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WILD STRAWBERRIES


Small and sweet and no need to net, but you’ll never get too many just the odd tasty treat now and again. If you’re lucky enough to spot some growing wild then one or two berries squashed over a sheet of kitchen roll to separate the seeds on the outside from the main body is perhaps the best way of obtaining plants.

Let the strawberry mess dry for a few days to hopefully be still dampish and then carefully try and detach each individual seed, fiddly and time consuming yes, but worth the effort. If you leave for too long then the seeds will be stuck to the paper, and can only be released by placing the sheet on a saucer with a very small amount of water just sufficient to get the paper damp. I would add that a good nail works wonders in just being able to slip under the seed and prise it off. Transfer the seeds onto a new sheet and when you are happy that they are completely dry, place in a used envelope labelled and dated.

When it comes to germination the golden rule is not to cover the seeds, as light is very important in germination so a little perlite on the compost before sowing the seeds will help. Also a plastic bag placed over the seed tray helps to maintain moisture, and the final piece of advice would be to have a position of good light but not direct sunlight or likely to become too hot.

For those unlucky enough not to find any wild strawberries and not wanting to buy the seed, then a long shot is using over ripe “normal” strawberries, which as everybody knows don’t breed true to type, but with luck might eventually give the smaller European strawberry.

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