8 messages
21/06/2013 at 11:02

Hello there. I planted several strawberry seeds about 2 or 3 months back ('Sarian' F1 Hybrid). About half sprouted, and then about half of those have survived up to now. So I have 6 tiny, very delicate seedlings. The biggest one is probably about an inch high.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/25923.jpg?width=441&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/25924.jpg?width=658&height=350&mode=max

 

Am I right in thinking that they need to be at least a couple fo inches high before I can transplant them into their hanging baskets?

If so, how can I make sure that they live long enough to grow that big? They look so feable and delicate that I'm not sure they will survive that long! So, what's the best way to look after these tiny plants?

Thanks for your help.

21/06/2013 at 11:34

From here they look rather wet, don't drown them, they need to be faintly moist so that they will grow stronger roots.  These are unlikely to fruit this year, you may need to keep them comfortable over winter to grow on and plant in your baskets next year. They also need a great deal of light, and no wind - are they in a greenhouse?    Quite honesty with many plants like strawberries it is as good to let the experts grow them in heated greenhouses over winter and buy them in as plugs in spring - let them use thier heating etc., they are not expensive to buy.

Anyway, keep them inside, don't overplant them into a basket until they are really good sized plants, things don't like being overplanted into too big a space.  They are indeed far too tiny to brave the great big world yet!

21/06/2013 at 15:10

Thanks for the reply, Bookertoo. Okay, so I'll keep them indoors for quite a while yet. (No, I don't have a greenhouse - they're living in my kitchen). Regarding your observation that they look quite wet, should I be waiting for the soil to dry out each time? And what's the best way to keep them "faintly moist"? Should I be misting them or something? Thanks again.

21/06/2013 at 15:52

Really that's a judgement - use the tip of your finger to see if they are moist - such tiny roots won't enjoy feeling water logged, they need air as well.  If they are in your kitchen, then ensure they are on the brightest windowsill - but watch out for scorching if we get any sun - I know, it sounds complicated but it isn't really, just needs thinking about when the weather changes as ours does so much.  Let the top of the compost become dry at least, then indeed spray rather than soak while they are babies.  Coddle them, like any other baby - human, animal or plant.  Thank you for putting the coin in to show their real size, that is thoughtful, as it is often hard to judge in a photograph.  Do you have anything like vermiculite or perlite?  The compost could be topped up with that, it will keep the stem of the plant dry, as damping off - rot of the tiny stem - can be a difficulty with little seedlings. 

21/06/2013 at 18:06

Yes, I've got some vermiculite, so I'll just sprinkle a small layer on top? By the way, you're absolutely right when you suggested that I should have bought strawberry plants, instead of growing from seed - but not that I've started I may as well see how far I can go with them!

21/06/2013 at 19:04

Of coure you should keep going with the babies, I was more thinking of the future - why work when someone else will huh?

Yes, just sprinkle a layer of vermiculite around the top, helps to keep the stem dry.

21/06/2013 at 20:25

Thanks for all your help!

21/06/2013 at 23:02

Yes, I've got some vermiculite, so I'll just sprinkle a small layer on top? By the way, you're absolutely right when you suggested that I should have bought strawberry plants, instead of growing from seed - but not that I've started I may as well see how far I can go with them!

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