and ready to plant by mid-February or early March.