Latin name: Fragaria vesca
Strawberries have been eaten by humans for hundreds if not thousands of years. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that they gained popularity and became a staple in the home garden. This mini variety, also known as wild or alpine strawberries, is native to many temperate regions of the world, including parts of North and South America.
These strawberries are an alpine type known for their abundant harvest of sweet, flavorful berries that will add a beautiful pop of red to your Gardyn. Strawberries are a delicious source of vitamin C, folate, and healthful flavonoids including anthocyanins and ellagic acid, both of which are antioxidants!
Care & Harvest
💡Temperature: Prefer warmer temperatures in the 70-85°F range and thrive in 60-75% relative humidity. Watch out for browning on the edges of the leaves, which is a sign their environment is too dry. If you see this, try adding a humidifier near your Gardyn!
🐝 Pollination: Mini Strawberries require help with pollination to encourage flowers to form fruit. When the white flowers appear, hold each flower gently between your index and middle fingers. Intentionally swirl the entire flower head 2-3 times with your thumb, ensuring you touch the entire surface. Pollination is an art, and uneven or incomplete pollination can cause your fruit to form funny (though still edible) shapes! Once pollinated, the flower will drop its petals and transform into a berry.
✂️ Pruning: While Mini Strawberries are a compact variety, you may find you need to prune to keep your plant healthy and encourage continued fruit production. Follow these vital Strawberry pruning tips:
- Never prune back more than ⅓ of the leaves at a time. You can remove any yellow or brown leaves if they appear.
- Snip off any flowers that appear until the plant has at least 4 developed, fully open leaves.
- Prune away all runners, or stolons, throughout the plants' entire life cycle.
- Prune your Strawberry roots twice a month by trimming away any brown, black, or slimy roots, along with any roots extending past the yPod. Regularly adding HydroBoost to your tank can significantly help with root health (among other benefits!).
🔎 Plant Health: Mini Strawberries have sensitive root systems, leaving them susceptible to root rot. To combat this, we recommend twice monthly tank refreshes, twice monthly root checks/pruning, and weekly doses of HydroBoost. Aphids and spider mites are common pests, but you can use our prevention and treatment tricks to keep pests at bay!
🍓Harvest: Strawberries are ready to pick when each berry is red all the way to the stem. Color, rather than size, indicates ripeness. If you still see white or light red tissue, the berry isn't ready yet! For maximum flavor, give ripe berries an extra day or two to really fill out. They should feel soft to the touch, not firm. Harvest berries right off the stem by either pinching them off with your fingers or using a clean pair of scissors to snip berries' individual stems.
Harvest to Plate Recipe
Mini Strawberry Muffins
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup Mini Strawberries, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 Tbsp. raw sugar, for tops of muffins
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Using a mixer, or by hand, in a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the buttermilk and combine until the nice thick batter just comes together.
- Add the Mini Strawberries, mix for a few seconds with the mixer paddle or a wooden spoon, then gently fold in the berries to combine well.
- Line a regular muffin pan with 6 paper muffin liners and fill with the batter until almost full.
- Sprinkle with raw sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature. To freeze the muffins, let them cool completely and store in a freezer-friendly container or bag.