The tiny strawberries you can grow in your yard are called Alpine strawberries. They are also known as wild strawberries. They may be tiny, but they taste wonderful!
This page is about growing Alpine Strawberries, (Fragaria vesca). For the purpose of this page we will be using Alexandria for our model, pictured above. The Alexandria Strawberry is a day-neutral strawberry so it pretty much produces berries year round. These decorative little plants produce delicious, aromatic red strawberries, about twice the size of wild berries but much smaller than the standard type.
Alpine strawberries are perennials, which means that they keep coming back from one year to the next. They stay compact and produce few runners, making them suitable for rock gardens, path edgings, pots, and window boxes. They begin producing during the second spring, and sometimes during the first fall. They grow best in zones five to eight.
On the farm, we are in zone 9A and they grow fine here. We started growing them in our yard in San Antonio and they would last from year to year. One thing we do here on the farm that we did not do in San Antonio is to shade them from the sun with shade cloth. I highly recommend shade cloth for growing strawberries if you live in a hot climate like we do. We are further South than we were when we lived in San Antonio. Of course, we are in the Strawberry Capital of Texas right now.
Days to Maturity: From the time strawberries germinate until they start putting on fruit that is mature, it takes about 100 to 120 days.
Sow seeds thinly in March or April in a fine soilless mix. Press seeds into moist mix and keep moist until plants emerge in 2-3 weeks. Keep soil temperature between 60°F (16°C) and 75°F (24°C), if possible. Transplant to plug trays or 1-1.
CULTURE: 1/2" apart in flats, then to larger pots or planters for retailing full-size plants: 1 plant/3-4" pot; 3-5 plants/8" pot. Transplant outdoors anytime, 1 foot apart. Tolerant to partial shade, and they prefer moist soil.
Below is a picture of my growing Alpine Strawberries. It took them a while to get going but they are doing a lot better now.
I planted my strawberry seeds indoors on the 26th of September.
I did not plant mine in a soilless mix though.
Well the seeds started emerging on October 21st but I do not think I had enough light on them.
In the picture below you can see what my plants were looking like by December 10. They are not doing nearly as well as I would like.
Here, on January 1, it has taken some time and a lot of work but I finally have some good looking plants. See the picture below.
March 30, 2023, they have now been planted in our shade cloth covered hoop house where we are growing most of our strawberries.
The alpine strawberries from our plants above are not the big juicy berries you typically buy at the grocery store. This variety is a little smaller but they are sweet and grow very well. Make sure you give them plenty of water, especially in the Texas heat.
Remember to plant them in loamy sand or sandy soil. This type of soil drains well so the roots of the strawberry plants don't rot off. We plant our strawberries in raised beds with sandy soil. To protect our plants, we screw PVC pipe into the wood of the raised beds. We put shade cloth on top of the PVC and clamp it down with snap clamps to that our strawberries don't die in the intense heat of the South Texas sun.
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