About Wild Strawberry: These tiny wild strawberries have a very widespread habitat, and can be commonly found in the wild. Native Americans and early settlers used them extensively for culinary purposes, while wild animals of all kinds found them a valuable source of food. Their rich, delicious flavor makes them a valuable genetic parent of nearly all modern strawberry hybrids, along with a South American native strawberry. This hybridization first took place in the late 18th century at the Royal Gardens at the Louvre in France, where scientist A. W. Duchesne (1747-1827) found that the flavor of one native variety and the size of the other would combine to make an extremely superior variety of strawberry.
Wild Strawberry Germination: To break the seed’s dormancy, store it in the freezer for 4-6 weeks before planting. Plant the seeds ¼” below the surface in a flat; keep the soil fairly warm and in filtered or indirect sunlight until germination, which should take from 3-4 weeks. The germination rate may be naturally low, and the seedlings will grow rather slowly at first. Transplant seedlings to individual peat pots, and plant them outdoors as soon as they have become well established. This plant prefers rich soil with consistent moisture, and adapts well to woodland soil.
Growing Wild Strawberry Seeds: Keep the plants evenly moist, especially when they are blooming and setting fruit. A layer of pine needles or leaf mulch will help conserve moisture and control weeds. This plant spreads by rhizomes, seeds, and runners and will quickly form a native ground cover; keep the runners pruned for healthy and compact growth. After several years of growth, the plants can be divided in the fall for new plants and increased production. This plant is not prone to foliar pests, though wildlife of all kinds will eat the fruit; the plant also attracts butterflies and bees.
Harvesting Wild Strawberry: Wild Strawberries are deliciously sweet when eaten raw or preserved. Pick the berries as soon as they ripen, since birds and small animals love to eat them. The dried leaves of these plants make an excellent, vitamin rich tea when brewed.
Saving Wild Strawberry Seeds: Pick the ripe strawberries and crush them, then add a cup of water. The strawberries and water can also be placed in the blender and processed for 5-10 seconds; since the seeds are hard and slippery, they will not be damaged. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it settle. Discard the seeds and pulp floating on top, and save the good seeds that have sunk to the bottom of the bowl. Rinse them clean, then spread them out to dry completely. Store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator until planting.
Detailed Wild Strawberry Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Virginia Strawberry, Mountain Strawberry, Scarlet Strawberry, Thickleaved Wild Strawberry Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Spring Height: 6-9 inches Spacing: 8-10 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 2b-9a Seeds Per Oz: - Produces a low plant with trifoliate, toothed 3” leaves and five-petaled white flowers followed by ½-¾” strawberries.