Here at GardenPlugs.com we plan to offer a variety of plugs for home gardeners including gourmet strawberries. At first, the selection will be limited. When we become more efficient at planning, growing and packaging our products we will offer new products.
Your first questions is likely “what are gourmet strawberries”. If you conduct a search online for those terms you will see many “hits” with chocolate covered strawberries. I have to admit that such strawberries are decadent and too sweet for my diabetic body. It’s a shame that hybrid strawberries have to be dipped in chocolate or smothered in sugar to make them palatable. The gourmet strawberries we are talking about and selling here are a completely different species from those you typically buy in the produce market or grocery store. There are several species that we consider gourmet but the main one is Fragaria vesca. This is also known as the alpine strawberry, fraises des bois or woodland strawberry.
I have been collecting and testing cultivars of alpine strawberries for nearly 30 years. I have chosen a cultivar known as ‘Mignonette’ for our first product on this site. The flavor of the fruit is excellent though it is slightly less productive than some other red fruiting cultivars. It is an excellent choice for growing in stackable planters, garden beds, aquaponics systems, hydroponic systems and greenhouses to name a few.
We should point out that alpines have very unique growing habits. They produce few to no runners. Rather, they produce a clump of stolons (growing points) that form the clump. Each stolon has the potential to produce a bloom stalk with flowers that when pollinated will produce a berry. The older the plant the more stolons. The more stolons the more berries.
For years we have been trying to locate and purchase packaging that will secure plugs or plants during transit to our customers. One of the criteria for selecting packaging was also efficiency in packaging. This is important because labor is a major expense in packaging and one that increase the cost to you the customer. We recently located such packaging for what we call 51 plugs. These plugs are small plants grown in a tray of 51, thus its name. The packaging allows us to ship six plants per blisterpak as it’s called. Packaging 6 plants per pak gives you more flexibility in the cultivars that you will purchase since alpines are available in red, white and yellow fruiting types.