Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Strawberry season
Ahhh, the sweet smell of fresh strawberries on my desk! Strawberry season is in full swing. The typical strawberry season is two-three weeks long but the length of harvest varies from farm to farm depending on varieties planted, weather, and soil type. Mild temperatures in the 70s and 80s extend the season and allow berries to ripen at a steady pace, while excessive heat can cause berries to ripen more quickly and shorten the season. That would be our current situation in Minnesota. We’re sopping in heat and humidity right now and for the next week…..
Due to Covid-19, this is a LINK to guidelines for picking your own. Some places allow you to, others don’t.
Experts say “Leave the berries in their natural state until you are ready to use them, THEN wash them up. Waiting to wash the berries will keep them fresher longer and will help them from going bad prematurely”. Strawberries should be eaten within three days of picking for best flavor!
For longer preservation, wash the berries, remove their stems, and freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. After freezing, place the strawberries in freezer bags.
Should you choose to grow your own next year, there are some great berries for colder climates. ‘Itasca’, ‘Tristar’ and ‘Tribute’ are but a few!
The U of MN extension has lots more information on Growing Strawberries in the Home Garden. There are 3 types of strawberries that can be grown here. June bearing, everbearing, which actually deliver 2 crops, one in the Spring and another in the Fall and the newer “day-neutral’ that bear throughout the season. Instructions on the U of MN website should hold true for anywhere in the Upper Midwest.
Alpine Strawberries are a ‘day-neutral’ sort and different from the rest of the crowd. The U of MN says they are “not a cultivar but a different type/species of strawberry. Grows well in part shade. Does not produce runners, so plants remain small” and so does the fruit. It’s like eating candy from what I’ve read! Do a search locally to find where you can buy Alpine strawberries, otherwise Burpee sells them.