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GARDENING Q&A

Alpine Strawberries Can Be Grown Locally

September 05, 1993|BILL SIDNAM

QUESTION: When we visited France last year, we were served a bowl of tiny wild strawberries at a local restaurant. They were delicious! Can we grow them here?

ANSWER: You are probably referring to Alpine strawberries and they grow quite well here in the Southland. Alpine strawberries are different from standard strawberries. They are slimmer, more pointed and only about a third of the size of typical strawberries. They have a flavor that is more like a raspberry than a strawberry. Seeds for Alpine strawberries are available from Burpee Seeds, 300 Park Ave., Warminster, Pa. 18991; they offer a free catalogue.

How to Propagate Horseradish Plants

Q: A friend has a nice stand of horseradish in her garden. I would like to grow it. Can I propagate it from her plants?

A: Yes, cut three-inch long pieces from the roots in spring or fall. Plant the pieces 18 inches apart and 4 inches below the soil surface. The soil should be prepared with plenty of organic material. A word of warning: Horseradish can become an invasive plant as it tends to spread and choke out surrounding plants. It is best to isolate it in a bed of its own, away from other plants.

What Plum Variety Has Yellow Fruit?

Q: A neighbor has a plum tree in his yard that bears delicious yellow colored fruit. I would like to plant one of these trees but my neighbor does not know what kind of plum tree it is. Have you any idea?

A: It is probably a plum variety called Howard Miracle. This tree produces beautiful yellow fruit that's blushed with red. The flesh is yellow and juicy with a slight pineapple flavor. Howard Miracle trees should be available at local nurseries but you may have to phone around to locate one.

Year After Huge Crop Grapefruit Drops Fruit

Q: My 10-year-old grapefruit tree had a huge crop last year, but this year almost all the fruit dropped when it was tiny. It gets the same care as my two orange trees and they are loaded with fruit. What happened?

A: This is a common occurrence with many citrus trees. The next season after a particularly large crop, the tree tends to drop most of its fruit and the crop is sparse. This is nature's way of giving the tree a rest. If you have watered and fed it properly, this is probably what happened to your tree. Next year it should produce a normal crop.

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