Friday, February 28, 2014

Home Garden Care: Strawberries

You can enjoy fresh strawberries during the summer from your garden, and the best part is they are relatively easy to take care of. Here are some tips and tricks if your new, or looking to learn more about growing strawberries.

Different varieties produce fruit at various times during the growing season. After your strawberries are finished producing fruit, usually in summer or fall, cut or mow the plants down to 1 or 2 inches above the crowns. When winter arrives, it's time to care for your strawberry plants by keeping them warm until spring. Cover strawberry plants once temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Use 3 to 4 inches of loose mulch, such as straw or leaves. This is necessary in climates where winter temperatures are regularly below freezing. Remove mulch in spring when the strawberry plants start to grow again or when temperatures remain regularly above freezing.

Protect strawberry plants temporarily in warmer climates on unusual cold, freezing nights. In the evening, cover plants with a sheet of spunbound polyethylene, recommends University of Oregon, and remove it in the morning. A bed sheet or piece of burlap can suffice in a crunch.

Bring potted strawberries to a protected area where freezing temperatures are not an issue. Potted plants are not as insulated as ground plants and are more susceptible to winter injury. A covered porch, garage or basement might work well. If you cannot move the container, cover the plants with mulch as you would ground plants or drape a piece of burlap over top of the container.

Some other resources to consider:

Then with all your delicious berries you can try out this yummy recipe!
Strawberry Shortcake Pops
makes 12 popsicles
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup crushed Nilla wafers
2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
1/3 cup honey (more if desired)
12 6 oz. Dixie cups
wooden popsicle sticks
In a medium bowl, combine the crushed Nilla wafers, yogurt, and honey. Set out 12 6 oz. Dixie cups, and fill each one with 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture. Set in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, puree the berries. Divide the berries among the 12 cups, and freeze for another 30 minutes.
Finally, divide the remaining yogurt mixture among the cups, add a popsicle stick to each one, and chill completely, several hours or more.
To serve, simply cut or tear the cup off. 

From Babble

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