SEREMBAN, Feb 28 — Sharina Mad Shah started planting the Fragaria x ananassa strawberries in March last year when the government first implemented the Movement Control Order (MCO) to curb the spread of COVID-19.
And now, she is able to earn between RM3,000 and RM5,000 a month from the sale of her strawberry seedlings.
She started by planting seven of the strawberry plants in the front yard of her house in Taman Pinggiran Golf here and the project turns out well.
The 47-year-old Negeri Sembilan-born said she was initially skeptical that the plants would grow as she does not have green fingers, and strawberry is usually grown in highland areas with cold weather.
However, it turned out well for Sharina, who learned more about planting a vegetable garden from the internet, as well as getting tips and advice from friends.
Now, the digital marketing trainer is able to sell over 500 strawberry seedlings, hence providing her with a new source of income to supplement her income as a digital marketing trainer which has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sharina, who also bakes, said what prompted her to plant her own strawberry was the problems getting the fruit at reasonable price.
“Seven years ago, my friend presented me with a strawberry plant, but since I was busy working and had limited knowledge on how to plant it, the plant died.
“I decided to plant my own strawberry because of problems getting fresh ones in the market and also because the price is expensive,” she said, adding that she could harvest between 50 and 100 fruits a week from her strawberry garden.
The mother of five said she used the traditional method of planting by sowing the seedlings first and then transferring the saplings into pots containing 70 per cent coconut fibre a week later.
She said the plant needs extra care compared to other plants, as it needs adequate water and sunlight to to reduce damage to the leaves.
Sharina, who also planted other types of strawberries, such as the Japanese Sweet, Nanyang and Korean Sweet, said she shared her experience and tips on strawberry planting on her Facebook.
She is hoping to plant strawberry using the hydroponic methods for better results.