Not only is our fruit of the month Strawberries, our something to do is Strawberry Pickin'. We encourage you to get out with your littles, find a strawberry patch and pick your hearts out! Here is everything you need to know about growing, harvesting, cleaning and preparing strawberries. And later this week, look forward to our Strawberry Pie Recipe brought to you by our sweet cousin Tiffany and her girls Lauren and Ansley.
Strawberries, like most berries, are perennials. A typical strawberry plant will bring a harvest for 2 to 3 years. "A single plant will send you several runners towards the end of each season; these runners easily establish themselves as new, independent plants." Some prefer to start from the crown when starting strawberries, as opposed to starting from seeds because they are more hearty for various temperatures and new comer planters. You may not know, but this but there are several varieties of strawberries. -Harvest to table
Vitamin and Nutrient info:
"Strawberries mainly consist of water (91%) and carbohydrates (7.7%). They contain only minor amounts of fat (0.3%) and protein (0.7%). One cup of whole strawberries (150 grams) contains less than 50 calories. The table below contains information on all the main nutrients in strawberries."- Health Line
How to Grow:
Growing fruit at home can be very tedious. Most fruit plants you’ll plant, whether it’s a tree, vine, or bush, will take a few years to produce a harvest. -Harvest to Table
"Space 6 to 18 inches apart, depending on type. Be careful not to bury the crown of the plant, or it will rot.
Strawberries need well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Amend heavy clay or sandy soil with compost or other organic matter prior to planting. Create raised beds if soil is heavy or drains poorly. Soil pH should be between 5.5 and 6.8.
Keep soil consistently moist throughout the growing season. Moisture is the key to plump, fully-formed berries. Mulch soil to reduce water evaporation.
Strawberry plants are sensitive to frost. Temperatures of 28º F or less (a hard frost) damage flowers. Protect newly planted seedlings and established, budded plants by covering plants with straw or a frost blanket. By fall, strawberry plants have formed the flower buds that will open the following spring. To protect them through winter, apply a 2- to 3-inch mulch of straw, pine straw, or other loose organic material.
Slugs can be a problem when using organic mulch, so use plastic mulch to discourage them). Keep birds from feasting on berries by covering plants with plastic bird netting. Small, misshapen berries are can be caused by drought or high temperatures.
Pick berries in the morning, when fruits are cool. Select fully formed and colored berries, as unripe berries won’t continue to ripen once picked. Carefully pull strawberries (with stems) from plants. Aim to leave about a half-inch stem on each berry." -Bonnie's Plants
The best time to pick berries is the morning, when they are cool. You should pick fully formed and full colored berries; berries will not continue to ripen once they are picked. Gently pull strawberries, with stems from plants. You'll want to try and leave about a half-inch stem remaining on each berry, but certainly no more. -Bonnie Plants
Our cousin Tiffany and her girls Lauren and Ansley's strawberry pickin' adventure on Friday's Strawberry Pie blog!
How to Store and Prep:
Those plastic containers you get from the store that you bring your berries home in... they are fruit's worst enemy. In fact, you should keep all of your berries in an air-tight container, like a mason jar. This works for keeping berries of all sorts fresh for much longer than a week.
Seal tight as you take what you need for each use. Get in the habit of emptying them as soon as you get home from the store.
Rinse strawberries thoroughly with water to make sure that there isn't any dirt and other damaged parts on the strawberries. Remove stems and try on a paper towel or pat to dry.
How to Eat:
Salads (Click link for recipe)
Lemonade and Drinks
Jams and Jellies