“Wild strawberry plants will come up very early in the spring, especially if you have them covered with leaves or mulch all the through the winter; the plants will start to grow under the mulch as winter nears it’s end. The plants are cold hardy so you will be able to uncover them in early spring. My plants started to produce strawberries in May. Wild strawberries are everbearing plants and will produce berries from May all the way until the first frost. Wild strawberries taste very good and have more flavour than the common garden variety; the berries have a lot of strawberry flavour, they are sweet and aromatic. What the strawberries lack in size they make up for in the flavour. There are lots of variations in the standard wild strawberry (fragaria vesca), some produce larger berries than others, but none of them produce berries the size of the hybrid garden variety. For example, I found some wild strawberry plants “growing wild” in my city and the berries were half the size of the of my variety of wild strawberry. The wild strawberry seeds I sell here are the same as depicted in the picture above. They are also known as woodland strawberries. Some wild strawberries produce runners and some do not. The variety I sell do not produce runners, but they will easily spread through all the berries they produce. It’s easier to contain them in an area since there are no runners.
If you decide to grow wild strawberries you will probably need to cover your plants with a netting, or put some sort of fencing like chicken wire around the plants, otherwise the animals will devour them. When I use to grow garden strawberries it was usually the bugs that would eat the fruit, but it’s more so birds and other animals that will go after my wild strawberries. Another difference I’ve noticed between wild strawberries and garden strawberries is that wild strawberries seem to be a much, much more hardy plant; they resist disease and pests a lot better, and even seems to tolerate mild drought better. My garden strawberries would constantly get leaf blight or leaf scorch, but the wild ones have done fine.
Wild strawberries will grow well in the shade although it will reduce the amount of berries they produce if they don’t get enough sun. The plants need the energy to produce berries. The strawberry plants above received full sun until late afternoon. There is a porch on the other side of them that blocks the late afternoon sun, but it didn’t seem to hinder the plants from producing a large crop of berries all summer. Near the end of my lawn I grew some alpine strawberries that were grown in full sun. Alpine strawberries are more vigorous growers and producers of berries. The berry size is about the same as the wild ones I sell. They both seemed to produce the same about of berries though, but maybe it is because I let my alpine plants get a little too dry this summer.
Alpine Strawberries Blooming in early May
Alpine strawberries are a non-hyrid wild variety of strawberry. They are somewhat more cold hardy than wild woodland strawberries, but both tolerate the cold well. Alpine strawberries are also great tasting and are full of flavour, but more tangy. The do not produce any runners. You can buy my alpine strawberry seeds here. These plants were planted in an open area with full sun. I planted them in two 2 x 4 boxes side by side with plastic fencing around the sides. There was no cover for it though, and the birds ate the majority of the berries. As you can see in the pictures the plants are very green and vibrant looking despite little effort on my part.
Both varieties of these plants are very easy to establish in gardens. If you were to start them by seed in the spring you will get a fair amount of berries that year, and the next year even more. Just make sure you plant them in slightly acidic soil - it’s what they prefer. They are hardy in zones 3 to 9. In the wild they are often found growing in among sphagnum peat moss, so it’s good to mix in a lot of peat in the soil when you plant them. The peat will help retain moisture in the soil for your plants, so you can save more on watering.”