Garden strawberries on the windowsill - detailed instructions for growing strawberries at home
When there is gloomy autumn or winter weather outside the window, nothing will revive the sunny summer days in your memory better than the red berries of strawberries growing on your windowsill. Do not think that growing strawberries at home is a hopeless undertaking, from which there will be no use other than a decorative effect. Some enthusiasts manage to arrange a whole strawberry plantation on a windowsill or on a loggia and harvest ripe berries from it throughout the year.
We'll have to work hard
Of course, you will have to work hard and provide the plants with the right conditions. The main difficulty, which immediately frightens off many interested ones, is the need for additional lighting of strawberries on rainy days. Given that garden strawberries require a fairly long daylight hours (about 12 hours), the cost of electricity can be significant.
It is advisable to choose remontant strawberries for home cultivation.
But if you are not embarrassed by the cost price of the berry, and you want to pamper yourself with delicious homemade strawberries in the "off-season", do not waste your time in vain! In order to grow excellent strawberries at home, you will need:
- create an optimal microclimate on the balcony, veranda or on the windowsill (ventilation, heating, additional lighting),
- prepare containers for planting seedlings,
- mix a suitable soil mixture in the fall or buy ready-made,
- prepare seedlings from your own plot or purchase them in the store.
Video about growing strawberries on a windowsill
Planting strawberry seedlings
If you have a summer cottage or a plot where you grow strawberries, it will be more convenient to dig up well-developed healthy bushes in September and, having cut off all the leaves from them, immediately transplant them into flower pots. If you do not own the plot, and you don’t want to buy expensive strawberry seedlings, you can buy seeds - high-quality strawberry bushes will grow from them, only the first berries you will see much later. In the corresponding article on our website, you will find detailed technology for growing garden strawberries from seeds.
It is advisable to choose strawberries for home growing repairing - berries appear on it throughout the year and ripen quickly. There are different varieties of remontant garden strawberries: with pink, white or cream flowers, ampelous and bush, large-fruited and small-fruited, with yellow, cream or red berries. Strawberries at home can become a real decoration of the interior, especially if you grow several varieties of different colors and sizes at once. Try the high-yielding varieties Sakhalinskaya and Sakhalinskaya Seanets, Floriana pink or World Debut, F1 Lizonka with fragrant berries and dark pink flowers, and the large-fruited Home Delicacy.
Strawberries at home can become a real interior decoration, especially if you grow several varieties of different colors and sizes at once.
So, take containers or flower pots that are large enough for strawberry seedlings and put a good drainage layer of small pebbles or expanded clay on their bottom, since although strawberries need regular watering, they cannot withstand waterlogging and stagnant water in a pot. Pour turf soil with the addition of wood ash and humus on the drainage layer and move the strawberry bush to the pot.
How to care for strawberries on a windowsill
It is advisable to place pots with garden strawberries on the windowsills of well-lit windows, this will help you save on additional plant lighting. The option with window sills is preferable, because in winter, strawberries on the balcony can only grow if the balcony is insulated. These delicate plants must be carefully protected from frost!
Video about strawberries on the windowsill
The following tricks will help you achieve a good harvest:
- In order for the planted strawberry seedlings to take root faster, remove the first flower stalks that appear on it. When enough fresh leaves grow on the bushes, new peduncles can be left.
- For the rapid appearance of new ovaries, treat the plants with special stimulating preparations.
- From time to time, add liquid extracts from vermicompost and organic fertilizers to pots with strawberries. Just do not overdo it, otherwise the bushes will grow a lot of lush leaves, and few berries will appear.
- Strawberries need iron for normal development, but you do not need to apply fertilizers containing iron - it is better to bury or stick rusty nails into the soil of the pots. Oxidizing, they will transfer iron ions to the ground.
- You can pollinate plants with a cotton swab or paint brush, touching each flower daily with them.
You can pollinate plants with a cotton swab or paint brush.
And of course, do not forget to regularly spray and water the strawberry bushes as soon as you notice that the topsoil in the pots is drying out.
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Today there is a huge selection of different varieties of strawberries, but not all of them are suitable for cultivation at home. For breeding on the balcony, it is best to try remontant varieties. The remontant strawberry grows beautifully and looks attractive on the balcony and windowsill, a photo of the samples of which you can see in the gallery of this article.
Blooming bush on the balcony
Such a culture bears fruit all year round. In addition, the variety of colors and shapes of flowers, sizes and colors of berries are impressive. Correctly selected bushes will sooner or later become the subject of admiration for your guests. The following varieties are traditionally considered the most suitable for balcony cultivation:
- Sarian. Fairly considered the best for home breeding. Rarely susceptible to disease, frost-resistant and not afraid of heat. That is why it is suitable for both glazed and open balconies. It bears fruit with large and pleasant enough to taste berries. True, the amount of harvest will not impress you - just a couple of kilograms per plant.
- Homemade delicacy. The name speaks for itself. Its main advantage is its relatively small root system and ease of cross-pollination. For such a plant, it will not be difficult to choose a container, it feels great in the smallest pots. The bush is small-fruited, however, the harvest can be plentiful from it.
- Supprim. Self-pollinated and high-yielding species. One of its main advantages is the ability to bear fruit throughout the year, even in autumn and winter. The berries are medium in size and very sweet. Requires maintaining a stable temperature throughout the cold season. Because of this, this variety can only be grown on glazed and well-insulated balconies.
- Kama. Perfect for a loggia. The harvest is abundant, several times a year. Brightly colored large berries attract attention and are great for conservation. The fruits are stored for a long time and do not lose their appearance during transportation.
- Queen Elizabeth. Record holder for productivity. The fruits are large with a pleasant sweet and sour taste. Such a bush requires truly royal care - the capacity for the plant should be at least forty-five liters, and it will have to be fertilized a lot and varied. For owners of small balconies, it is better to abandon the cultivation of such strawberries. But on a medium-sized loggia, you can successfully arrange huge boxes with bushes of this variety and small hanging pots with other, small-fruited crops.
I must say that growing strawberries on a balcony from seeds (after all, this is how remontant berries are grown) will give you a lot of positive emotions. Seeds for planting today can be bought at any specialty store or ordered on the Internet.
Seeds for growing berries at home
Growing strawberries at home
Juicy, ripe strawberries all year round, and not on the shelves of the supermarket, but on the windowsill - you just have to reach out and enjoy the rich taste and aroma ... This picture looks like a child's fantasy, which is not always taken seriously, but it is actually very close to reality. The experience of growing strawberries at home has long been gained by lovers of this berry. It can grow in an apartment on a windowsill, on a glazed balcony or loggia, and at the same time bring crops all year round. If you like to experiment and want to make children's fantasies come true, plant strawberries at home and “kill several birds with one stone”.
You will, firstly, have a beautiful flowering houseplant, and secondly, you will always have fresh and healthy berries at hand and, thirdly, strawberries grown by your own hands in a pot, which can become a wonderful and unexpected gift for your dearest person.
Choose a suitable place for strawberries: a balcony, a loggia or windows that are illuminated by the sun longer than others - east, south-east, south or south-west. It will not be superfluous to organize artificial supplementary lighting of strawberries with fluorescent lamps (40 watts), since for this crop at any time of the year the optimal daylight hours should be 12-14 hours. Lack of lighting will negatively affect the growth activity and the appearance of the bushes, although they should not be "abused" either, because strawberries need mandatory periods of "night sleep" for normal fruiting.
When choosing a strawberry variety, please note that not everyone you like is suitable for growing at home. Preference should be given to remontant varieties, which, under favorable conditions, bloom and bear fruit all year round. Moreover, some of them (Maralla, Bordurella, Rimona, etc.) may not form a mustache and reproduce only by dividing the bush. Others (Cardinal, Granframbosa, Ostara, Geneva, etc.) form a set of whiskers with forming rosettes, which bear fruit simultaneously with the mother bush and can also be used for reproduction. Ampel varieties of remontant strawberries (Kletter Star-2000, Frapendula, etc.), continuously flowering and bearing fruit in the spring-autumn period, look unsurpassed in hanging pots and in containers.
Separately, it should be said about the varieties of "neutral day" (Selva, Brighton, Tribute, etc.), which have gained popularity relatively recently. Large-fruited (berry weight reaches 50 grams) neutral day strawberry is resistant to diseases, capable of flower-bearing and fruiting at temperatures from 2 to 30 ° C, regardless of the length of daylight hours. Moreover, its peduncles begin to form within a few days after planting, therefore, within 1 - 1.5 months they are removed so that the bushes take root well. It should be noted that without regular feeding and sufficient watering for strawberries of a "neutral day", the yield and size of berries may decrease, and the aging of the bushes in such varieties occurs at 2 - 3 years of age, which is why it is recommended to replace them every 2 years ...
As containers for planting homemade strawberries, pots with a diameter of at least 30 cm are suitable, as well as boxes and containers 60 cm long, 30 cm wide and 15 cm deep. The containers must have drainage holes in the bottom and bottom of the side walls (if it is a box or container). You can build a rack on which you can place pots and boxes in steps, which will make it possible to significantly increase the number of plants grown in a small area. A drainage layer (charcoal, fine gravel) is placed on the bottom of the containers and filled with a mixture of 2 parts of humus, 4 parts of sod soil and 1 part of sand, which is disinfected with a hot solution of potassium permanganate before planting. Seedlings are planted in containers at a distance of 20 - 25 cm so as to provide the roots of each bush with a feeding area of at least 30 square meters. cm.
Strawberry planting material can be purchased in the store, taken from the garden, or grown by yourself. It is optimal to plant remontant and ampel varieties in April or August, planting 3 - 4 different varieties at once. If your friends have strawberries already growing at home, it is better to agree on the purchase of healthy seedlings with them. This option is good because you yourself can see the conditions for growing the planting material, taste the berries and plant earlier (in March), which will have a positive effect on the harvest.
From the garden plot for winter forcing home strawberries, you can take young strong rosettes with 5 - 6 leaves, formed from 2-year-old plants. Harvesting from plants planted in a container in August will largely depend on the cooling period (minimum - a month in the basement) at a temperature of 4 - 5 ° C and further temperature conditions during the growing season (10 - 12 ° C) and flowering period (15 - 17 ° C).
You can also grow strawberries at home from the seeds of the berry you like, but keep in mind that the taste of the berries in the plants obtained in this way can be very different from the expected ones. Ripe berries, pre-dried (dried) for two weeks, wipe through a sieve, place the pulp with seeds in a glass and fill with water, then drain the water with the pulp, and select the largest from the seeds and dry. Fill pots for germination with turf soil or any fertile soil with the addition of ash, moisten it and scatter seeds mixed with clean calcined sand over the surface. Cover the bowls with foil and put them in a dark place for at least 2 weeks, periodically water the soil gently. When seedlings appear, rearrange the containers on the windowsill, replace the film with glass, which you raise from time to time, gradually accustoming the seedlings to room temperature. Pick into a larger box when the seedlings have 2 - 3 leaves, and transplant already strong plants with 5 - 6 leaves into permanent pots or containers. Please note that the picking procedure can be skipped altogether if you initially sow the seeds sparsely immediately into the boxes (drainage and fertile soil are required).
Home-grown strawberry bushes need to be slightly shaded from the hot sun, watered 1 - 2 times a week in the morning or in the evening with settled water at room temperature, 2 times a month combining watering with fertilizing with liquid fertilizers ("Rainbow", "Palma", "Kemira Lux "). It is recommended to remove the first formed peduncles so that the bush gains strength for fruiting. During the period of flowering and ripening of berries in the room, the temperature should not be allowed to drop below 18 ° C. With the beginning of flowering, once a week with a paint brush, you need to carefully carry out artificial pollination. The formation of mustaches in domestic strawberries must also be controlled: no more than 5 mustaches can be left on one bush, which are in a well-lit area. The rosettes forming on them need to be rooted so that during fruiting they do not weaken the mother bush, and in already well-rooted plants, cut off the stolons and the first peduncles. For reproduction, it is enough to leave no more than 2 whiskers, and the whiskers "going into the shade" should be removed altogether.
Do not forget that strawberries can be exposed to diseases at home, in connection with which it is necessary to periodically air the plantings and prevent waterlogging of the soil.Happy harvest of homemade strawberries!
What can be grown in an apartment
It is best to grow crops with a compact root system on the balcony. They do not require a lot of soil. When buying seeds, pay attention to growing conditions. Now there are a lot of modern varieties on sale that will delight you with a harvest and easy care.
What to plant
Vegetables: tomatoes, sweet peppers, bitter peppers, cucumbers, radishes, green onions, carrots (there are such varieties), beans, peas.
Greens: dill and parsley, cilantro, lettuce, celery, chard, arugula, salad mustard, chives, watercress, spinach, basil, oregano.
Berries: strawberries, strawberries - the most common berries that are beginning to grow, almost everything. Their bushes are not large and are ideal for growing in vertical beds. Please note that by choosing varieties according to the ripening period, you will be able to get a harvest of fragrant and healthy berries without interruption! Currants (undersized, compact varieties).
Spices: mint, thyme, rosemary, lemon balm, savory, sage, ginger.
Mushrooms: oyster mushroom, honey mushrooms.
As a big salad lover, I could not, of course, ignore it. This culture is a little more demanding than green onions and watercress, but for the juicy greens it is worth the effort. What do you need to consider?
- Firstly, lettuce at home needs additional lighting - this is a light-loving culture. Lack of lighting will lead to early peduncle formation. The problem is partially solved by the choice of varieties. For me, 'Lollo Rossa' and 'Lollo Bionda' (my favorites) also recommend the varieties 'New Year', 'Vitamin', 'Emerald Lace' for home gardens.
- Secondly, lettuce reacts painfully to drought and heat: the leaves become coarse and bitter, flower stalks form quickly.
- Thirdly, lettuce shoots need to be thinned. It is recommended to do this twice: a week after the emergence of seedlings at a distance of 1-2 cm between seedlings, and in the phase of 2-3 true leaves - at a distance of 4-5 cm.If you thicken the crops, the plants will stretch out, weaken, and you are most likely to harvest , you will not see.
Young lettuce plants. Photo by the author
From growing head lettuce at home, it is better to refuse until there is enough experience: they are more demanding and need more careful care than their leafy cousins, and their growing season, as a rule, is longer. To be honest, I did not even try to grow lettuce at home to the standard sizes that it reaches in the garden - tender young leaves were enough for me. But, if space permits, and there are conditions suitable for a salad, it is quite possible to get large outlets.
Planting mint seeds in pots
Mint on the windowsill in the apartment is real, mint seeds take root quickly enough. The main disadvantage is that the seeds are small in size, which makes them inconvenient to use.
Varietal seeds can be purchased at the store; when buying, you need to pay attention to their shelf life. Seed material can be collected independently from an adult plant after flowering. The seeds of cultivated mint have a higher germination rate in comparison with wild-growing ones.
Note! The plant can be grown by cuttings using cut stems. Before planting, they must stand in the water and put down the roots. Fresh mint from a store or supermarket is also used as a cutting.
What is needed for landing
The best time for sowing is March or the first half of April, during which daylight hours increase. At the beginning of summer it will be possible to harvest the first crop. Before you grow mint at home on the windowsill, you need to prepare everything. What you need:
- The right kind of mint seeds. Not all have a high germination rate, therefore, when sowing, their number must be increased.
- Paper or cloth to soak the seeds
- A wide container or flowerpot for germination, with a diameter of at least 20 cm.The roots of mint grow in width, so you need to choose wide containers, at the bottom there should be holes to drain the liquid
- Cling film or glass. Transparent plastic will do
- Drainage: small pebbles or expanded clay
- Priming. Any fertile and loose substrate is used for planting. You can choose peaty soil with coarse sand or any commercial substrate for herbaceous plants.
Note! TV presenter Oktyabrina Ganichkina is engaged in planting greenery on the windowsill and recommends using only the acquired land. If garden soil is used, it must be decontaminated before planting. For disinfection, you can use a solution of potassium permanganate or treat the earth with hot steam.
Optimal window for growing seedlings
Despite the unpretentious nature of the plant, it is necessary to choose the right place for growing seedlings. It is enough to follow simple rules:
- Seedlings should receive enough heat and sunlight, a container with crops can be placed on a windowsill near the southeast or southwest window
- Allowed to be placed near the south window in the morning and in the evening, also if the plant is in the shade of other flowers, or cloudy outside
- Mint does not tolerate direct sunlight; leaves can dry out from them. At lunchtime, seedlings should not stand on the windowsill on the south side without shading, for this time they need to be removed in the middle of the room
- It is undesirable to put the pot near the north window. In the shade, the stems of the plant will be thin, the leaves are small and with a weak aroma.
Note! In order to grow mint all year round, you need to provide enough light. From late autumn to early spring, mint requires 11-12 hours of lighting, otherwise the stems will begin to thin and grow in height. Phytolamps can make up for the lack of sunlight.
Step-by-step planting process
The seeds can be sown directly into the soil with which the pot is filled. After germination, the mint will not be transplanted to a new place, you must immediately choose a suitable container. How to plant correctly:
- First, the seeds are poured onto a damp cloth, covered with a piece of cling film on top, left for 2-3 days
- In advance, it is necessary to prepare flowerpots or containers for sowing, a drainage layer 2-3 cm high is poured onto the bottom.The containers must be filled with earth and moistened with warm water
- The seeds should be spread out on top of the ground and compacted a little with your hands. You cannot bury them, at great depths they may not germinate
- Moisten the soil again with warm water from a spray bottle
- The pot must be tightened with foil or covered with glass. Every day the soil is ventilated for 10-15 minutes. When the first shoots appear, the cover is removed and the mint continues to be taken care of.
Note! Instead of covering the pot with cling film, you can use a plastic container with a transparent lid. Seeds are planted in it and closed tightly.
For large seedlings, the seeds can be pre-germinated before planting in the pot. To do this, they are sown in a temporary container in the same way, but without preliminary soaking. From above, the container is tightened with a film or covered with glass, every day it is ventilated for 15 minutes.
The first shoots appear as early as 2-3 weeks, they are dug up and transplanted into separate pots. When the seedlings grow up to 4-8 cm in height, they must be tied to pegs so that they do not fall over.
Repairing strawberries at home
At home, absolutely any varieties of strawberries can take root, but the best yields are obtained, of course, from remontant varieties. The first berries can be enjoyed in a couple of months, after planting the seedlings.
For growing remontant varieties, containers with a volume of at least 3 liters are suitable. Seedlings are planted in long balcony boxes at a distance of at least 30 cm from each other.
The soil is prepared from semi-decomposed peat and mineral fertilizers.
Good drainage is poured at the bottom of the containers.
Seedlings are immediately planted in a permanent place and placed on the sunny side.
Remember that old plants do not tolerate transplanting very well, so choose only young ones.
Reproduction varieties are propagated most often with a mustache, but there is also a mustache strawberry, which is propagated by dividing the bushes.
Watering remontant strawberries moderately, once a month fed with organic fertilizers, once every six months - with microelements.
In order for strawberries to bear fruit constantly, in autumn and winter they need to be illuminated with fluorescent lamps.