How to Grow Wild Strawberries
Wild Strawberries are perennial everbearing plants. The sweet red strawberries are full of flavour and aromatic. Although they are much smaller than the hybrid common garden strawberry, they make up for it in their flavour.
Another difference between hybrid strawberry plants and the wild variety is that wild strawberries seem to be much more resistant to diseases and pest. The plants are also more cold hardy. Wild strawberries will start to produce berries as early as May and produce until late fall.
How to Plant Stawberries
Wild strawberries can often be found growing in wet areas and along streams. The plants prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6 to 6.5. The plants are also found growing in around sphagnum peat moss, and they will benefit if you mix the soil or compost with around a 50/50 mixture of peat and soil. The sphagnum peat moss will help keep the roots from drying out too much.
Wild strawberry plants can tolerate a lot of shade, but it will greatly reduce the chances of them producing berries the more shade there is. It is best to plant them in full sun, or at least 8 hours of sunlight.
The biggest problem you will face with your strawberries is being able to eat them. Animals love them, especially the wild strawberries. Placing some wire fencing around them or a netting over the plants will help keep the animals away from them.
Near the end of the season in autumn when the leaves are starting to fall, it is best to start covering your strawberry plants with those leaves. A large pile of leaves will protect your plants and your strawberry plants will start growing under those leaves as early as late winter. This will give you a head start on the season. As the weather gets warmer you can uncover your thriving plants.
Growing Strawberries From Seeds
The strawberries at the grocery store, or the garden strawberry plants you usually see at nurseries are hybrid plants. The seeds from hybrid plants will not produce true to the plant, you will most likely end up with inferior pants. With wild strawberry varieties there is no problem growing from seeds, and it's actually quite easy.
When it's easy to grow plants from seed, it's preferable to do so, as plants grown from seed in your soil will be more hardy for your area.
Wild strawberry seeds can be purchased at my website.
You can start your strawberry seeds indoors at any time. If you start them outside it is best to do so in spring after the last frost has passed, or in late summer. The heat of summer will slow down the germination of the seeds.
Surface sow your strawberry seeds on to a 50/50 compost and sphagnum peat moss mixture. Make sure you wet the soil before you sow the seeds. If started indoors then leave the seeds uncovered, if outdoors then very lightly cover the seeds with peat or soil. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Once the seedlings have at least two sets of leaves they are more hardy and it's okay if they dry out a little more. Transplant your seedlings outside once the risk of frost has passed. You can let the soil dry out somewhat between waterings once your plants are established. Don't overwater them.