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Growing Strawberries has long been a necessity for me, motivated by the memory of my Grandma’s Strawberry Shortcake recipe. The Spring gardening catalogs keep arriving, and my mouth is watering. I’ve already ordered everything I want for this season, but temptation keeps building. I must sit on my hands to keep from buying more.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT STRAWBERRY VARIETY
There were so many choices available. I bypassed the hype laden accounts of strawberries the size of golf balls and those that supposedly taste like peaches, raspberries, pineapple, or even grape flavored drink mix. And I leaned heavily in favor of strawberry varieties that have been on the market for decades, since there was no danger that they might be “genetically modified.” When I make a strawberry dessert, I want the real thing, not something science has tampered with.
USING STRAWBERRIES AS A GROUND COVER
This year, I ordered “Ogallala” Strawberry plants, which is a variety my Grandma planted back in the ’50’s and ’60’s. They are a cross with a wild strawberry, so you can imagine the flavor. Their abundant leaves like to “hide” the fruit underneath them, so you have to search carefully when you pick. This has the added benefit of hiding your harvest from the birds. And they make an attractive, fruit-bearing ground cover if planted in your flower border.
The strawberries that grow just outside my kitchen door are spreading vigorously amid the perennials and flowering bulbs. My decision to plant them there might have been unwise since visitors and delivery men spot them immediately. Many times I have answered the door to find them happily munching away on the irresistible and fragrant fruit. Fortunately, these berries produce multitudes of runners that I intend to transplant to a more concealed location.
HAPPY PLANTING! Susan