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I want to plant alpine strawberries in a container. If I want them to remain in the container for a few seasons what is the best compost to use and will they need feeding?

sotongeoff

It is like any fruiting or flowering plant after a while they will need feeding- a tomato food is as good as anything-high in potash

As for compost-I would use a good multipurpose

jo4eyes

I'd tend to mix the MP with a JIno3 type- John Innes. The latter is more suitable for permanent planting, but by mixing it with some MP say 50/50 it'll be a 'lighter' mix.

Alpine strawberries cope with quite poor soils IME, but anything grown in a container relies on us to feed it as & when.

Agree with Geoff, they will need feeding. Initially I'd add some slow release food pellets at the time of planting up the container. Those dont last for ever & a high potash feed, as for tomatos, will help promote & keep them fruiting.

Annually I'd feed the container in Spring & either add to, or replace the top few cms of compost to give the plants a boost. J.

, I'd second both the above, good advise.

Mixing mpc with John innes is something I practise when growing in containers for more than one season. I want to plant strawberries too but haven't grown them for few years. Best varieties? Bare root or plugs? Same variety in large container or different cultivars?

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jo4eyes

Small strawberry plants will be around in GC/mail order soon Verdun. That would be the simplest way & you may find out which variety they are. Cant help you on that as my original plants were given me by a neighbour, so no idea.

My first experience of the Alpines was when walking in the Austrian Alps one summer. There was a group of plants on the top of a very sunny slope, just at the edge of the tree canopy. Flinty, lime, soft woodland soil mix at that spot. They remained there for a couple of yrs, then the authorities decided to dump a huge heap of gravel, which they use for the paths around there, right on top of the plants! Everytime I walk past that spot now,I wonder if someone removed the plants or not before the tipper deposited its' load. J.

That must mean that alpine strawberries like lime, poor soil and sun?

Thanks to everyone. I am growing alpine strawberries from seed so will see how successful we are!

Verdun. I couldn't tell you the runner variety in my garden as it was given 15 to 20 years ago, excellent flavour though and can be eaten straight from the plant.

I've a red alpine variety one which is French and perpetually fruiting, sown in 2011 and fruited 2012, think it's called fragaria. Alpine strawberries are a lot smaller than strawberries bought in shops and the taste is different, I added a small amount of sugar to that variety and left it a couple of hours before eating with either cream or ice cream and it was delish.

Sowed Alpine yellow and White Soul last year, expecting fruit this year, so haven't yet tasted them. Both are runnerless so well behaved. 

Doesn't all this make you eager for summer and strawberries n cream?

It certainly does. I love strawberries, can't understand why they are so expensive in shops, they grow like weeds in my garden, I refuse to buy them and sadly strawberries don't freeze well. 

Why wait till summer they can be forced in the GH, last year I had my first bowl at Easter    

Mermaid

I'm giving some Pikan F1 variety a try this year their not alpine but are small hanging basket varieties as I only have a wrought iron balcony to grow from. I always use potting compost with a slow release feed and then move on to liquid tomato feed for the fruits. replacing the soil after 3/4 years to give static plants a boost. I already have the seedlings in my propagater as it recommends planting the seeds for this variety early indoors. looking strong and healthy!  Anyone got any tips to discourage birds? I've been feeding them all winter as there's not much planting to do but think I might have caused myself a problem in encouraging them :S

pauline j.

Usually, Alpine Strawberries grow from July to September but I think it's worth giving it a try now. Here are some tips that I can share with you.

Prepare your compost before starting to plant your strawberries seeds, include healthy organic matters as well as  well-rotted manure in your soil. Position your plant near a sunny and sheltered place for they love this kind of temperature. Since you want them in containers, you can only allow a few seeds to grow since they want ample space and so that they will not compete with each other in terms of nutrients from the soil.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes. - Pauline

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