Alpine Strawberries: A Sweet Treasure in the Spring

By Jennie London

The Alexandria strawberry is an everbearing alpine that yields the first year!

It is hard to imagine in the middle of February that the seed of such a delicate, small, fragrant and sweet fruit could be ready to be planted.  Along with your usual winter greenhouse seeding of leeks, onions and spinach, Alpine Strawberries are worth adding to the list. It could be a delicious and bright addition to an early spring green salad or garden snack.  

The Yellow Wonder Alpine Strawberry is a favorite in Europe!

Alpine strawberries in their wild state are thought to have been consumed by humans since the Stone Age. The tasty wild berries grew in prolific numbers in various regions of the world from North America to Ancient Persia. The farmers of Ancient Persia called the fruit, Toot Farangi. They are known to be the first to cultivate the woodland strawberry. The seeds then journeyed on the Silk Road to the Far East and to Europe. The Spanish then brought new varieties to the Americas where native woodland varieties had not yet been cultivated.  

Baron Von Solemacher Strawberry is an antique German Alpine variety that is incredibly fragrant!

Europeans made great progress with strawberry cultivation until the 18th century when the more popular and larger Garden Strawberry was bred, although some breeders continued to improve and work with Alpine varieties. For example, Baron Von Solemacher was first offered in 1935 by F.C. Heinemann of Germany. While Europe has developed a profitable market for the small fruit, the U.S. is still under the impression that Alpine Strawberries are not as productive or valuable as the Garden Strawberry.  As a result, the United States continues to buy specialty Alpine Strawberries from Europe. However, Alpine Strawberries, when cultivated in the right conditions, can be incredibly productive! Growing some in a container, as ground cover, as garden perimeter or even a as a main bed in your garden can bring these incredibly tender and early Spring fruit to your table without having to cross the Atlantic.

 

To Purchase Alpine Strawberry Seeds Go HERE

 

The Attila strawberry produces runners, as seen in these hanging baskets growing at the Baker Creek Seed Store this past year!

 

Propagation Tips

- Strawberry seeds need to be frozen before seeding. If they have not been frozen for 3-4 weeks, then germination can take up to 30 days. If they have been frozen, then germination can take 7-14 days. 

- A starting mix with peat moss is recommended for good drainage, or you can add sand or perlite to help with drainage. 

- PH of 6.5-6.8 is recommended for strawberries, and the peat mix can help achieve the desired PH. 

- Strawberry seeds need light to germinate. Do not cover the seeds. 

- Keep the starting mix moist at all times by misting or light watering. If you water too  hard,  the tiny seeds may sink down into to the starting mix or drain out of the seeding tray.  

 

To purchase Alpine Strawberry Seeds go HERE

 

Delicate Alpine Strawberries are always a huge hit at specialty markets!

 

To Purchase Alpine Strawberry Seeds Go HERE