Strawberries

Ah, Strawberries, those ripe sweet juicy red non-fruits that we all think of as a fruit. I have a lot of strawberries in my soft fruit garden, I have two kinds of strawberries my June producers, that give me one big push of fruit in the spring, and then spend the rest of the summer sending out babies, which is great for transplanting and as give away gifts to friends. 

The second type of strawberry that I grow is a everbearing, this means that I get less strawberries but I get two or sometimes even three crops from them, I love having the mix, the june ones give me the first fresh fruit of the spring, other then rhubarb, and then the everbearing keeps me in strawberries thoughout the rest of the summer and typically even into the fall.

I have enough june bearing strawberries that this year I hope to preserve at least a hundred pds of strawberries plus fresh eating, I have found that I like strawberries perserved three ways, Dried, Canned and frozen. I don’t make a lot of strawberry jam, but I do like to do strawberry fruit which is very easy to turn into jam once opened.

When I am drying them, I wash, top and slice an dry, sometimes I will dip some of the biggest peices in suger and save them in a glass jar, and then use them as a finishing touch, once they are fully dry, you can also grind them into a strawberry poweder.

For Canning, I find strawberres are a little touchy when it comes to mold, so I do can them in a med syrup, raither then a light.

For Freezings, I like to put them out on a tray in a single line and fresh as fast as possable and then pop them off frozen solid and then into freezer bags, or I will cook them down with fresh ginger or a touch of lemon juice or other fruits and then cool and bag, freezing them flat and then stacking them for later use.

I like to do my strawberry plants with clean straw bedding, I find that it helps keep the berries clean and the bedding helps keep the soil from drying out.

I do have a third type of strawberries but I consider them to be wild fruit, I have alpine or wild strawberries growing in my front yard, only DH has the ability to lay on the ground and pick those tiny, tiny but o so flavorful berries, he brings me in a couple cups, which I then mix with my garden grown and use them to Booster that amazing flavor.

Strawberries have to be one of the easiest plants to grow in a garden, if you give them some compost, full sun, and around 1 to 2 inches of water per week that they are producing, including flowering time, and you have it made.

Ways to keep your rows vary with folks like and dislikes, its totally up to you on how you like to keep them, some folks like single thick rows like you would get at a U-pick, some folks like to do a stagger double row with about 12 inches apart, and other’s like myself will do a three row stagger, its like a V with a plant on the points with a three foot raised bed, the raised beds should be around 6 inches or more high.

Early spring yet in the strawberry rows.

The first thing I want to do when we have our first flush is just a simple wash, slice and sugar to pull the juice out and then serve dripped over with our maple syrup.

What or how do you eat the first batch of strawberries of the season?

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4 Responses to Strawberries

  1. Candace says:

    I just planted 20 strawberry plants today, and they took up a whole lot less room than I thought they would. I reserved 72 square feet for strawberries (one 20×4 bed with the ends reserved for flowers), so I’m going to get more tomorrow. I was wondering how many strawberry plants you usually have. It sounds like you are able to grow enough to do a lot with them.

    • Hi Candise,

      Funny, I was just working to figure that out, I believe I have between 400 to 450 plants currently based on space given, general planting and the fact that I know I have around 50 babies that need to still be moved, and that’s after the hundred we gave away last fall to a fellow farmer to start their own bed.

      I normally give each plant one square foot each, so if you reserved 72 sqaure feet, then if I was planting it, it would be 72 plants but you don’t need to do that all in one year unless you want to, if you want to plant half this year, let some make their runners, put in quick growing harvesting other plants in the rest of the space, by fall, the odds are good you will have lots of babies to transplant over, instead of putting out the funds now.

      As my hubby says we started with 50 plants, have hundreds and have given away hundreds in the past six years.. if given good conditions, they produce like crazy.. I don’t tend to keep any plants older then four years before they are pulled and replaced with younger plants.

      Look forward to hearing how it goes for you.

      • ps, the babies that are transferred over in the fall, for me at least will set fruit the next year quite well, they say on aveage that each plant should produce about a pd of fruit.

        I am planning on weighin things this year and tracking it as much as possable, and we will see.

  2. Pingback: Garden Count so far for 2011 | Just another Day on the Farm

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