STRAWBERRIES.. the gateway fruit to getting kids into the garden!
Every kids loves strawberries. Just walking past a big, lucious berries makes it irresistable to pluck from the vine and enjoy its fresh and juciy sweetness. And what is best about strawberries is how incredibly easy they are to grow anywhere and everywhere! And in they keep on going year after year. Strawberries love to grow where people like to live – in weather that is not too cold and not too hot….and not too wet and not too dry.
It is very hard to start strawberries from seed. It is best to buy plant already started. These plants can be regular plants that already have leaves, or just the “crowns” with no leaves. Crowns are what is generally planted when it is early in the season. It is the short, the crown is thickened stem of a strawberry plant that has a growing point at the upper end and roots growing from the base. If planted correctly, crowns grow quickly and will produce berries the first year.
The strawberry plant will send out shoots called “runners” that run along the ground and start a new crown away from the mother plant. Over the years, strawberriy plants will run allover the ground covering it in all directions if you let it. Strawberries have shallow root systems, so they are a great choice to grow in containers if you don’t want them running all over or if you live where it gets really cold in the winter so you can bring the pot into the garage when winter rolls around.
A Couple of Things to Watch Out For:
As they grow, strawberries hang down from the plant and can touch the surrounding ground. This makes them as handy to pests as they are to people. Pests such as slugs and ants tend to chomp on them so keep. Also, you can get a rotten spot where the fruit comes into contact with the earth. If you keep the plants near the kitchen door or along the path you usually follow, it is east to keep your eyes on them… watering them when they need it, spraying bugs off if you see them, and grabbing a tasty treat when you are off to play in the garden!
A Few interesting facts:
- Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
- Each stawberry has about 200 seeds.
- Each of these yellow seeds is technically an individual fruit.
- Do not plant your strawberry plant where tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, strawberries, raspberries, or black berries have grown in the past 3 years. They just DON’T get along!