Our gourmet strawberries number 2 began its journey on January 16 2016 in tropical Singapore. 🙂 This is Alpine heirloom Pineapple strawberries, a low growing variety with 1 inch sized light yellow colored fruits.
The taste profile of this variety has been described as sweeter than red strawberries, with an unforgettable impact of pineapple and rose.
Jan 16 2016 – Germinated today! Sowed Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries seeds on Jan 7 (9 days)
These seeds were not easy to germinate. I succeed only on my third attempt. Germination tests will continue in 2017 to pin down the best method to germinate these wonderful strawberries.
Jan 25 2016 – More Heirloom Pineapple strawberry seeds germinated
Pineapple strawberries are rarely sold in overseas supermarkets and even Farmers’ marts.
This variety does not travel well.
They have to be consumed the same day as harvest!
Feb 3 2016 – Transplanting pineapple strawberries to deeper pots
March 8 2016 – 80% seedling survived, seem hardier than the white soul variety
As we have germinated a lot of seedlings, they were tried in various containers to see how best to grow them while fulfilling the conditions that allow them to thrive in our tropical weather. This data will be updated when we get them.
March 8 2016 – Described as low grower but looked big in my PET bottle at 09.5 cm height for 2 months old seedlings
Heirloom Pineapple strawberry at 2 months old was a big plant and moved to grow bag.
Common problem seen on non-red strawberries in Singapore is cupped leaves. Seedlings tend to fail more during the second month of growth. I seen these in the red strawberries as well last year. From the 4th month, they became hardier.
March 8 2016 – Cupped leaves (3 months old)
Cupped and then brown leaves before dying (1 month old seedlings). Transplant shock? Humidity? No idea really why they failed.
On the assumption that cupped leaves may be due to lack of aeration in the PET bottles, I decided to cut out the bottles’ bottom and net it. The leaves improved after this was done –
Leaves improved and a healthier plant after netting PET bottles
Roots extending out of the net.
Recycling efforts continued this year as well. Most of my strawberries are grown in PET bottles, either 1.5L or 600 ml plastic bottles. This year, instead of painting these bottles, we recycled even plastic bags and old socks (suggested by member ” Shy Jean“) to shield them from the heat of the sun. Cooling with ice packs as shared by member Wanqing’s method was also explored during very warm weather. As much as possible, I hope to show gardeners that growing strawberries in tropical countries, is possible and with the least carbon footprint and costs.
Sun, Chill and Aeration for health! Isn’t these the same for humans too?! 🙂 Frozen ice pack cool the strawberries as they sunbathed! 🙂
June 2016 – The pineapple strawberry continued to thrive. Recycled old socks protect “pots” from our tropical heat!
July 28 2016 – Strawberry plant grown in a 600ml Sprite bottle
Smallest bottle strawberry plant at flowering stage
See why I enjoyed growing strawberries from seeds? We get the chance to witness each development closely as they evolved. Just watching how the crown began preparation for its flowering/fruiting journey is amazing. 🙂
First, just a single crown with one new “shoot”
Then it becomes two!
More than 2 leaves at the crown
The crown thickened and ready to multiply! The stems become redder as well.
July 14 2016 – First flower spotted!!
Human bees get to work on July 17 2016 –
Summer began on the first flower to open! 🙂
Household chores – Pollinating strawberries flowers (Shona, my niece)
August 7 2016 – Children pollinating flowers
Self pollination with a paint brush
Pollinating flowers with new young friends (Jonas and Eva) from NakedGreens‘ gardening group! August 14 2016 –
When pollination is successful, strawberry’s petals will dropped completely.
Hopefully this developing fruit complete its journey!
Can’t wait to taste our yellow strawberries ! 🙂
Sometimes, even after successful pollination, the fruit may dry up in Singapore, halting its journey to fruiting. Thus, we always keep our fingers crossed till harvest day! Not taking any developments for granted. The strawberry plant though continued to evolve. Check out how flowering stems developed from the crown. –
Newly formed flowers just began.
New flower buds
July 27 2016 -Pretty little bloom peeking out 🙂
Regardless of the color of the fruits, strawberries flowers are yellow center, either white or pink flowers.
HARVEST DAY (Parent Plants to our second generation seedlings to come) – August 7 2016 :)
Amazing taste – rose syrup, pineapples and only a hint of strawberries. Very light yellow and a strong scent of pineapple when ripe!
Aug 13 2016 – Saving these for the grandparents!
Aug 22 2016 – Sweet and flavorful ! Pineapple candies smell scent the room 🙂
Kids love these yellow strawberries!!
Aug 21 2016 – Bountiful harvest.
September 17 2016 – Do the fruits look like pineapple to you? 🙂
These strawberries took one month to slowly ripen and grow. Fruit sizes are about 2.5 cm to 3 cm when its fully ripe. Pineapple candies smell scent the bedroom! 🙂
Heirloom Pineapple Strawberries – about 2.5 – 3 cm
They are sweet, a surprise hint of rose syrup with pineapple and strawberries taste! 🙂
Video of our strawberries plants – (in English and Japanese)
Second Generation (Born in Singapore Strawberries) – Seeds from our ripe strawberries were sowed for the next generation of pineapple strawberries. Hopefully we will have acclimatized strawberry plants for Singapore soon.
August 26 2016 – Very ripe fruits were sacrificed for seeds!
Germinated on August 30, these seedlings are about a week old on September 7 2016.
Sept 2016 – New generation of strawberry seedlings from born in Singapore Heirloom parents! 🙂
As the seedlings grew, we need more space to accommodate an expanding garden. Thus vertical space was considered again. A new method to grow them in less soil and using Singapore natural resources work well. 🙂 It will be shared in workshop sessions only.
Hanging Garden of strawberries and camomile plants
Jan 16 2017 7 am – Scented Window Garden at the balcony 🙂
January 26 2017 – My office where I wrote and replied posts!
Second generation‘s first fruit harvested on January 30 2016 –
Jan 26 2017 – First fruit spotted!
Observations on second generation plants (February 02 2017 ) –
- Hardier than Generation 1 , need no chilling treatment
- Slower to flower
- Fruits production is less than parent plants
With so many seedlings on hand, window of opportunities grew to learn more from them. For example, what kind of soil is best for strawberries? Working with soil specialist, we were able to put our seedlings through soil trials in order to pin down a formula that work for these plants in our climate. Thus, customized ready soil mix is in the pipeline soon! 🙂
December 01 2016 – Seedlings from our parent plants
The learning journey never stops as we sought to learn more about our strawberries. What kind of soil is best for them? As these plants are not commonly grown (yet), everything from soil mixes to plant care have to be documented. After many months of trial and errors, I think the solution to best soil mixes is close! 🙂 What do you think of our progress on these 3 months old seedlings ? 🙂
Same age seedlings! The bigger plant are grown in our customized strawberry soil compared to normal commercial organic soil 🙂
Another discovery on December 10 2016 – Stressed Alpine strawberries even a reputed non-runner variety like this one will sent out runners when they sensed danger! 🙂 I do not think this is a good sign for this plant. Surely it is no longer a heirloom, more of a mutant, and even if the runner is rooted, I doubt it will bear fruits. We will just have to wait and see how this plant grow, will update.
An almost torn stem triggered runners in this plant
The instinct to live is high for this seedling! 🙂
Dec 12 2016 – The more pronounced the tear, the more developed the runner.
Second Generation Strawberry Plants
Recovered from transplant shock very quickly, within 2 days instead of weeks.
Dec 10 2016 – Suffered a transplant shock
Dec 11 2016 – Recovered in the afternoon
Comparative Study of SG vs. USA seedlings –
Since we have seeds from USA Heirloom and SG born Pineapple Strawberry plants, we thought it would be interesting to study how they grow together for a comparative study. These were our observation so far –
SG seed from our own plants germinated one of these SG seedlings on Aug 30 2016
The germination rate for SG seedlings was 4 days compared to 9 days for USA seeds, and as can be observed, the speed of growth is faster for SG seedlings as well. These pictures were taken on October 2nd 2016.
Heirloom USA seed germinated on Aug 30
Seasoned gardeners lend a hand to study how to grow strawberries better in Singapore from February 2016 –
Terence Low of Naked Greens 🙂 Also Pak Mat (hydroponics), Calvin Soh (Guerilla Seeds), Alan Tan and even my lecturer on Hydroponics, Gregory Chow Kheong Keat (Ngee Ann Polytechnic)
Summary of Pineapple Strawberries Information –
- Perennial Plant
- has no runners
- Ideal soil temperature 16 – 21 degree Celsius
- Soil PH 6.1 to 7
- Can tolerate full sun or partial
- Small fruits of light yellow colors
SEEDS AVAILABLE FOR SALE !