Heating pad outdoors for alpine strawberry seeds?


I tried Alpine strawberries from seed a few years ago and did not get enough light indoors and they were leggy and did not do well on the transition outside. I am trying again.

Here is my plan:
-Heating pad for germination - in San Diego it is 70 degrees each day, and 45 at night. Can just plug this into outdoor outlet (no rain for 10 days, will only use this for germination, not growth)
-Cardboard/peat trays for the containers to minimize transplant shock
-Clear cover to retain humidity.

Does anyone have any guidance or ideas? It would be great to start them in natural outdoor light so they are stronger for the real world.

If it gets that warm during the day, why not set them in a clear partially covered tub or under a plastic container like a sheet cake might come in. The sun will make it plenty warm in there, too warm even if you don’t keep an eye on it with a thermometer to keep tabs.

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I had read that the night temperatures should be around 60 degrees. Not sure, I could try it both ways and see what happens.

Cover it at night with a quilt or bring them inside.

Or place the seedlings on a large vessle filled with water to the top. (no air left in the vessle)
This wil heat up during the day, and give that heat “back” at night at the bottom of your seedling tray.

It will also temper the maxmum heat at full sun midday a bit.


i sprouted mine in a spot with about 6hrs of full afternoon sun then moved them once sprouted into direct sun all day and they took right off. i misted the pots a few times a day untill they sprouted then used a small watering can to water them. they sprouted with night temps still in the mid 40’s.

Hi Steve, how long did they take to sprout? Sounds like in natural state it can take 2 months, and with some tricks it can be 1-2 weeks. Thanks

JamesN, you might be overthinking it. I’m also in USDA zone 10a, and I have a whole yard of alpine strawberries sprouting from seeds that fell from potted ones on an upstairs deck. I would just start them outside in a pot or flat with sandy soil. Shade it so that you can keep the soil moist until they sprout.

BTW, I tried starting them inside and had the same experience as you–leggy and did not survive transplant well.

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about a week to week and a half but i stratified them in the freezer for a few months before planting.

I ended up using a variety of techniques. Germination on the heating pad outside definitely speeds up the process. About 40 out of the packet have germinated (50 seeds per packet, and usually they give extra).

Those set outside without the heating pad have germinated 2 seeds out of over 100 seeds in the two packets. That may be from colder weather, 55-65 degrees the past couple weeks.

So far it seems like the heating pad outside can speed things up and still give the benefit of natural light. My challenge in So Cal will be moisture because things can dry up quick. I am using the clear plastic cover in the big box store germination trays but will probably have to remove them pretty soon due to the threat of disease.

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Here are the Baron Solemacher seedlings

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I am considering trying this… and watched the youtube vid below earlier today…

Hers were up in 9 days… she had them started in clear plastic containers with a lid to keep the moisture in.

I have a location that gets half day sun, early morning to noon… My back porch faces due east.
I have some concrete planters out there, that I have grown basil, chives, even some green bell peppers (they were a little leggy, but made some good peppers)…

Have any of you tried growing Alpine Strawberries in a half day, morning sun location ?


Mine tend to do better in that situation than in full sun.

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