Member Since: 06/27/2009

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Re: Alpine Strawberries

Great post. I've been growing alpine strawberries happily for several years in piedmont NC (zone 7).

They are growing in a raised bed, heavily amended with grit (similar to rock dust/gravel). When I first planted them in regular clay loam in the raised bed, they lived, but were not happy about it. After I dug them and amended the soil with grit (duh--alpines) they immediately perked up.

Bought plants mail order from Edible Landscaping. (their goal is to find/develop edibles that do well in the south and can be grown organically).

I keep the birds away with an inflatable snake that costs about $8. Have to move it every other day or the birds figure out the deception. But that's about the frequency you want for picking ripe berries anyway.

They also want full sun in the cool part of the year and afternoon shade in the hot part of the year. I solved this by planting asparagus in the center of the bed--the strawberries line the edge of the circular raised bed. The foliage of the asparagus gets cut back at frost, leaving the strawberries with full sun through the winter and spring. By early summer, the asparagus foliage is shading the strawberries from the heat.

Best ways to eat alpine strawberries in order of preference: 1) by the handful, straight, no chaser, 2) on vanilla ice cream, 3) on my cereal.

Frank Hyman (