How to Grow an Alpine Strawberry Plant
The alpine strawberry (fragaria cesca) is a cousin of the strawberry. They are cultivated in Western Asia, North America, Europe, and France. What distinguishes them from normal strawberries is their size. Most of the strawberries aren’t even bigger than the pinky tip.
However, do not underestimate their small size. The alpine strawberry may be a lot smaller but they compensate their size being sweeter than most strawberry varieties. The alpine have been used as a medicinal herb during the medieval times. Their roots is said to cure diarrhea and promote faster wound healing. Growing alpine strawberries is not easy, because growing strawberries requires a lot of stringent control of the soil and the temperature. The germination part is the most frustrating part.
Step 1: Making the Soil Moist
The most important thing to remember about the soil is that it must be kept moist but not flooded so the soil must have proper drainage system. Capillary matting the soil is the best way to keep the soil moist at all times. Capillary matting can be bought from any gardening shop.
Step 2: Germinate the Seeds
Surface sowed the seeds taking care not to cover them. Surround a bit of white sand around the strawberry so they firmly attached to the surface. Keep on eyes on the soil, making sure that the soil doesn’t dry out. It is very crucial that the soil is moist at all times.
Step 3: Lighting
Now it is time to give the germinated seeds light. There are many types of light that can photosynthesize the young saplings. Putting them in a green house, normal sunlight or placing them under fluorescent light works fine. Whatever lighting is chosen, be sure that the soil is moist at all times. Shine light on them for 14 hours a day. If the seedlings is to be placed outdoor, make sure that the seedlings are not placed in a windy condition.
Step 4: Temperature
Temperature is another crucial factor. Make sure that the room temperature is between 18 to 24 degree Celsius.
Step 5: Transplanting the Seeds
Waiting for the seeds to grow can take quite some time. So patience is of the essence here. After about 2 months, the seedlings should be big enough for transplantation. Transport the seedlings into 1801 inserts. Make sure that each cell within the 1801 insert has a bit of soil to keep the seedlings moist. When watering, add a bit of fertilizer and 1 or 2 inches of water. Be careful not to flood the cell.
Step 6: Pollination
If the strawberry is grown outdoors, pollination should not be a problem. Just be sure to check for pests. If the strawberry is grown indoors, then pollination needs to be done by hand. Use a small brush to pollinate the strawberries. Harvest the strawberries as soon as they are ripe.
Strawberry seeds must be stored in a refrigerated environment and must be dry in order to germinate well. Most seeds can last for about a year, so remember to check the expiry date.