Strawberries are self-fertile. Strawberry plants will pollinate themselves, but they usually need the assistance of wind or pollinators, such as bees, to do the work of transferring the pollen from the stamens, the male parts of the flowers, to the stigma, the female part of the flower. Once you can identify the stamen you'll be on your way to learning how to pollinate your strawberry plants.
This year has seen a dramatic decrease in honeybees visiting my ornamental garden, which is causing me to worry about the vegetables and herbs I'm growing that rely on pollinators like bees on the balcony garden. My strawberry plants began to bloom in the container garden and the lack of bees has meant that I've had a lot of strawberry blooms to go waste. They've opened and withered without setting fruit, until I stepped in and act as the pollinator.
Strawberry flowers are about in inch in diameter with five white petals and a yellow center that contains the reproductive parts of the flower. The stamens are the male parts of the flower. They're comprised of a filament and an anther. The filament is the stem that holds up the pollen sack known as the anther.
To pollinate the strawberry flower we just need to transfer the pollen from the stamens to the center. You can dab a small paint brush on the pollen and transfer it that way. Since my strawberry plants are being grown close together in containers I can usually just rub two of the flowers together in the morning to transfer the pollen.
By the next morning the white petals have begun to fade and fall off and the sepals start to curl inward.
This is a sign that the flower has been pollinated and the aggregate fruit is beginning to form.
Here you can observe two of the strawberry fruits forming, the smaller one is at about three days and the larger one at about seven days after being pollinated. Not long now until I'm eating my own delicious homegrown strawberries. If you've never grown strawberries before I highly recommend you plant some of them in your garden.
Being an urban farmer is hard work, you even end up doing the work of bees.