This purchase was very much an "impulse buy" for me, influenced strongly by the fact that the previous day we had bought some strawberries at the weekly market in Ferney Voltaire. They were not Alpine strawberries, but the type called "Mara Des Bois", and they were absolutely delicious. I was thus immediately determined to grow something just as nice in my own garden, and these seeds seemed likely candidates. On the pack it states that "Cette variete, tres productive, est remarquable pour la saveur de ses fraises, qui ont le parfum incomparable de la fraise des bois". Sounds good to me!
I sowed some of the (incredibly tiny) seeds on 27th July, in pots of moist compost, covered with a thin layer of very finely sieved compost. I kept them inside sealed plastic bags until they germinated, helping to preserve high humidity. The germination rate was very poor and I was initially unimpressed.
|12 August - recently germinated|
|12 August - recently germinated.|
Anyway, I didn't need a huge number of plants, so I wasn't massively disappointed. Since then the plants had been slowly increasing in size and had reached the point where I thought I could / should transplant them into individual pots.
|24 September - 2 months old|
I watered the pots very generously and then eased out each little seedling very carefully with a dibber, trying not to disturb its roots too much. Each seedling then went into a home of its own - a 3-inch plastic pot:
I had planned to keep the six best ones, but in the end I potted-up eight, simply because that's how many 3-inch pots fit in one of my seed-trays, so now I have a couple of spares.
I'm going to keep these indoors over the Winter months, on a cool windowsill in a spare room, and I'll plant them out next Spring. I still have to decide where to grow them. It will have to be in a "secure" location, that's for sure, because the birds and squirrels are bound to take a close interest in them - especially if they live up to the expectations raised by Messrs Vilmorin and Co.