Monday, August 12

Some things require patience

I wrote an earlier post describing how we grow alpine strawberries from seed. I mentioned in this post that the seedlings grow very slowly - the first lot of seeds were sown on 9 April and the second lot on 4 May.

Four trays of small plants were at last ready to plant out.
The larger plants are from the earlier sowing but all four trays were large enough to plant out. The plants had started to flower and the odd fruit had even set.
We had already decided to plant them as edging in a couple of existing fruit beds. Both beds are covered by weed control fabric mulched by dry manure. A trench was scraped into the mulch and the plants set into small cross slits in the fabric.
I'm not expecting much of a harvest this year but hopefully next year these plants will be in full production mode.
Ironically in this month's Grow Your Own magazine was a free packet of alpine strawberry seeds. They are Baron Solemacher a different variety to the ones I have planted which are Alexandria.
Alpine strawberries have a limited productive phase so we like to keep sowing new seeds. We'll sow the free seeds next year so that hopefully these will continue producing when, in about three years time, those planted this year start to flag.

15 comments:

  1. I love Alpine strawberries. I have no idea how or when they arrived, but they have been here for years and I let them have the run of the garden now. They travel on their own, making big beds of weed supressing cover under all the planting in my borders and I call them the Gardener's Treat, because they are hidden treasures and the perk for the gardener to eat as they tend the flowers and shrubs. You have piqued my curiousity now, I need to buy some seeds and try different varieties!

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    1. The varieties we plant have never had runners, Deborah and so don't spread (I know some varieties do) but ours do sometimes pop up where they have self seeded. Maybe a bird has stolen one and deposited seed.

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  2. I planted a new strawberry patch last year and I haven't had much fruit but I do have good strong plants. As you say, you have to be patient with strawberries.xxxx

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    1. With alpine strawberries there is also a long time to wait for the seeds to grow too, Snowbird. I've never tried raising the larger fruiting strawberries from seed so I don't really know how long that would take.

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  3. Alpine strawberries are something I'd love to try, I've heard they taste wonderful. What lovely big fruit beds you have.

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    1. I keep hearing them described as wonderful CJ but to be honest I think if you expect wonderful you would be disappointed. I'd describe them as a pleasant addition to a fruit salad and if you have enough make a tasty compote too but I don't find the flavour as strawberry as the large fruits.

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  4. I have never grown alpines although I have eaten them.

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    1. We have grown them for years, Tanya - they make great edging plants

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  5. I love them too and have used them to edge my fruit bed as well, but like you say they do get less productive so I think I'm going to resow mine next year. Small fruits but intense flavour.

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    1. Must admit Annie that I haven't found the flavour to be intense - what variety do you grow?

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  6. Your Alpines look great, mine took a hammering this year from the cold wet weather early on. I've got quite a few as back ups in pots as I find they self seed prolifically around my veg beds.

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    1. At least these didn't have to survive the bad weather as they were safely tucked up in the greenhouse, Rooko

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    2. Good idea having them in the greenhouse. Mine are in the Strawberry bed outside. They have survived there for about 5 years and have cropped well every year except this year.

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    3. They were only in the greenhouse until they were large enough to be planted out, Rooko.

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  7. I really must plant out mine, also grown from seed this year. You seem to have planted them quite close together - looks great, I shall follow suit!

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