Alexandria Alpine Strawberry
Plant: Perennial fruit-bearing plant
Seeds obtained from: https://www.rareseeds.com/catalog/product/view/id/246/
About: Alexandria alpine strawberries are short, dense plants that produce small, intensely red strawberries. These sweet little everbearers will start to produce the first year if started from seed early enough. Alpine strawberries are not like the standard supermarket strawberry- they’re seedier, have a much more ‘wilder’ and intense taste, and the plants usually do not send out runners. To multiply the plants, one can instead divide them in spring or fall.
My experience with this plant:
The seeds, started in mid-February, began to germinate in about 14 days under grow lights. Germination continued for roughly another week. Very high success rate- almost every single seed planted germinated!
Seedlings remained very small and delicate, but were transplanted once three tiny true leaves had appeared. Alexandria alpine strawberries appear to appreciate having as much space as you can give them- the seedlings transplanted into smaller trays grew slower, quickly ended up root-bound, and ended up stalling out on growth until planted into the garden. On the other hand, the strawberries that were planted in larger containers and given more space for their roots grew considerably larger and appeared visually healthier, and handled being transplanted to the garden far better.
All strawberry seedlings required two feedings of fish emulsion while growing, and probably could have used a third before being transplanted out to the garden.
When the strawberries were finally transferred to the garden in mid-April, they were given a good dose of granular organic fertilizer and a scoop of compost. Beyond the basic care required to get them in the ground, they were then left to their own devices. The first small strawberries began to appear in mid-to-late June.
The Alexandria alpines are still producing now, in early October, and steadily put out a few strawberries every day or so. Since they’re still putting out blooms, it seems they’ll at least keep going until frost!
What I would do differently
Not much, beyond maybe trying to mulch around the base of the plants to keep the weeds down- these really are hardy plants that need minimal overall care. And, of course, to plant more!