By Carrie Terry

Alpine strawberries hail from Europe’s western and southern Alps and are considered a delicacy in France. These small strawberries have a slightly almond taste. Like other strawberries, alpine strawberries grow in summer. Their beautiful foliage can be used year-round as landscaping and ground cover. Alpine strawberries can be easily planted for growth in an outdoor setting.

Choose your planting location. Alpine strawberries need sunshine but can stand partial shade. They need good drainage, so choose or build an elevated position for the new strawberry plants. Strawberries are best planted in zone 4, and they need temperate conditions.

Dig several holes wide and deep enough to accommodate the roots of your strawberry plants. Dig the holes 8 to 12 inches away from one another, putting the dirt you’ve removed in a wheelbarrow or on a plastic sheet.

Mix the removed dirt with all-purpose fertilizer or compost for the planting so that you have a 50-50 mixture of dirt and compost or fertilizer. This will give the young plants nutrition and make them more successful.

Place the strawberry plants in their holes and spread the roots evenly. If the roots cannot be fanned out, enlarge the hole.

Sprinkle dirt over the roots until they’re completely covered up to where the stem starts but no higher. Pat the soil down firmly over the roots to settle them.

Water the new plants 1 to 2 inches a week. Fertilize them again only when strawberries begin to develop.

Plant alpine strawberries in the spring for a summer crop.

Alpine strawberry plants don’t produce runners like most varieties of strawberries, so they only last a couple years. After that, they’ll need to be replaced.

Plant your strawberries in a place that is protected from deer and rabbits.

Don’t plant alpine strawberries where you’ve had potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes or peppers, as those plants may have left bacteria that will cause blight.