I do not think is someone to dislike these delicious “fruit” (technically they are not fruits), namely strawberries. Perhaps you have also craving for fresh strawberries. Well, the easiest and at the same time, funny solution is to give life to a small garden in your own balcony, or inside of your home.
It is good to know that strawberries are fruits that can be easily grown indoors without the need of a large garden or a greenhouse, if you know how to give the plant a suitable soil and the needed light.
Planting strawberries in pots and the beautification of balconies or window sills with these plants, that are not only beautiful but also useful is becoming an increasingly more popular activity, to spend the spare time usefully.
And after all, why not? What could be more pleasant than to pick these flavored and tasty fruits from your balcony?
Strawberries need Light
But first, you should know that strawberries need plenty of light. It is extremely important for the plant to fully benefit from the light, artificial or natural, if you want it to produce fruits. It is recommended that to keep the plant on a windowsill facing south, but if not possible, a good artificial lighting will be enough and you will have fruits all year round.
Strawberry Varieties Suitable for Indoor
The most common varieties of strawberries available are usually plants that grow to a height quite inappropriate for a pot on the windowsill. However, if you are happy with smaller fruits, then it is recommended to opt for a variety of mountain strawberry, which has a smaller size at maturity.
Another big advantage of these varieties is that bears fruit throughout the year.
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Strawberry Varieties Suitable for Balcony
The most suitable for balcony, are replanted strawberry varieties, which bloom almost all summer, and produce fruits 2-3 times, until late autumn.
For planting, can be used any pot, with a minimum volume of about 3 liters (almost 0.8 gal) for a plant. So, in large pots of 10-15 liters (2.7 – 4 gal) can be planted 3-4 plants.
The Suitable Soil for Strawberries
Strawberries grow best in a pot with at least 13-15 cm (5 – 6 inch) deep, with a special blend of soil. Over half of the soil should be peat moss Sphagnum, with regular soil for flowers and enriched soil, which can be bought from a florist. However, strawberries also needs slow-release fertilizer, which will feed the plant during its growth.
How to Grow Strawberries from Seeds
The best trick after you bought strawberry seeds is to keep them in the freezer for two weeks. After you “tricked” them as they went through a winter, you can plant the seeds in a soil that is kept moist and exposed to the sunlight. The plant will germinate in 2-3 weeks.
How to Grow Strawberries from (Stolons) Runners
The first step is to go to a florist and buy deep window boxes or pots with a diameter of at least 25 cm (about 10 inch). In fact, if the vessels are larger than strawberry bushes will grow better. However, do not forget one important thing, namely that each vessel must have large drainage holes.
The second step is to find a place in your balcony or windowsill, where you can have plenty of light.
– Put a layer of pebbles or balls of clay, about a centimeter thick, add ground flower that is slightly acidic, to fill the jardiniere or the pot and a handful of sand
– Plant the runners (stolons) in pairs if you have large pots or window boxes
Plant Care in the First Weeks
To get a more rich harvest, break or cut all the buds that occur within 6 weeks. Or cut with the scissors the first two or three flowers. You will see that in just three weeks will grow more flowers. The plant will use all its energy for the development of leaves and the harvest will be more abundant.
Strawberries need to be watered daily until the first fruits, and then it is recommended watering only when the soil top layer (2.5 cm or 1 inch deep) is dried. However, you should add fertilizer to the water once every two weeks, according to the directions on the package.
Apply fertilizer monthly and bimonthly after it begins to bear fruit. It is better to opt for organic fertilizer, if you want to make sure that the fruits are completely natural and organic. Manure is the best fertilizer.
Pick strawberries after they blushed, less if you have grown a variety that remains white at maturity.
In the second year of soil change completely, if you want to cultivate strawberries in the same window boxes.