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Growing a Valentine strawberry

Valentine Grow Kit

Although Valentine’s Day has come and gone, it seems appropriate to tell you about a littleDirt disc indoor plant experiment I have going on right now. At Christmas, my former roommate Susan, who has managed to locate the world’s greatest gardening gifts ever since I started this blog, sent me a terrific gift that I will unveil to you patient blog readers when the season for actual gardening comes around.

But in the meantime, there was a smaller, more immediate part of the Christmas gift: A small “Valentine” kit, with a teeny-tiny pot, little strawberry seeds and the growing medium to plant them in.

I haven’t had much luck with strawberry The enlarged pelletplants outdoors, but thought it would be cool to try the kit indoors just to see what will happen. Susan and I coordinated by email: we would both plant our kits on January 21, mine here in Iowa on my chilly windowsill, and hers at her new house.

The growing medium arrives as a flat disc that requires a little water to expand out to a thick cylinder. It’s sort of like sea monkey dirt: you add water and the fun Valentine potbegins.

I planted the seeds and put my pot up on the kitchen sill, and but for a couple of days, have managed to remember to open the shade so the thing has some sunlight. It’s watery, often-snowy sunlight, but it still has to be healthier than the gloom in my kitchen without the shift in shades.

So far, nothing has broken the surface of the dirt, and I’m trying to take a lesson from the aloe and not water it every single day. We’ll see how it goes—even if I don’t end up with a ripe strawberry, it would be nice to see something green rise up from the dirt.

13 Comments on “Growing a Valentine strawberry”

  1. #1 Jenny
    on Feb 15th, 2008 at 9:09 am

    I saw little bulb-growing kits like that at Christmastime and though they were fun, but strawberries would be even better!

    If nothing happens soon, you might want to consider putting some plastic wrap over the top of the pot to keep it a little warmer until it sprouts (and keep the water in). I did that last year and got pretty good results, and I’ve got some scallion seeds in a pot on my windowsill now, uncovered, and they’re not budging.

  2. #2 kate smudges
    on Feb 15th, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Isn’t it hard waiting for seeds to sprout? Jenny’s tip is a good one … I’ll be checking back to see if there’s been any action on the growing front. Don’t over-water!!

  3. #3 Jen(aside)
    on Feb 15th, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Interesting! I’m having a hard time getting anything but my tomatoes to sprout right now. I don’t know if my seeds are bad, or if the temperature/water/sunlight combination isn’t just right yet.

  4. #4 nezza
    on Feb 15th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    What a fantastic idea! *wafting growing vibes*
    I had an amaryllis bulb for Christmas which shot up and is out now – possibly starting to go over.
    (Have been lurking at your blog for a little while now.)

  5. #5 Susan
    on Feb 16th, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Here in Virginia, my little strawberry plant has not sprouted yet either – even though it sits in a very sunny, warm window. I covered the little pot with some plastic wrap this morning and will wait to see what happens. Fingers crossed.

  6. #6 cole
    on Feb 16th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    My mom always put her pots to sprout in a gallon zip lock back with a few holes poked in the top.

    Hmmm, yum strawberries. xx

  7. #7 Kristi
    on Feb 19th, 2008 at 1:05 am

    That is a cute idea. I agree that putting either saran wrap or a large plastic bag over the plant will add humidity and encourage growth.

  8. #8 inadvertentgardener
    on Feb 19th, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Jenny, that’s a great tip — thanks for sharing it!

    Kate, yes…I now totally fear over-watering!

    Jen(aside), there are so many variables…it’s often hard to pinpoint just what the problem is.

    Nezza, I’m so glad you de-lurked! Thanks for the growing vibes.

    Susan, I just added plastic wrap to mine, too…we’ll have to compare notes!

    Cole, yes…some strawberries would be quite tasty…

    Kristi, we’ll see if it works!

  9. #9 Susan
    on Mar 4th, 2008 at 10:54 am

    *sigh*

    I don’t think the Valentine’s Day strawberry is going to make it. The plastic wrap was too late (if only I had thought of that at the start). Meanwhile, the window sill tomato, basil and oregano are doing great (especially the tomato and basil – the oregano seems more fragile, but given that my oregano from last year seems to have made it through our easy winter I’m not too worried). Looks like I’m not going to have any of my own strawberries this year. The birds would probably eat them anyway!

  10. #10 inadvertentgardener
    on Mar 14th, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Susan, you’re right — they probably would eat them. But still…it’s so disappointing! :-) Glad the other plants are working out, though.

  11. #11 Very slightly delayed gratification « The Inadvertent Gardener
    on Jun 3rd, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    [...] work yesterday, I started getting increasingly urgent messages from my friend and former roommate, Susan. She needed my number. She needed to call me. She thought she had my number, but somehow she did [...]

  12. #12 Geoffrey
    on Mar 14th, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Where did you get the seeds? I had accidentally lost the ones my girlfriend gave me and was looking to replace them. =X I still have the pot and soil however.

  13. #13 inadvertentgardener
    on Mar 23rd, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Geoffrey, that’s a great question. I would just look online for strawberry seeds — or go to a garden center.

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