Strawberries are perfect for those just starting gardening. If you've thought about adding this delicious berry to your plant collection, you've probably wondered how long do Strawberries take to grow. We have collected all the information you need to know before starting your Strawberry-growing journey!
Main Stages of Strawberry Life Cycle
Strawberries are perennials, so you don't have to replant them yearly. In the fall, the upper part dies, and the root system begins its dormant period.
Even though strawberries are not the trickiest plants, you must pay attention to their different needs during the life cycle. Adjusting your care to the specific requirements will help you get the best strawberries.
Strawberry seed germination may take some time. In fact, this process is a bit more complicated for these berries than for other crops. Before planting your Strawberry, you need to recreate the winter conditions. Keep the seeds at a cool temperature of about 50˚F (10˚C) for two-three weeks. After that, the seeds are ready for planting and germination.
- Strawberry Vegetative Growth
One of the strawberry growing stages is vegetative growth. Once you see the first sprouts, you can move the berries outdoors. New leaves will emerge in about 2-3 weeks, and the plant can start to flower actively in another 3-4 weeks. The vegetative phase lasts about six months, depending on the climate and Strawberry variety. In warm temperatures, it can last up to a year.
Pay special attention to caring for your Strawberries at this stage. Your care will influence the taste of the berries you get later. Don't forget to regularly water and fertilize your green pet.
- Flowering and Pollination
When you notice the first flowers, it's a sign that things are getting close to fruit. It may take about 3-4 weeks for the plant to produce berries after flowering begins. Pollination by bees has a very positive effect on the plant.
- Strawberry Fruiting Stage
Once the Strawberry has flowered, it will begin to form fruit, which will be green at first and gradually turn red. Depending on the type of Strawberry, it may bear fruit at different times of the year.
June-bearing Strawberries bear fruit in late May and early June.
Ever-bearing strawberries will bear fruit 2-3 times in late spring, midsummer, and early fall.
After the fruiting period, the Strawberry will develop runners. Later on, to start the propagation process, bury the end of the runner in the ground, and it will root for the following year.
How Long Does It Take for Strawberry Seeds to Sprout
The duration of the growing period depends on the kind of seeds and how you prepare them. After the 'winter' simulation, you can cover future Strawberries with a thin layer of soil. The first sprouts will come in a few days, given you provide a warm environment and enough water. After a couple of weeks, you will see the development of the stem and new leaves. Now you can replant your seedling to the ground.
Growing Strawberries from seeds takes some additional work, so many gardeners prefer to work with already-germinated seedlings. However, if you are new to nurturing plants from seeds, Strawberries are a great way to start!
How Long Does It Take for a Strawberry Plant to Produce Fruit From Seed
You've probably wondered how long does it take for Strawberries to grow. On average, it takes 60 to 90 days for a plant to mature from a seed to a delicious berry.
The duration of the developing phase depends on the growing conditions you create. Pay attention to the temperature, light, watering, and fertilizing. Most importantly, check the kind of berries you have and do a little research about species-specific needs. It will help you understand your green pet better.
What Strawberry Types Are There?
There are over 600 kinds of Strawberries in the world. If you are new to gardening, picking the best type of berry might feel overwhelming. Luckily, we are here to make plant care easier for you!
June-bearing Strawberries are the kind you are most likely to see at the store. They are an early species, blooming in March and bearing fruit at the beginning of the summer. You can enjoy their delicious berries until late June.
June-bearing Strawberries are the perfect option for those looking for a sweet flavor. However, if you plant them in early spring, you will see berries only the following year.
If you know that these berries are your type, consider the following varieties:
Unfortunately, the name of this Strawberry type is a bit misleading. It will only bear fruit 2-3 times a year in late spring, mid-summer, and early fall.
This type of Strawberry produces fewer runners for reproduction than the June-bearing type, focusing mainly on fruiting several times a year.
Some of the most delicious varieties of ever-bearing strawberries are the following:
- Fragaria x ananassa;
This type is quite different from the previous ones. They are resistant to cold, so they continue to grow even at 30-90˚F (-1-32˚C). It has the longest fruiting season among the other species. You can see berries in May and as early as the end of September or early October (if the weather is not frosty). The berries of this species are often small but dense.
We recommend paying attention to such varieties of day-neutral strawberries:
- Tristar (day-neutral);
- Tribute (day-neutral).
When to Harvest Strawberries
Even though there are a lot of different Strawberries, the harvest time is the same for all of them. Harvesting occurs when the berries are ripe: they have a distinctive bright red color throughout the berry and acquire all the flavor characteristics.
Tip for storing: after harvesting, keep your Strawberries in a container in a cool place.
When to Plant Strawberry Seeds
In the early spring, you can sow Strawberry seeds in a container with soil and a mix of compost for universal purposes. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and water gently. Germination is a long process that requires a temperature of about 65-70°F (18-21˚C). To harvest berries in late May - early July, plant your seedlings in April.
How To Grow Strawberries
Although Strawberries are one of the easiest plants to grow, they have some tricks to make berries healthier and tastier!
Seed Growing Step-By-Step
Farmers usually grow Strawberries from their runners. However, you can also grow these delicious berries from seed! It will take a bit longer, but you will be able to view your precious Strawberry along the way!
- Freeze the seeds before planting. You can use a ziplock bag or a sealed envelope.
- If you want to plant Strawberries in the spring, freeze them in December or January.
- By February, take the seeds out of the freezer and let them defrost at room temperature for a day or two.
- When planting the seeds in pots, don't bury them deep. They should be 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) deep in soil mixed with multipurpose compost.
- Strawberries need light to germinate, so place the container in a sunny room.
- After six weeks, transplant sprouts into separate pots and wait about 3-4 more weeks for the leaves and stem to form.
- Plant the strawberries. Pick a place on the sunny side of the garden and feed them with water twice a day. To stimulate the highest growth of your Strawberry, provide well-drained soil with organic compost.
Season Care & Planting
If you want Strawberries to thrive for many years, follow some tips for planting and caring for them in different seasons.
- Spring planting is suitable only for plants that are already mature and have developed foliage;
- The hole for planting in the soil should be big enough to accommodate all the plant's roots;
- Use only well-drained fertile soil with organic compost. Drainage improves air and water flow to the root system;
- Using a mulch of decomposed leaves or straw for newly planted Strawberries is essential. Mulch also helps to avoid the formation of weeds.
- The earlier you plant the seedlings, the better the Strawberries will root and develop and bear fruit the following year.
- If you live in southern regions, plant in mid-November. In temperate climates, it's better to plant in October.
- Shorten the roots slightly before planting to stimulate their growth;
- If you plan on planting in the fall, consider these varieties: Kimberly, Crown, Clary.
- Before winter, it is best to remove old, withered, or diseased leaves. This procedure will allow new leaves to form and keep pests away.
- Use a phosphorus-potassium fertilizer to feed strawberries before the cold season starts. Such fertilizer helps Strawberries to develop their root system.
- Although Strawberries are cold-resistant, they cannot withstand frosty winds. After planting it for the winter, it can be covered with a polyethylene tunnel. Straw mulch can also be used as cover and protection.
- Strawberries should be pest-treated with insecticides before they are covered with a tunnel.
Why Are My Strawberries So Small?
The most common reason is crowded growth. Don't plant your Strawberries too close to each other. Other causes include lack of water, light, and cold temperatures. Use fertilizer to help your berries grow big, and choose the correct planting location.
How Long Do Strawberry Plants Live?
Strawberries are perennials. However, after three years, replant your Strawberry bushes. After the 5th year of life, the berries become smaller and of worse quality.
What Do Strawberries Grow On?
Strawberries prefer sandy or loamy soil that will be nutritious and breathable. However, they will not take root in peat soil. Neutral soils with a Ph of 5.5-6.5 are ideal.