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You can grow wild strawberries yourself. The plants develop smaller fruits than the well-known garden strawberries. However, these have an intense aroma, which makes the monthly strawberry a popular crop for the snack garden.
In a nutshell
- Wild strawberries are adapted to less bright and fresh locations
- ideal planting dates are in spring and autumn
- when planting, the heart bud needs special attention
- 25 plants per square meter result in a floor-covering carpet
- Care measures are limited to watering, fertilizing and autumn pruning
location and soil
The wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca) has a wide distribution area in Europe and northern Asia. Here it grows in habitats with poorer light conditions. The species spreads along forest edges but also in sparse deciduous and coniferous forests and appears as ground cover. You should consider these requirements if you grow wild strawberries yourself:
- humus and nutrient-rich substrate
- with moist but permeable properties
- The pH value should be in the slightly alkaline to neutral range
- a moderately acidic environment is not a problem
- sunny to semi-shady position
Notice: Wild strawberries can do with a bit more sun as long as it doesn't get too hot and you moisten the soil regularly. Midday sun quickly leads to sunburn, while a few hours of sunshine in the morning or evening promote fruit ripening.
The flowering period of this Fragaria species begins in April and is therefore comparatively early. It extends into June. During the summer, the plants bear numerous fruits, which ripen one after the other until autumn. The earlier you plant the young plants in the garden, the sooner you can enjoy the harvest. Specimens planted in spring will develop fruit in the same year if the weather and care are optimal. You have the choice between the following planting times:
- early potted plants can be planted from March to April
- plantlets grown from seeds come to the garden from July
- next planting date for container goods is autumn
Good soil preparation ensures an optimal start to the season and also promotes the development of fine roots. In addition to deep loosening, removing weeds and stones is an important measure. Improving the soil with fresh compost ensures that the strawberry plants have sufficient nutrients to start with. You should consider these aspects during planting:Source: Dalgial, Fragaria vesca 1, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
- Place the young plant in a water bath for 30 minutes
- meanwhile, dig a planting hole that is twice the size of the root ball
- Insert strawberry plant and fill gaps with soil
- make sure that the heart bud sits above the surface of the earth
- Press the soil down and water well so that gaps are filled
The small-fruited wild strawberry is considered to be extremely easy to spread. It develops numerous stolons that extend above the ground and form new roots at growing points. If you want to create a ground covering carpet, you should plant a minimum number of individuals per square meter. Otherwise there may be gaps that form a point of attack for weeds. This is the correct way to do it:
- ensure a planting distance of no more than 20 centimetres
- There is space for 25 plants per square meter
- Bed boundaries prevent excessive spread
In the first year after planting, however, the plants require regular attention so that they grow well and bear fruit quickly. Uniform moisture conditions are necessary for healthy growth. Fragaria vesca is sensitive to drought. These measures are therefore necessary:
- Water the substrate thoroughly after superficial drying
- Apply compost while the buds swell
- first flowers to burst to maximize harvest
- as soon as fruit develops, cover the soil with bark mulch
- Cut back in autumn before new buds appear
- spare the heart bud during this procedure
Tip: Only pick the strawberries when they have turned completely red. As long as the nuts have a green-white edge, they still need some time to ripen.
frequently asked QuestionsCan I cultivate wild strawberries in a bucket?
Wild strawberries can easily be planted in balcony boxes or in hanging baskets. This offers the great advantage that the plants do not spread unhindered. At the same time, the overhanging spurs are extremely decorative. Irrigation and nutrient supply are important care measures in this form of cultivation. Winter protection is also necessary so that the plants survive the frosty season unscathed.Are wild strawberry seeds suitable for sowing?
Wild strawberries can be propagated from seed. Sowing takes place between late February and mid-March. Soak the seeds in water for six hours. Scatter them on a nutrient-poor growing substrate or use a coconut stick per seed. Cover the seed with a thin layer of substrate and moisten it. Covering with foil ensures even humidity. Temperatures of 18 to 20 degrees Celsius are ideal.How many plants do I need for a rich harvest?
The monthly strawberry is one of the pollinating plants that are pollinated with the help of flying insects. Hoverflies, bees and butterflies are attracted by a sweet offering of nectar conveniently located at the base of the flower. For a plant to develop fruit, several specimens are not necessarily necessary. The flowers are hermaphroditic, so self-pollination is possible. Since the stems are sparsely flowering, you should cultivate at least 25 plants in the garden for a larger harvest.