Learn how to seed and save strawberry spinach seeds to add diversity to your garden. A relatively unknown plant to most hobby gardeners, but a great addition, and one you should consider. Read on (or watch the video below) to find out if it is right for your garden, how to save seeds from a wild plant (like I did) and how to plant it next season.
Strawberry spinach grows in the wild here in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is common in the wild across North America, parts of Europe, and New Zealand. The strawberry spinach plant (Chenopodium capitatum syn. Blitum capitatum), also known as strawberry blite. It is a relative to spinach and not strawberries.
Annual Growing Habit
It is an annual that self seeds itself. I plan to give it a forever home in the perennial space in my garden, even though it’s not a perennial. Strawberry spinach will come back each season wherever you put it. I would prefer not to have it become a “weed” in my vegetable garden but appreciate its natural habit and place it where it is best suited.
You can eat both the leaves and the berries on a strawberry spinach plant. The leaves make a great substitute for any other greens you grow in the garden, particularly spinach, as its name says. Spinach does not tolerate the heat of the summer so this can be a fun alternative.
Step 1: Drying Out The Berries
I left this air drying for around a month or so. You may not need this long. It does stay quite sticky for a long time making it hard to remove the seeds. Also I had not had time to get around to harvesting the seeds, so left it a bit longer. Which is the nice thing about drying plants, they can wait for you.
Step 2: Testing The Dryness
If it is still staining a cloth or paper towel it needs a longer drying period.
Step 3: Remove Berries From The Stem
Pull all the berries off of the stem itself to remove the first part of leaves and stems you don’t want.
Step 4: (optional) Rub Between Fingers
Rub it through your fingers a little bit and you can get the seeds to come off fairly easily. This is not the most efficient use of time though, and I would only recommend it if you do have a tiny amount to do.
Step 5: (preferred) Raspy Tool
Using something like the tiny grater (shown in video) to rub across the top of the berries while on a paper towel or plate. It speeds things up considerably. I like the paper towel on the bottom because it gives a good surface to rub the berries against removing seeds even easier.
Step 6: (optional) Run Through A Wire Strainer
The last of the berries can be rubbed through a fine metal strainer. I like to do this in addition to step 5 as it helps me get the last bits of seeds while also removing the berry. I don’t use this as my first method because the berries get squished making it harder to remove seeds at the start.
Step 7: Storage Of Your Seeds
Always be sure to store your seeds in a location that is cool, dark and free of moisture. Be sure to label the plant variety and the year harvested.
Other Plants That Benefit From This Method
Canadian / northern berries like raspberry, strawberry, blackberry or any others that have the tiny little seeds on the outside of the berry will benefit from this seed saving method I am using on the strawberry spinach.
How To Plant Next Season
The strawberry spinach plant is an annual and can be sown directly from seed for harvest the same year. Plant your seeds 1-2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm.) apart in rows 16-18 inches (40.5 to 45.5 cm.) apart. Plant it in moist soil in full sun and water regularly. Otherwise it is fairly low maintenance. You will want to allow it to go to seed aka “bolt” as that is what will produce the berries.
Would you like to learn how to grow food indoors over the winter?
This is something that I absolutely love to do, given that we have pretty long Canadian winters.
If you’re a houseplant fanatic, like me, why not turn that plant habit into one that can also produce food for you that is organic, free from pesticides, herbicides and is picked at peak ripeness.
- Learn about what a good indoor growth setup looks like, how to improve upon yours, how to reuse things you already have to build an indoor grow setup.
- Find out which plants are best suited to indoor growing.
- How grow lights would work, if you really need them, which plants really need grow lights and which ones don’t.
- What happens if bugs show up on your indoor growing setup?
- How to fertilize the seedlings.
- Ideal pot sizes and space that’s needed for what you’re growing.
- Troubleshooting when things are going as planned!
I am currently developing an online on-demand course to teach you how to grow food over the winter time and also how to seed starting all your starter plants in the spring for outdoor growing.