Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: Everything About Strawberries: Your Favorite Red Fruit!
Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits in the world, cultivated for thousands of years due to their sweetness, juicy, and slightly rich flavor. They are cold resistant, easy to grow, and cost-effective, rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which can help you stay healthy! They can also be paired well with various sweet and salty dishes, making them the perfect food on hand all year round. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.
This article explores the varieties, benefits, growth habits, and techniques of strawberries, providing you with an overview to help you understand all the knowledge about strawberries.
What is a strawberry?
Strawberries are traditionally red, with a variety of red, pink, or even yellow or white, somewhat heart-shaped, inlaid with tiny seeds. Oh, they are also one of the most popular fruits in the world! Due to cultivation and careful breeding, they can also have various sweet to sour, but juicy flavors, depending on their purpose.
Although called a berry, strawberries are technically a polymerization assisted fruit because they do not directly come from the plant's ovaries. Cold and hardy, it is a perennial plant belonging to the Frageria genus that has been cultivated from wild species for thousands of years.
The History of Strawberries
It is first mentioned in works originating from Europe and the Mediterranean region of Asia that wild strawberries are mostly small, delicate, and lack overall flavor. They are not consumed as staple foods, but are more regarded as ornamental plants, although they are likely harvested by ancient hunter gatherers around the world. Due to the discovery of various varieties on almost all continents, they are likely to have an incredibly long and diverse history before being intentionally planted and harvested.
In the 14th century, French gardeners transplanted wild forest varieties into their gardens and bred them based on their size and flavor. By the 1700s, various strawberries from around the world were traded and planted across oceans, and quickly became a popular dish for the rich and poor.
It was at this time that the native North American strawberry Fragaria virginiana and Chilean strawberry Fragaria chiloensis crossbred, creating the ancestors of the variety we find in our gardens today.
The health benefits of strawberries
These juicy, sweet, mouth-sized fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, folate, and potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants, all of which support heart health and blood sugar levels. At 97% water, 100 grams of strawberries only have 32 calories, 7.7 grams of carbohydrates (of which 26% are fiber), and 4.9 grams of sugar, with a hypoglycemic index of 40.
They are also rich in various plant compounds and have been proven to have various health benefits, especially related to the heart and its ability to resist infection and inflammation.
Can strawberries cause allergies?
Unfortunately, strawberries can cause allergies, especially in young children. They contain a protein that can cause so-called pollen food allergies and cause mild pain or itching in the mouth, or more severe allergic shock characterized by tissue swelling and respiratory problems. Allergic proteins are associated with anthocyanins that cause redness, as white strawberries usually do not cause any problems.
Types of strawberries
Strawberries are divided into three different varieties, including nearly 250 different types. These are all hybrid due to color, flavor, size, and various climates. This allows you to choose from seed and seedling purchases based on personal preferences, as well as your own knowledge and ability to grow plants under different conditions. They have also been cultivated to resist certain diseases, cold weather, and even grow in a more compact, non running form.
June strawberries are by far the most common variety and are further divided into early season, mid season, and late season fruiters. These are usually marked by large and sweet berries, which can extend your harvest time when you mix and match different plants, rather than the average time of 10-14 days.
The early season begins to produce mature fruits at the end of spring, but it depends on temperature variables and varies depending on different regions of the country. Each season overlaps with each other for about a week, so careful planning can indeed bring very healthy harvests.
Constant yield varieties cannot provide continuous harvests, but can provide two or sometimes three harvests, depending on your climate. They also produce mature fruits for up to two weeks, occasionally producing fruits during the summer. They complement the June fruit variety well and help increase income. Their fruits are usually large and juicy.
The first harvest is usually in late spring, and the second harvest is in late summer or early autumn. The long growing season may see one-third in late autumn, as long as the plants have enough nutrients to put into production.
Japanese neutral strawberry
These are a unique variety that provides a good harvest in the first year of planting, and will continue to bloom and fruit as long as the temperature is between 35 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Apart from providing more continuous crops, the biggest difference is that the fruits are smaller and rarely exceed an inch.
How to plant strawberries
As mentioned earlier, strawberries are quite easy to grow. Due to their initial hybridization from local species discovered around the world, they can tolerate various climates and variable temperatures. They are not easily affected by many diseases or insects, although you may find small mammals and birds often nibble from them - if they become too ripe, they may also attract ants and other insects due to the sugar they produce.
They also sent runners to breed and have the ability to reseed seeds. This allows them to grow in narrow spaces and can be an interesting addition to container gardens and DIY container projects.
Although they are tolerant to many soil type, they grow best in loams that allow drainage but retain moisture. Mix nutrient rich compost with sandy and clay like soil to create an ideal planting surface. Maintain a pH value between 5.5 and 7.0 to achieve a juicy and rich flavor.
Where to plant
Strawberries perform very well when planted on soil piles, or are about 20 inches apart from each other to make room for runners. When planting seedlings, keep the crown of the tree at the soil level to support the rapid growth of the plant. You can also use a special strawberry planter or simply use a container of your own choice.
In addition, rotate crops as much as possible and avoid planting strawberries, tomatoes, eggplants, or chili peppers in areas where they have been recently planted, as they all utilize similar nutrients for production. When you plan to leave them in the same place, you can also "feed" the soil while the plants are dormant.
When to plant
Every spring, treat strawberries like any other plant. If new seedlings are placed, please plant them after the last frost or place them under a cold rack to protect the tender plants. You can also cultivate runners for each plant.
Strawberries easily start from seeds. It is best to start them indoors in a greenhouse or sunny window at the end of winter. Simply press the seeds into the moist substrate in the startup tray. They take a few weeks to sprout, but once they start, they will take off. However, they are likely to not be produced until the following year.
Harvesting and storage
Harvest strawberries when their color is uniform. The end of the fruit will first begin to ripen, and after a few days, the color will deepen and spread upwards towards the stem. When the color comes into contact with the stem, they are usually the most mature. Those planted at home are the sweetest because once picked, the taste begins to decrease.
You can use strawberries in your favorite recipes, jam and jelly, make them into pies, cut them into salads, and eat them as they are; When using them in your favorite dishes, this list is endless.
They are also easy to store because they can be canned, frozen, or even pickled. Before preparing for consumption, preparation, or storage, be sure not to rinse strawberries as they can accelerate spoilage.
Strawberries are the first ripe fruit after winter
- Americans eat over 3.5 pounds of strawberries every year
- The largest strawberry producing country is China
- On average, there are 200 seeds outside each strawberry
- California is the largest strawberry producing country in the United States
- Strawberries are a member of the Rose family!
Strawberries are considered aphrodisiacs in France
Strawberries are a popular fruit that is native to almost every continent and has been a source of food for tens of thousands of years. Their cultivation brings plump, juicy, and sweet fruits, whether you buy them from a local grocery store or plant them in your own backyard, we love these fruits today.
They are an easy to raise perennial plant, rich in important nutrients, and are a beneficial choice for heart health. They also grow well in containers, and if you plant various varieties, they can provide you with fruits for most of the year. They can also be grown indoors!