Right now is the prime time for strawberries. Seeing all the fresh strawberries at the local farmer’s markets got me thinking about my delicious Strawberry cake that I make.
Strawberries are a red, sweet, juicy fruit consumed in everything from preserves to milkshakes. Synonymous with summertime, but able to withstand shipping and storage, small berries tend to taste better than that are larger varieties, since larger ones tend to be more watery. Peak season is from April to September, depending upon the location.
First known strawberry was documented in France during the 14th century. Wild strawberries were harvested and eventually cultivated in domestic gardens during the 18th century Europe. Originally consumed for medical reasons, Europeans eventually paired strawberries with cream, which incurred an appreciation explorers would share with the world.
Commercial production did not begin in America until the 19th century. As settlers moved from east to west, they carried strawberry plants and introduced the plant to new soil, expanding cultivation. Today, strawberries are the forth most valuable food crop in the United States. Advances in planting systems, drip irrigation and seed propagation have improved the volume production of the crop. California has the largest strawberry production in the United States.
Strawberry plants are considered a vine. This means the plant has “runners” which can be cut to either control the size of the plant, or produce “daughter plants,” which would propagate more fruit and more runners. It is best to plant new seedlings in the fall to allow for proper root development and the formation of “crowns,” while trimming early runners. Runners can be allowed to grow, making new roots and forming new plants which would increase fruit production.
Plants grow best in moisture retaining soil, which is irrigated frequently. They require very low fertilization and plants can be kept for 3-4 years before replacing. Best in climates that have warm sunny days and cool nights.
“If planted in the fall, the roots will be better established for summer harvest. They can be planted in the spring but will require much more stringent attention, as the root system will be very vulnerable,” says horticultural expert Doug Johnson.
According to almanac.com, there are three types of plant
Most home gardeners should plant “junebearer,” It will require patience because you will have to wait one year for harvest.
1 box of Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
1-2 quarts of fresh strawberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 pint whipping cream
2 Tablespoons of extra fine sugar