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The Seed Program
Growing Hints

This is one of the many growing hints that are available as a bonus with a registered copy of The Seed Program.

Alpine Strawberries

Alpine strawberries are a wild relative of the popular garden fruit. The berries are much smaller than traditional varieties, but have an intense flavor that makes them well worth trying. They can also be grown from seed by the home gardener and will produce a crop the first year.

Unless you are blessed with near weed free soil, you will find it easier to plant the seeds indoors and transplant them out into the garden a few weeks before the last frost date in the spring. The tiny seeds should be just pressed into the surface of the soil or barely covered. The planting container ("six packs" work well) should be misted frequently or placed inside a plastic bag to keep the surface soil evenly moist until the plants start growing.

The needs of alpine strawberries are essentially the same as regular strawberries: fertile, well drained soil that is slightly acidic and relatively free of weeds. A mulch is almost essential for keeping the soil cool and moist and for preventing weeds from invading the planting site. Straw is, of course, the classic material used for this purpose, but other mulches are just as effective. Alpine strawberries do not spread by runners, as many strawberries do.

It is good to place them close at hand (near your house or by a well traveled path) so that the small berries will be spotted and harvested. Production is low, but the plants will keep producing the tiny berries throughout the growing season. Alpine strawberries can also be planted in containers with good results.

For more crops, more complete gardening information, a garden journal and a planting schedule you can customize for your region, purchase The Seed Program!

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