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Growing Alpine Strawberry Plants From Seed

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How To Grow Alpine Strawberries From Seed

How To Grow Alpine Strawberries From Seed

If you’ve been disappointed one too many times by the allure of bright-red shiny strawberries from the grocery store that fail to deliver when it comes to taste, growing your own alpine strawberry plants from home is on solution you may want to consider.

Alpine strawberries are tiny, aromatic, and flavorful.  Grown and sold in Europe as a cash crop to high-end restaurants and discriminating consumers, they are fragrant and delightful…. and no slouch when it comes to production either.

Unfortunately alpine strawberries don’t have much of a shelf life, so you’re not likely to find them in a grocery store any time soon.  However, that’s what makes backyard organic gardening such a delightful hobby.  You can taste fruits and berries that you may never have the chance to experience anywhere else!  Make sure you make some space for alpine strawberries in your edible landscape!

Alpine Strawberry Growing Requirements:

Keep Birds Away From Your Strawberries By Using White Alpine Strawberry Varieites

White Alpine Strawberries Are Less Visible And Attractive To Birds

Alpine strawberries have similar requirements to other strawberries.  They like a moist, slightly acidic soil, with full sun.  They don’t fruit well in shade, although you may get adequate leaf growth to use as a decorative ground cover.  And make sure they have good drainage – no wet feet!  They are hardy to about zone 4, and can make it through winter in colder areas with a straw mulch.

There are runnering June-bearing alpine strawberries, and non-runnering ever-bearing alpine strawberries.  Since alpines are best eaten fresh and aren’t best-appreciated when cooked, most backyard growers prefer the ever-bearing type, so they can enjoy a berry or two each time they venture outside to weed the garden, pick up the newspaper, or forage for something delicious to mix into their breakfast cereal.

 

Alpine Strawberry Growth Habits:

The Alpine strawberries make a good spreading ground cover, and can cover an area of 12-18″ around the base of the plant.

If your strawberries have runners, they will easily root and propagate to fill in the gaps and make a dense mat of plants that may have to be thinned from time to time.  These runners are easy to root in pots, or dig up and plant elsewhere.

If you want to propagate non-runnering alpines vegetatively, crown division is the way to go.  However, if you want a LOT of plants, or want to try a lot of varieties, you can go with alpine strawberry seeds.

Seeds take 2-4 weeks to germinate and should be planted out after danger of frost has passed.  Starting 2-3 months before your last frost free date, is probably ideal.  You may get strawberries your first year, but don’t count on it.  They should be in prime form the next summer, after planting.

Strawberry Leaves

Where Can You Find Alpine Strawberries?

I have found one or two varieties of alpine strawberries sold as plants or seeds in the standard catalogs.  However, at $4 – $5 per plant, it is an expensive way to get a ground cover going.

Because of my plant-lust, I decided to start my alpines from seed so I could get a LOT of plants, and a LOT of different varieties, at an affordable price.

The best source of BOTH alpine strawberry plants and seeds that I have found are through The Strawberry Store.  This Delaware-based business has a family of several websites, including TheStrawberryStore.com and StrawberrySeedStore.com where they offer both plants and seeds for sale.  If you order at the right time, you can get a flat of 277 alpine strawberry plants shipped to you for $72.  That’s a great deal if you need a lot of plants!  (They will all be the same variety, though – He may offer to do half the tray with each of 2 varieties for an additional charge… it varies season by season).  Once you look at their chart of alpine strawberry ratings, I think you’ll be hard-pressed (as I was) to order just one variety!

How To Grow Alpine Strawberries From Seed

Alpine strawberries are not necessarily “easy” to start from seed, but it is a good, reliable way to propagate a large number of plants or numerous varieties.  You can expect a 60-70% germination rate under normal conditions.  The seeds I bought were tested for germination rates at the time of packaging, and were measured to have 80-90% germination rates at that time.

Be aware that the seedlings benefit from light in order to germinate, and they should not dry out, so a propagation dome, or plastic bag surrounding the growing medium is a good way to ensure the soil stays moist for the 2-4 weeks it usually takes for the seeds to germinate.

In addition, you’ll want to place the seedling flat in front of a sunny window, or under a cool white fluorescent shop light, or grow bulb so they can get light prior to germination.

At The Strawberry Store, they recommend planting in a sterile soil mixture (available from your local garden center, or something like this at Amazon.com).  If you can add in one-part worm castings, to nine-parts of soil mixture, that will help give the seedlings a little extra nutrition after they start growing.

 

If you have been interested in learning to grow alpine strawberries from seed, you are in great company!  These plants are hardy, productive and beautiful!

 

Watch The Video Below To Learn How To Grow Alpine Strawberries From Seed!

 

 

 

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