I visited our local food coop today and they had fresh strawberries that had just arrived on the truck. Oh, they looked so good, I couldn’t resist. I purchased two quarts of these beauties (I admit, this is the time of the year I get a little excited when I see fresh berries showing up on the shelves).
They are definitely a tasty treat, but, there is still nothing better than homegrown strawberries. I can’t wait for my strawberry patch to begin producing this year’s crop.
If you are interested in starting your own strawberry bed, here are a few tips:
- Strawberries are a perennial and can be overwintered. They can grow in containers, raised beds or your backyard garden plot. The average strawberry bed will produce berries for 3 to 5 years.
- There are different types of strawberries; June-bearing (produces a crop for approx. 3 weeks), ever-bearing (produces a heavy crop early summer followed by lighter crop in late summer), and Alpine (can produce intermittently all summer).
- Purchase started plants at your local nursery and transplant in mid spring. Choose a location that has good fertile soil and lots of sun.
- Plant upper crown slightly above or level with ground spacing plants 12 to 16 inches apart and approximately 28 inches between rows.
- Planting just 25 June-bearing strawberry plants can produce about 25 quarts of berries annually (my mouth is beginning to water at the thought of these fresh berries).
For more growing tips, check out “How does your garden grow?” on page 233 in our book Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World ® along with some great strawberry recipes.