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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 –
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.
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. 🙂
Human bees get to work on July 17 2016 –
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.
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. –
HARVEST DAY (Parent Plants to our second generation seedlings to come) – August 7 2016 :)
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! 🙂
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.
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.
Second generation‘s first fruit harvested on January 30 2016 –
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! 🙂
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 ? 🙂
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.
The instinct to live is high for this seedling! 🙂
Second Generation Strawberry Plants
Recovered from transplant shock very quickly, within 2 days instead of weeks.
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 –
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.
Seasoned gardeners lend a hand to study how to grow strawberries better in Singapore from February 2016 –
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 !