Pollinating indoor strawberries

If you’ve been growing strawberries under cover, don’t forget you can help with their pollination

It’s April and the strawberries in my polytunnel are starting to flower, which is great! However, although strawberries are self-fertile (which means they are self-pollinating) they may need a little help if you’re growing them under cover.

Outside strawberry flowers will have the wind and insects to help move the pollen from the ‘male’ stamens to the ‘female’ stigma but if you’re  growing them in a greenhouse, polytunnel or cold frame, these factors are minimised.

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So what can you do to help with the pollination of your strawberries?

  • The simplest thing to do is to leave the doors open so that insects can find their way in.
  • You can also pollinate by hand by stroking the stamens with an artist’s paint brush. This will ensure that the pollen with make contact with he stigma in the centre of the flower.
  • If it’s not too cold in spring and your strawberries are in pots, you can move them outside in the day – but watch out for frosts as these will kill your strawberry flowers and you will not have any berries!

By making sure your strawberry flowers are fully pollinated you can expect a better crop.

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Tony Flanagan
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