Today, February 27th is National Strawberry Day. Of course, for me, every day is Strawberry Day because I LOVE them.
Fun Facts About Strawberries!
Here are a few interesting facts about Strawberries for National Strawberry Day:
- Their botanical name is Fragaria—after the Latin Fragra meaning fragrant.
- Nobody is exactly sure how they got the name strawberry. One theory is that children used to “string” several on a piece of straw to take to market. The other theory is that because they grow close to the ground on runners, they come from the Old English word for “strewn berry” because they look like they have been strewn on the ground.
- Strawberries are not berries—rather they’re botanically considered an aggregate fruit. This has to do with the flower and ovaries. Believe it or not, on the other hand, botanically a watermelon IS a berry—so is a banana!
- Strawberries are related to roses.
- Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
- Strawberries are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. As a matter of fact, a one-cup serving of strawberries contains more Vitamin C than a serving of oranges.
Strawberries are easy to grow but are sun-lovers! You need six hours or more of direct, uninterrupted sun to grow them. More is better.
How to Grow Delicious Strawberries
Work some organic compost into the soil and plant strawberry crowns 18” apart because they will produce runners. Be sure to plant the crowns AT the soil surface—do not cover them. Make sure the soil is well-draining.
In the first year, it is recommended to cut the flowers off so the plants spend more energy growing a good extensive root system. I know it’s hard to do but just think about getting more and bigger strawberries next year!
Strawberries will grow in containers. Plant in pots in full sun and use potting soil (not regular yard soil). Keep on top of watering and fertilizing.
Let’s Not Feed the Birds
As much as we love fresh strawberries, so do birds! I gave up on row covers after having a couple of birds caught in them so I started using other things (spinners, plastic snakes or owls, aluminum pie pans, and even shiny balloons with “eyes” painted on them). Birds can get used to them sitting in one place, however, so it’s important to move them around every week or two.
June Bearing or Ever-Bearing? Decisions, Decisions
One other thing to know—some strawberries are June-bearing and others are “Ever-bearing”. A June-bearing strawberry bears one crop a year—June-ish—the best choice for jams and jellies or freezing because you get a bigger crop all at once. And ever-bearing tends to bear two somewhat smaller crops a year—one early summer and the other late summer so are good for snacking most of the summer.
Strawberries Will Be at the Great Big Greenhouse Soon!
In the ground or in a pot, strawberries are delicious and easy to grow. We’ll be getting strawberry plants in soon so be sure to come to get yours!