Planting Seeds Indoors: Strawberries

As usual, the gardeners at Martin's Garden Center were eager to help me find my strawberries, among other seeds I was looking for.  Turns out strawberry seeds are not sold in seeds at all...they are packaged by little plants.  I have never grown strawberries.  Not even in pretty pots on the deck. Nothing.  
Last week I was reading about the health benefits this beautiful little hearty fruit packs, so decided to make it a mainstay for my smoothie recipes.   I decided it also definitely needs to be on our garden grow list.  +jason oleham agreed.  That's pretty much all it takes around here to get a new project idea flipping.  The "let's do it" part is always easy.  The "how are we going to do it", not so much.  We are undecided at this point exactly how we want to grow our strawberries.  As a patch, in pots, or some other sort of growing arena.  
I'm thinking although we have no plan for the final grow spot of this most beneficial fruit, I can still get them started indoors.  So that is what I have attempted to do.  If you have any ideas of what works best, or how to organically grow beautifully healthy and tasty strawberries, please let us know.  At this point we are still going on what seems right.  And what seems right in the world of organic gardening may not always be right.  YIKES! HERE GOES! 
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DAY 1 - Separating Plants and Potting Separately 

First things first: Flip a good mix of ½ peat moss, and the other half compost with a bit of worm castings.  I went quite easy on my worm casting in my mix because I surely do not want any risk of burning my new strawberry roots.  I love my compost, but it is quite rich, so I feel the need for only small ratios of compost/worm castings.
 
Each bag's plants were very dry and quite gnarly.  Some of them were already sending off little shooters.  That made me smile as there is nothing sweeter than soft new foliage proving life still exist in something that appears to be old and dead.   There's really not much more to report other than I labeled the pots because I bought two varieties of strawberries, filled halfway with soil mixture, plopped in one strawberry plant per cup, and finished filling the cup with more soil over the roots.  I didn't have enough cups for all 20 strawberry plants, but that is okay.  I think it will be interesting to plant a few of them directly in the soil outside too just to compare growth from different techniques during the season. 
The Quinault and the Sequoia were the varieties I chose.  Knowing nothing really about each of them other than they are "everbearing", in which I learned from the Martin's Gardener Guy that just means that they fruit continuously all season instead of all at one time, which would be good for jelly and jam makers.   Turns out, the Quinault variety was a lucky choice for us as I've since learned it is a very popular grower, and is quite easy to grow.  YAY US!  
Btw: Thank you MyFolia.com for your detailed instructions and GTK's (good to know) about Quinault Everbearing Strawberries! 
OH! Another thing to mention: it is my understanding that neither of these strawberry varieties are Organic or Heirloom.  I probably should have taken more time to find organic plants.  Yes, I feel guilty.  I promise to switch to organic varieties year after next, once these are finished their biennual fruits.  
DAY 2 - Mist with Water and Set in Window Light
  • They are getting a bit of artificial light spilling from the florescent bulb over the tomatoes, but mostly morning and afternoon light from a somewhat south facing window.  
  • I misted quite heavily with water but did not saturate soil.  I used this technique simply because the Marten's gardener told me most folks main mistake with starting strawberries is over saturation of the roots.  


So, like Planting Seeds Indoors: Tomatoes and Basil, this post will be updated as things progress along.  So, when you see it posted again in a few days it will be because new info has been added. 

Again, any info you may have that would help us to know how to raise strawberries would be greatly appreciated!  

Blessings to All! and FLIP DIRT YALL! 

~Pj

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