Making the Most of Strawberry Season

    Wild strawberries have been nibbled on since the Stone Age. In ancient times, the strawberry was considered a remedy, which eventually led to their cultivation in the Middle Ages.

    Nothing says summertime more than the arrival of strawberries. Grocery stores, farmer markets and roadside stands are filled with juicy, sweet strawberries, ripe and ready to sweeten the season. Eat them straight from the vine, blend them in smoothies, use them to top a summer salad, or create a delicious strawberry tart. Enjoy!

    Numerous types of strawberries

    There are about 1,000 different strawberry varieties worldwide, and they can differ in taste, size, shape and color.  There are strawberry plants that bloom once in spring, and there are others that bloom or bear fruit several times a year. In the U.S., 90% of strawberries grown come from California.

    Strawberries are so healthy: vitamins, calories and ingredients

    Strawberries are not only delicious; they are also very healthy.

    Vitamins: These small red fruits score high on nutrition with many good ingredients, such as folic acid and vitamins B, K and C. The latter in particular makes the strawberry a real vitamin bomb: strawberries have a higher vitamin C content per ounce than oranges or lemons.

    Minerals: Strawberries contain valuable minerals such as calcium, zinc, phosphorus and iron – so they strengthen the immune system as well as the structure and function of bones, muscles and teeth.

    Secondary plant substances: The secondary plant substances have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and can have an anti-inflammatory effect.

    Dietary fiber: Its high content of dietary fiber promotes digestion.

    Calories: Because they are 90 percent water, they are also very low in calories. Strawberries have just 32 calories per ½ cup.

    Tip: Regional free-range strawberries are harvested ripe and have short transport routes. For this reason, they have a higher content of vitamins and minerals than imported fruits. 

    Planting strawberries: tips and tricks

    Here are a few tips and tricks for growing your own strawberries right in your back yard.

    Location: Strawberry plants like sun. The more sun exposure, the sweeter the taste. A little wind ensures that the rainwater dries quickly and the plants are not wet.

    Soil: A humus-rich and well-drained soil is an advantage. It should be loosened up about a month before planting, and then moist when ready to plant.

    Planting time: The perfect planting time varies from December to early May, depending on where you live. 

    Distance: A distance of 7 to 10 inches is recommended between the individual plants in a row.

    Care: Strawberries need plenty of water. When pouring the soil, care should be taken to ensure that the fruits and leaves do not get wet. In addition, the plants enjoy a soil that is free of weeds. The soil should only be fertilized after the harvest. 

    Yield: The biggest harvest is not expected until the second or third year. 

    Balcony: Strawberries can also be planted on the balcony. Robust, always-bearing monthly strawberries are particularly suitable for containers or hanging baskets.

    Picture: © Sanny11 / istock  

    Strawberries