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I sowed strawberry seeds and they germinated just now after the passage of a long heavy rainstorm. I am living in Al Khubar, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia which is a desert region. It is currently the peak of winter season here with temperatures going as low as 9 degrees Celcius and the highs reaching no more than 25 degrees Celcius. We have forecast of a few more rain showers in the following weeks and the weather will start to warm up quite swiftly from the start of April. I have no idea how to raise strawberries and would like to know what steps should I take to help them survive the approaching hot climate. Thank you everyone.

Note: It is actually well past the sowing season here; the strawberries have come out late. I want to try my best to protect them and make them fruit.

  • Strawberries are descended from plants growing in temperate woodlands. They do not want too much light or too much water. I have no experience of desert gardening, hence a comment and not an answer. Preventing them from drying out and from sun-scorch is going to be very important. Reducing water loss will be very important - a thick organic mulch would be good. If rain is going to be irregular you will need to irrigate - lay drip pipe under mulch. Shade netting will protect them from scorch, keep temperatures lower and reduce water loss. – George of all trades Feb 25 '17 at 23:16
  • To give you reference: strawberries are grown commercially outdoors here in the UK. The winter temperatures you describe are typical of our summers! – George of all trades Feb 25 '17 at 23:18
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My suggestion would be to examine the efforts of a similarly hot country such as Israel. There have been some efforts to grow strawberries in the hot season there. The Israelis have a long tradition in horticulture and may have a lot of research available to you which would give you a good idea whether your project is feasible.

Here in Canada where temperatures can reach to 35 degrees C, we ensure that the strawberries have deep and healthy root systems going into the Spring, and that most fruiting is done before the really hot dry weather comes. At least you won't have a problem with deer browsing all your plants to little stubs in the ground.

I think I would also examine closely the natural flora of shady places such as groups of palm trees, and be prepared to give your strawberries a lot of shade and ventilation.

  • They may have camels nibbling them to tiny stubs in the ground. – black thumb Feb 26 '17 at 15:07
  • No, I think that would not be a problem. I live in an apartment and am growing them in a walled backyard. Thanks everyone for the animal warnings though. – Taimur Feb 27 '17 at 12:32

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