Strawberries — Grow Your Own Organic (Part 1)

I (like most people who aren’t allergic) love strawberries. I used to buy huge 2lb containers of them every week.  So, when I read a while back about how many chemicals are used to grow them commercially, it really hurt me to stop. I switched to organic only and of course, I started growing my own again.

There are three main things you need to figure out if you want to grow strawberries.

  • Ever-bearing or June-bearing
  • Size
  • Containers or garden

June-bearing strawberries come in all at once during the summer and are fantastic for having big bowls of strawberries or having enough to freeze or make preserves. Ever-bearing are good for having strawberries “year-round”.  Well sort of… They wouldn’t survive outside in northeast weather so I generally keep a few ever-bearing plants on a windowsill indoors through the winter so I can get an organic fresh strawberry in the winter. When you buy your strawberry plants make sure you either have your phone to check the type online if you are in a store.  If you are buying mail order then it should tell you in the description.  Do not buy strawberry plants that just say, “Strawberries.” You need to know the variety and the bearing type.

Strawberry Shortcake (yes, I made it)

Size matters in strawberries. Everyone loves the classic huge strawberry (because they’re good), but the teeny strawberry is the true joy of growing your own. The big strawberry is great for fresh eating, strawberry shortcakes or dipping in chocolate. The teeny strawberry has a more intense strawberry flavor than the big ones.  The teeny ones are best picked ripe but don’t ship well which is why you will rarely find it fresh in the supermarket, but you may find some at a farmers’ market.  If you want to add strawberry flavor to something, use the teeny strawberries.  Oh, and if you want something amazing you can sub in the teeny strawberries for blueberries in muffins. So good!!

Wow… this is getting long quick… I’ll post the second half later today.

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