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A corner of Auntie Beth's Garden: How to grow strawberries and make jam?

A corner of Auntie Beth's Garden: How to grow strawberries and make jam?

posted: 2019-03-05 11:00:00 +0800

Strawberries grow well in a sunny well drained and slightly acid soil.

They are small compact plants which are perennial, growing for many years in the same position. They put out runners (side shoots) from which small plants grow at the end taking root when they touch the soil. These can be cut off a re-located to another area if desired, so once you have strawberries growing, you need never be without them in the garden. In the winter they die back until the weather starts to warm up in spring. In summer they need regular watering. With a top up of compost, then mulch, they produce fruit throughout the warmer months. I use sugarcane mulch as it keeps the soil from drying out, the weeds at a minimum and the fruit clean.

Usually the best way is to cut off the runners with the new plant, and planting it separately. I have grown them in different types of soil and always successfully. The first time I ever planted them was when I was a little girl about 5 years old. My mother gave me 6 plants and I grew them in a little garden that was previously a chicken pen. I watered them lovingly each day and have to admit that I ate them as I picked them so that nobody else got to enjoy them.

Wherever I have lived there has always been a spot in the garden for them. They grow in any type of soil -sandy, poor quality, whatever is available. They also do well in pots.

The soil needs to be well prepared by digging in compost, which is made up of kitchen vegetable scraps, and garden leftovers. To plant the strawberries, wearing garden gloves, I dig a small hole in the soil with a small trowel, make sure the roots are well covered and firm it down with my hands, then water its in. It is as simple as that. I once bought a packet of strawberry seeds to plant but didn’t have much success with it. It’s much easier and quicker with the runners as they are already grown and start producing fruit within a short period of time.

Strawberries can also be grown in pots or containers, but as they take up a small space, and we have enough room in the garden I only grow them there.

The fruit is best eaten fresh, and are deliciously sweet, either on their own or with cream or ice cream, and as toppings for cakes and pavlova ‘s.

They don’t freeze well, so I make jams and sauces when we have too many to eat or give to friends.

 

Jam is very easy to make.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Weighed strawberries.
  • The same weight in sugar.
  • Half a cup of lemon juice.

Method:

  • Remove the stalks from the strawberries.
  • Bring to boil the fruit and lemon juice in a large pot for about 10 minutes or until soft.
  • Add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved.
  • Continue to boil for about set point is reached.
  • Set point is nearly reached when the jam is starting to thicken. At this point start testing for set point by, taking a teaspoonful and putting it on a cold plate. As you run your finger through the jam on the plate it is ready if the jam stays separated and will wrinkles slightly.
  • Pour into warm, clean jars
  • Seal and label

Ready now to enjoy with scones, bread or toast, and some to give as gifts!

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tags :     # hkonlinegiftshop       # Seasonal Fruit       # Miscellanies  
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blog written by: # Auntie Beth (4)
Auntie Beth, Editor

Auntie Beth, a lovely lady who has a great passion for gardening and cooking, lives in Melbourne Australia.     > more...


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