Anyone have experience with this? I have a couple pkts to start and I’m searching for helpful tips/hints. Start indoors? Outdoors?
Thanks in advance!
I think that puu has had experience with this, but I think he would tell you what I am going to tell you. In my short experience with strawberry plants, seeds are not an easy way to start them. I have tried the seed method without any luck. Some things just do better if planted from another planting. Strawberries make their own “babies” just like spider plants do. There are seeds in strawberries, so I know that it must be possible, but I had no luck with it.
I’m definitely going to look for strawberry plants in the spring…hopefully through a swap or locally. Figured I’d give seeds a shot though. Thanks!
You’re welcome! :) Once I get things sorted out around here, I think I may make strawberries one of my available swaps, but I have to see how many are still young enough to produce as this is an old patch I have…only June bearers in there though. I may get another patch going that has Alpines in it as well.
I’ve grown them from seed a few years ago. Alpines are Day-Neutral, so much easier to start from seeds than other varieties. It’s frustrating to grow strawberries from seed, and it’s pretty much a waste of energy in my opinion, If you pickup bare-roots, you can have strawberries within 60 days. If you purchase grown plants you can harvest right away. I have about 500 Day-neutrals, and 3000 June and Everbearing, I find that Alpine plants produce about half the volume per season as Junebearing.
If you start seeds inside now, you will not have berries until the 2012 season. There are some tricks to it. First place the seeds in the freezer for 2 weeks which is necessary if you want successful germination. Use a good potting mix with about 75% peat content.
Sow the seed 1/8" deep, or sprinkle them on the wet potting soil adding a light dusting of peat moss over the top. The strawberry seeds must be covered. Planting too deep is the biggest error people make. Keep the seeds moist and in direct sunlight for heat, or use a tray warmer. Use a mister to water them, making sure not to uncover the seeds. Strawberry seeds take 2-3 weeks to germinate. You can reduce that time if you keep them moist and at about 85F soil temperature. Once the strawberry plants have sprouted, wait until you see true leaves. and transplant into bigger containers. Soil Ph becomes important when you transplant. You should use a liquid fertilizer with a high Phosphorous as soon as you transplant to avoid transplant shock. Then you need to feed with high Nitrogen (N) and high Sulfur. Sulfur will lower Ph. You want a Ph of about 5.0. I feed with Jack’s Classic Acid Special 17-6-6.
Don’t let any blossoms develop the first year for June-bearing. That will reduce yields the second year. For Day-neutral & Ever-bearing, pinch off blossoms for 60 days after transplant. You want the plant to put it’s energy into developing roots. As soon as a blossom appears, the plant shifts its energy toward producing fruit.
Again I’d try to buy a couple of plants. If you Propagate from Runners, you will be able to expand your patch 10-fold this year. I started with 25 bareroot of each variety in 2009 and those 75 plants multiplied to over 3500 this year.
Wow. That’s amazing hotwired. :) After they bloom this year and I can tell which are the grandma’s and moms, and which are the babies, I will be doing my renovations! :)
Since they need to be stratified…. I think I will winter-sow mine outdoors. Wintersowing has been really successful for me with other seeds. I didn’t figure I’d get any berries this year from seed and I am hoping to pick up some plants in the spring.
Alpines (Fragaria vesca) also known as European, woodland or wild strawberry aren’t quite like present-day cultivated strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa). Alpines as a collective group include cultivars that grow wild in essentially all of the northern hemisphere.
They’re typically smaller (and therefore “seedier” per volume) but with a stronger flavor. There are three main groups: red, white and yellow. Some of the whites are almost tropical tasting. The white alpines tend to have a rather mushy mouth-feel, but the taste makes up for it. I’m not familiar with the yellows.
Because alpines are noticeably smaller than present-day hybrids unless you’re willing to devote a LOT of space to alpines, they’re best used as a fresh-eating treat. If you do have the space, they’re well worth growing to make jams and jellies with – the flavor makes you realize what a pale imitation present-day cultivars really are. Size does matter, but in this case smaller and “wilder” is a much more intense flavor.
Most cultivated alpine strawberries (since about the 18th century) don’t put out runners whereas the truly wild cultivars do have types that put out runners. They self-sow fairly easily (cultivated or truly wild) or can be propagated by division. Most alpines are productive for about five years. The plants will go on living and growing, but they won’t produce many strawberries.
They are an excellent candidate for winter sowing.
If they like where they are you should get quite a few the first year (and they really are the truest definition of everbearing strawberry). There is typically no need to mess with pinching blossoms so runners can form since as a general rule the alpines that form runners are the older, wilder varieties. :-)
This is a really helpful discussion. I recently sowed white alpine strawberry seeds with no success.After reading the discussion I can see some of the things that I did wrong. Not sure if I can be bothered to try agin but I DO want some White Alpine Strawberries. I used to have a big patch of the Red Alpine ones and would go there every day after work, pick the ripe strawberries and put them straight in my mouth. They are SO yummy.
The patch got overgrown and I only have a few plants here and there in the garden now.
Whenever I see a ripe alpine strawberry I nab it. I like them much better than the bigger varieties.
Yay! A thread on sowing Alpine strawberry seed. Which is good because I just ordered a whole lot of them, and despite it seeming to be out of season, a local who grows them every year says its ok for me to sow my seed now, so I will read through this thread and take on board appropriate advice.
I’m getting seed of alpine white, yellow, red and musk so hopefully in a few years I’ll have quite a mixture.
Anyway, cool thread, much to learn. :)
I have sown alpine strawberry seeds for the first time on the 21st sept. I started them as an experiment to see how they went. I have 2 little seedlings sprouting away happily and on their 4th set of leaves. I have just moved them into bigger pots a few days ago and they are still alive and happy :)
After freezing for a couple of weeks I started mine of in little fromage frais pots with ordinary potting soil indoors. I sat the seeds on the surface of the soil and gently sprayed with water then sprinkled some soil on top, sprayed with water again and wrapped the pot in cling film. Hey presto! 8 days later the tiny seedlings were soon popping up! When I say tiny I really mean tiny! (the picture here is after about 20 days!) Anyway, I decided to sow some more seeds a few days ago – which I still need to log on here – but this time I put a few seeds in a bigger pot and left them uncovered. I have been gently spraying them every day – they are in a room that is average temperature – and these have just sprouted this morning! I counted 4 so far……
I don’t know if I just got a lucky packet of seeds where they are all going to germinate but I have found that I haven’t had to pay too much attention to them so far.
Fingers crossed that they stay alive now …………..
I love my alpines! A great treat when you’re out in the garden. Mine don’t get the chance to self-seed much, I gave the neighbor kids the ok to snack on the ones in the front garden, but the ones in the back are MINE, all MINE!!
I started a half flat of seeds inside under lights this last spring and they struggled to get going. When I transplanted them outside they quickly took off, growing taller and thicker. I had tinny berries throughout the summer and a final crop just before snow in late October, the berries are getting bigger with each crop that comes on. The half flat of seedlings are now a thick strawberry patch 5ft x 9ft. I’m very happy with them and will start from seed again when I build a strawberry tower.
I started off some Alpine Strawberry seeds in the greenhouse on our allotment about February last year. They grew very well & I got a lot of plants from them. I planted them out into the soil on my new allotment in October last year. I got quite a few berries from them & I like the taste. I’d never eaten or grown these before. I expect to get a lot more fruit from them this year now they are in the ground.
I’ve never had any problem sprouting the alpine seeds, but they do need light to germinate. Wintersowing works well for me, but I think minxy83 has the process perfected!
Strawberry seeds need to be stratified (frozen for at least a week) in order to germinate.
So, here’s a question… Is there a difference between alpines and hybrid everbearing strawberries such as Milan or Albion?
All three varieties are Day Neutral, meaning they produce constantly throughout the season. Everbearing produce 3 large crops during the season. The differences in the three are in flavor, fruit size, seasonal production volume, and disease resistance.
Milan Strawberry plant production is high because the fruit is smaller in size of the 3 varieties. One plant produces about 1 pint per season. It’s a hybrid bred to resist verticillium wilt, phytophthora crown rot and anthracnose crown rot.
Albion strawberry plants produce large to very large fruit. Fruit is slightly elongated, or conical shaped, with strong flavor. Fruit is slightly larger than Milan. It is high yielding cultivar (1 quart per season) with robust runners and stalks. It is a “patented” hybrid and illegal to propagate from runners (yeah, right). It’s bred for resistant to verticillium wilt, phytophthora crown rot and has some resistance to anthracnose crown rot.
Alpine Strawberry plants are closely related to wild strawberries (not engineered or patented). They are heavy producers, with medium size fruit, and elongated in shape. I think they have the most intense flavor compared to Albion (never grew Milan). Alpine is a stable hybrid ( majority of seeds produce true Alpines). They are the easiest to grow of the three, and have extremely high resistance to disease.
Thanks Hotwired, as I’ve got some plants on my allotment I find your wisdom extremely useful! :-))
My Alpines are now cropping this year. They, like so many of our plants, are struggling to make “sense” of this crazy, crazy year, weatherwise! We had a pretty mild, dry winter, apart from a week of snow & ice in February, but March went crazy with summer temps most of the month which was followed by the wettest April since records began in many parts of the UK (not here though!). May was cold except for a few very warm days at the end of the month & June, till this week, has been a continuation of April & May’s weather. The Strawberries (big, hybrid ones) have just started to produce fruit.