Table of Contents Hide
- Alpine Strawberries: An Overview
- Growing Guide: Cultivating Alpine Strawberries
- Top Tips for Thriving Alpine Strawberries
- Frequently Asked Questions about Alpine Strawberries
If you’re looking for a strawberry with a difference then you’re in the right place as we’re going to discuss how to grow Alpine strawberries. These humble and hardy fruits deliver a sweet, wild flavour that truly captures the essence of an English summer. So let’s delve into the enchanting world of Alpine strawberries, exploring their unique characteristics, cultivation secrets, and answering a few common queries along the way.
Alpine Strawberries: An Overview
Alpine strawberries, known scientifically as Fragaria Vesca, are a delightful berry variety native to Europe. Unlike their larger cousins, the garden strawberry, Alpine strawberries offer a more intense and wild flavour. They’re also perennial, hardy, and less prone to diseases, making them a fantastic option for both novice and experienced gardeners.
Growing Guide: Cultivating Alpine Strawberries
Choosing Your Seed
When sourcing your Alpine strawberry seeds, look for reputable suppliers to ensure quality and germination success. There are several varieties available, with ‘Alexandria’ and ‘Mignonette‘ being among the favourites for their bountiful, sweet fruit.
Preparing Your Soil
Alpine strawberries prefer well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. Incorporate plenty of compost or well-rotted manure into your soil to increase fertility. Ideally, the soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral (pH 5.5 to 7.0).
Sowing The Seed
Start your seeds indoors in late winter. Sow them on the surface of a seed tray filled with good quality seed compost, and then lightly cover with vermiculite. Keep the tray in a warm location (15-20°C), and make sure the compost stays moist but not waterlogged.
Caring for Your Young Plants
Once seedlings are large enough to handle, usually when they have developed two true leaves, gently transplant them into individual pots. Keep them in a bright location but out of direct sunlight, and continue to keep the soil moist.
When the danger of frost has passed, usually around late spring, and your plants are robust enough, they can be planted outside. Plant them 30cm apart in a location with good sunlight and access to water.
Top Tips for Thriving Alpine Strawberries
Choosing the Right Location
Alpine strawberries can tolerate partial shade, but for the best yield, choose a sunny location. They’re also perfect for growing in containers and hanging baskets.
Proper Watering Techniques
These strawberries need consistent moisture. Water deeply rather than frequently to encourage the roots to grow downwards, but avoid waterlogging as this can lead to root diseases.
Effective Feeding Methods
Feed your strawberries with a balanced, all-purpose organic fertiliser during the growing season to support healthy growth and bountiful fruiting.
Seasonal Care and Pruning
In the autumn, cut back the foliage to encourage fresh growth in the spring. You might also consider mulching around the plants with straw to protect them over winter and reduce competition from weeds.
Frequently Asked Questions about Alpine Strawberries
1. What do Alpine strawberries taste like?
Alpine strawberries have a unique, intensely sweet and slightly tart flavour, somewhat akin to a wild berry flavour, and much richer than the common garden strawberries.
2. What’s the difference between Alpine and common strawberries?
Alpine strawberries are smaller and deliver a richer flavour compared to common strawberries. They’re also hardier and less prone to many common strawberry diseases.
3. How to handle common pests and diseases in Alpine strawberries?
Slugs and snails can be a problem. Encourage natural predators like birds and hedgehogs into your garden, or use a natural slug repellent. As for diseases, good growing practices, such as crop rotation and good hygiene, can prevent most common issues.
Growing your own Alpine strawberries is a rewarding endeavour that offers you a taste of the wild right in your own garden. These hardy, charming berries, with their intense flavour, are a joy to cultivate and a delight to consume. So why not give them a go this year? Whether you have a vast garden, a modest patch, or a tiny balcony, Alpine strawberries can find a home and thrive. We look forward to hearing about your Alpine strawberry adventures!
Remember, gardening is a journey, one enriched with successes and learning experiences. With these tips and guides, we hope you’re equipped to start your Alpine strawberry growing journey. Keep sharing your stories, pictures, and queries with our community. After all, sharing is at the heart of every gardening adventure!