How to Grow Wild Strawberries
All wild strawberry varieties are everbearing, which means they will produce up to 3 main crops per year. In general, the berries are much smaller than the common, hybrid garden varieties, but they are very aromatic and packed with flavour! The alpine variety will produce berries that are approx twice the size of the common (woodland) wild strawberry.
Strawberry plants should always be grown in a location with full sun. Although the plants themselves can survive in shaded areas, they needs lots of sunlight to be able to produce a full crop of berries.
Growing wild strawberries from seed can be an easy to moderately difficult task. The plants once established are hardy, drought resistant, and require very little maintenance. When growing strawberries from seed it’s best to use a wild variety. Common hybrid garden varieties do not produce true seed. The best time to start strawberries is in the spring, when the temperature is still cool.
Germinating Wild Strawberry Seeds
Strawberry seeds require some form of cold treatment before they will germinate. One way to do this is to sow the seeds outdoors in late fall, or 4-8 weeks before the last frost in spring. Another option to increase the germination rate is to cold stratify the seeds.
How to Cold Stratify
- Mix seeds with equal parts of moistened peat moss
- Place in a ziplock bag
- Keep in the refrigerator for at least 4-8 weeks
- Do not allow the peat moss to dry out
- Afterwards, sow seeds in pots filled with sterilized potting soil
After the seeds have been cold stratified, they can be surface sown on to some prepared, soil filled pots. It’s best to use a quality garden soil when starting seeds. Leave the seeds uncovered, as exposure to light helps stimulate the germination process. Keep the soil moist and do not allow to dry out completely. Also, be sure to keep the seeds in a location with good air circulation to avoid fungi and mold issues. Wild strawberries can be slow to germinate, and it take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks.
If strawberry seeds are started early in the spring, the plants will generally produce strawberries in late summer of the same year. The following years will have a larger harvest. Keep the plants well watered for the first year.
Strawberries prefer rich, well-draining, acidic soil with a pH of 6 to 6.5. Sphagnum peat moss is is often mixed into the soil as it is slightly acidic and helps the soil maintain moisture.
Once the strawberry plants have at least two sets of leaves, they can be transplanted outdoors. Wait a couple of weeks after the last frost date has passed before transplanting them outside.
Every year the soil can be amended with compost or manure. Using mulch around your plants will also help; as the mulch breaks down it releases nutrients into the soil. This is usually enough to feed the plants.
Strawberries can be watered at least once a week, or whenever the soil starts to dry out. Once the plants start to produce berries you may want to cover them with netting. Various types animals love to eat strawberries! The plants are very hardy and resistant to disease and pests, so you shouldn’t have much trouble in this aspect.
Wild strawberry plants will produce berries from the spring through to fall. In late fall, be sure to cover them with piles of leaves as it will protect your plants for the next year. In late winter or early spring the plants will start to grow under all of those leaves; this will give you a nice head start on the season. The plants are very cold hardy but don’t uncover them too early especially if there is a chance of a big snowfall.
Try our Strawberry Varieties
- Alpine Strawberries: Very prolific and produces sweet berries twice the size as other wild varieties.
- Wild Strawberry: Produces sweet, highly aromatic strawberries.
- White Soul Strawberry: An alpine variety that produces white, sweet strawberries.
We’d Love to Hear from you
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