Strawberries are the favorite fruit of many people, and are one of the easiest fruits for the home gardener to produce. To grow strawberry plants from seed, you’ll need to start with an heirloom or natural variety in order for it to remain true to the characteristics of the parent plant. Here’s how to preserve strawberry seeds in order to enjoy those berries for many years to come.
Begin with non-hybrid plants. You can grow these from seed or purchase the plants.
Use mature fruit. Leave the fruit on the plant until it has fully matured, and then harvest the strawberries. These berries will be mushy and past their prime for eating or preserving.
Extract the seeds. There are two methods that can be used for this. One is to allow the fruit to dry and then, holding it over a clean container, rub it between your finger and thumb to allow the seeds to fall off. The other method is to press the pulp of the mature fruit gently through a sieve, leaving the seeds in the sieve, and wash the seeds under running water while they are still in the sieve.
Dry the seeds. The seeds must be allowed to dry thoroughly before being stored. You’ll know they are dry when they no longer cling to each other and can be moved easily in the container.
Store the seeds. Keep the seeds in labeled envelopes in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to plant them.
Sow the seeds. To start your seeds growing, fill small pots with a commercial seed soil mix. Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil, and then cover with a fine layer of the soil mix. Mist with a spray bottle and keep the seeds moist. Transplant the seedlings to the garden area when they are ready.
Repeat the process. Since strawberry plants will remain vigorous for only about 2 years, you’ll need to repeat this process regularly to maintain your supply of seeds.