Now it probably seems like a silly time to talk about strawberries as their fruiting season is coming to an end. However, if you had a crack at growing them this season like I did then you might be ready to grow some new plants from your plant’s “runners” for next season.
Runners have been dangling from my plants for quite some time. I knew that these could be used to grow more plants, but was mystified as to how and when to do this.On the very lovely blog, mydarlinglemonthyme an excellent post is shared on what to do with strawberry runners. It clearly sets out what to do with them and has photos to show you what they are, and how to identify the shoots and new roots.
Thanks to the wisdom of lemonthyme’s mother, I now know I should have picked the first set of runners (there are usually two sets) when they appeared early in the season. Not doing so is possibly what has led to the not particularly fruitful season. Next time I will pull of the first set of runners that appear and compost them and plan to propigate new plants from later runners. Leaving the first set on sucks energy from the plant, which if picked would be directed into fruit formation.
The fruit my plants did produce never made it as far as the kitchen. Most were eaten straight from the plant in stolen moments between hanging out the washing and emptying the compost. The few produced were the most delicious I have tasted in a very long time. It is recommended that strawberries not be washed as this apparently removes scent and flavour from them.
I made strawberry jam this year, and it was a family effort. We used strawberries bought in bulk from windemere gardents. Grandparents and children were involved in the process, and it was accomplished with wisdom from great grandparents no longer with us. Most people will have their own recipes for jam that work for them, but we used a trick of my husband’s grandmothers which seemed to work really well – cut up the strawberries the night before, put them in your jam pan and cover with the sugar. They maccerate and start to breakdown. We followed some of her other advice which is that small strawberries are best for jam. The jam was delicious and one of our kids thought we should sell at the supermarket.
Do you have any jam making tips or secrets to share? Do you have any strawberry growing tips?