Growing your own is fun and inexpensive, and a great project to do with children. The Rainbow Strawberry plants are great on hanging baskets and containers. They are also great groundcover and will complement all your flowering plants! They will give spring blooms of rainbow colours, followed by big, juicy-sweet colourful berries in summer. And the large dark green leaves, neatly veined remain attractive from early spring until frost!
How To Grow Your Very Own Rainbow Strawberry Plants
Place the tablet of compressed compost into a cup and fill one-third with warm water. When the tablet is fully saturated it will swell up and then it’s ready to crumble up and put into the pot until about 2/3 full.
Sprinkle the tiny seeds very thinly over the surface of the soil and lightly tamp down some soil over the seeds. You can simply press your finger over the soil. Don’t push too hard because that can cause the soil to compact and the seeds will have to struggle to emerge.
Use a clear plastic bag to cover the top of the pot. This will keep the soil moist while the seeds germinate. The seeds should germinate in 21 to 28 days at F 65-75°F (18°-24°C)
Place the pot in a sunny location. The strawberries will benefit from a warm spot with plenty of light. Put your pot near a radiator or other heat source during the winter.
Keep the soil moist, but not soggy Check the soil daily to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Spray the seeds with a bottle set to use a fine spray if needed.
Remove the plastic bag from the pot a few days after the seeds have sprouted. The soil will dry out more quickly when it is uncovered, so check for dryness every day.
After 4-6 weeks, transplant tiny seedlings into larger pots until they are ready to be placed permanently outdoors. Light feedings with a well balanced fertilizer can begin at this time.
After the frosts have gone, plant your seedlings outside in a sunny position. If planted on the ground, as the fruits develop, place dry straw or mulching fabric underneath to prevent soil splash on the fruits, which causes blemishes to the fruit. Strawberry plants need to be left outside for the autumn and winter as they require a chill period to initiate flowering the following year.
After cropping, remove any straw and netting to allow better air flow around the crown of the plant. As the summer progresses, keep on top of weeding and continue to remove any runners. Clear away dead foliage as this can harbour pests and diseases over winter. Each spring spread a general purpose slow-release fertiliser around your plants along with a mulch of well-rotted manure or compost.
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