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Growing Strawberries (from seeds)

(Fragaria)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
              S T T    

(Best months for planting Strawberries (from seeds) in South Africa - Semi-arid regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings.


  • Start inside in pots or trays after chilling seeds.. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 20°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 30 - 100 cm apart
  • Harvest in approximately 1 years. Seedlings need to grow for about a year before fruiting. Remove first flowers. .
  • Compatible with (can grow in same bed): Better in a bed on their own to allow good sun and air circulation
  • Avoid growing in same bed: If you are using rotation beds, avoid putting strawberries where you have grown tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or eggplant
  • Ripening fruit
  • Strawberry plants

Alpine strawberries are the easiest to grow from seed. They produce tiny, triangular fruit with an intense flavour.

Chill the seeds, in a closed jar or plastic box, 2 - 4 weeks in a home freezer. Allow to return to room temperature in the closed container before sowing.

Sow seeds thinly on seed raising mix/compost. Cover with a thin layer of compost and water in. Keep under cover, either in a greenhouse or indoors near a window. Germination takes 2 to 8 weeks. Plant out into small pots to grow on when 3 leaves have appeared. Then transplant to garden when well grown. After about a year the strawberries will form low-growing, leafy plants,between 12 - 15cm (about 6 inches) high and will spread to about 50 - 100cm (20 - 40 inches). They have five petalled flowers, usually white or sometimes pink. The flowers are followed by delicious red fruits, which have their seeds on the outside. Later in the season, the plants send out runners like thin stems, across the garden. They will take root to form new plants.

Protect your plants with some sort of netting or bird scarer or you will lose most of your crop. Strawberries like well drained soil with plenty of humus . To prepare your bed, dig in some compost before planting and possibly use a liquid fertiliser during the growing season. Well fed strawberries taste better. To protect the fruit from moulds, use some form of mulch around the plants. Straw, pine needles, or black plastic are all suitable. Mulch will also help suppress weeds.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Strawberries (from seeds)

Strawberries can be used in any dessert needing soft fruit or berries. Summer pudding with raspberries and blackberries or boysenberries, mousse, trifle, dipped in melted chocolate or just with cream.
Sprinkle a bowl of strawberries with balsamic vinegar and a little sugar to enhance the flavour and colour.
Straight from the garden, warmed by the sun is best.


Your comments and tips

20 Oct 14, Adam Gordon-Strong (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Hi, I farm in Zambia and am looking for alternative crops to my current main crop which is Tobacco, does anyone have info on variety, fertilisation, cultural practices etc i would say in general we are hotter and wetter than SA here in Zambia. thanks
10 Oct 14, Linda van Eeden (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I am residing on the West Rand (Krugersdorp area) I would like to know where I can buy strawberry plants or seeds.
11 Feb 14, Khomo (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Can anyone help me, I have a problem with my strawberries, they get an ugly brown color on leaf stalk, and the worse is the fruit getting the same color and they even crack just when they start to ripe, please help I'm so worried about this deases on my innocent fruits...
23 Nov 13, giusi (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
We bought some small plants that were grown from seed from Zetlers, famous strawberry producers, in Lyndoch, Stellenbosch area. They are producing delicious strawberries, and he said they came from Israel.
12 Jan 14, Khomo (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Hi Giusi Can you give me the link on how to get hold of them I'm in KZN rural, happened to get to internet and learn but far from any nursery... Thanks in advance
22 Jul 13, khomo (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Hi Does anyone know the company or the place which can legaly source me a specific strawberry variety from outside SA, something like Yael or Tamar variety from Israel, which was destroyed in one of SA's farms about 12yrs ago, does anyone know the rule of getting it legaly for cormmecial use? Thank you in advance
05 Mar 13, Tanya Herbert (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Hi I live in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town (Parow North). Where can I purchase strawberry seeds or seedlings?
05 May 13, Khomo (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Hi Tanya Did you come right with the seedlings? My seeds which I bought are growing, the problem is the cold winter which I think to keep it away by making a small greenhouse with controlled temperature until they are nature for outside.
01 Apr 13, khomo (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I think you can ask your local farmer for seedlings if you just plant at home, they normaly throw some out to thin the runners or you can try looking at bidorbuy for seeds, I also got them there...
21 Feb 13, Khomo (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I bought some strawberry seeds, but have never seen a small seedling of two or three leaves, I would like to know how it looks like or anyone post a clear photo of it, so I'll be sure if they sold me the real thing...

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