Alpine Strawberry Seeds
So, I am attempting to get some Alpine Strawberry plants started, and have had quite a bit of trouble.
On a whim, I purchased 3 packets from Swallowtail Garden Seeds and forgot about them for a few weeks. Once I remembered, I planted each one, about 1 month between plantings. All 3 packets have resulted in 0 (perhaps 1) plant.
The first packet of 100 seeds I put in a tray of peat moss and perlite, dusted the top with the seeds, sprinkled a small bit of peat on top for coverage, then watered and covered with a clear dome, leaving the whole affair in the window. The tray and dome were actually containers for deli food from the local supermarket, properly cleaned up for use in this manner. This setup worked just fine for catnip seeds, so I was hopeful that I would have similar success with the strawberries.
No stratification or soaking was done, as it was more or less a spontaneous thing.
I had 1 small seedling pop up, literally weeks after I had given up the pot as a failure, which may or may not be catnip (as the bottom layer of soil was re-used). I repotted that one yesterday in a bigger pot and put it in a sunny windowsill. It is about 3-4 weeks old now and was not growing in the 1" pot I had it in.
The second packet I used on a setup I had already germinated some Strawberry seeds from. However, the other strawberry seeds that I managed to germinate were literally seeds flaked off a fresh strawberry from the store, but I had a great deal of success with that, with 5 rather big "keeper" plants from the set. It has been 2 months now with no germination, again with a domed cover (with several holes for ventilation), and in a shady spot near the windowsill. I have since moved the setup outside into a shady area, I am hoping the colder temperatures at night would spark germination. Again, no stratification nor soaking of the seeds.
The third setup was a standard 1" pot. The pot was sold as a little $1 kit from Target for Valentines' day, and came with alpine strawberry seeds, which I did not use (I am unsure as to the age of that seed). These pots actually have had a really good success rate for me and other seeds, but again, I foolishly did not try stratification nor soaking the seeds. I had 1 seedling from this, which I believe got damp-off and died.
I have sinceforth moved the pot onto a small nook near the air conditioner, in order to see if lower temperatures will work. By my count it still has 99 seeds that might germinate, someday...
All 3 of these were more or less spontaneous attempts at getting these seeds to work, in all 3 cases I had seeds laying around that I had forgotten about and just decided to go for it.
However, I got a new setup of seeds from Kitchen Garden Seeds, 3 packets of 1000 yellow alpine seeds, 2 packets of red alpine seeds. This one had slightly different instructions, mentioning that the plants will not germinate over 70 degrees. In addition, angered by my previous losses, I looked up propagation of these seeds online, apparently they require being frozen for a short period to bring them out of dormancy?
So right now, my setup is:
2 packets in the Freezer, put in there 2 days ago. 1y 1r.
2 packets in the Fridge, put in there 2 days ago. 1y 1r.
1 packet in my workshop, 1y.
I am unsure how to proceed from here. My plan is to take the 4 packets out of the fridge/freezer at the start of September. The temperatures in my area are hovering around 55-60 at night, but hitting 85-90 in the day, which is apparently too hot for the seeds to germinate?
What would everyone suggest I do with my new seed? I was thinking of keeping the plants out during the night, and putting them near the air conditioner during the day, in order to attempt to keep them cold enough to germinate. I could try the baggie method (ziplock with damp paper towels) instead, but with the size of the seed I am a bit worried about that.
I have a kit of Fiber Grow Pellets -- peat moss discs with a "hairnet" surrounding them, which supposedly are great for starting seeds, as well as a tupperware tray that I can use to put them in and keep them moist, but that is a moot point if the temperature is what is preventing germination.
Would the seed be ok if I simply left it in the fridge/freezer until fall? I honestly would like to get the seed started this year rather than waiting for fall and growing them in a window all winter, but if that's the only option I will take it.