Grow and Enjoy Strawberries

Strawberries in bowl

This week’s Sow, Grow, Eat and Keep video from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach talks about growing strawberries and making freezer jam.  
June is prime strawberry time, although the taste of fresh strawberries can be enjoyed with freezer jam even after the season is over. The key is making sure strawberries are grown in a way that helps them thrive and are preserved safely.
Strawberries are great for home gardens because they are hardy, easy-to-grow and highly productive with minimal to moderate effort. They need full sun and well drained soils. They need to be harvested frequently to make sure you’re the one enjoying them and not the rabbits! One strawberry plant can produce a quart of strawberries after it has been established. There are three types of strawberries from which you can choose

  1. June-bearing – Earliglow, Allstar, Honeoye and Jewel cultivars.
     
  2. Everbearing – Ozark Beauty and Ogallaga cultivars.
     
  3. Day-neutral – Tristar and Tribute cultivars.
     

 

Once strawberries have been harvested, preserve that fresh flavor with freezer jam. It is delicious, easy and quick to make since the jam is not cooked. Since it is not cooked it tastes more like fresh strawberries. However, since it is not processed in a hot water bath, it does require temperature control like freezing or refrigeration. Check out the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Food Preservation 101 online class and the Canning: Fruit Spreads publication for more food preservation information. 
 
For those interested in learning more about gardening, contact your ISU Extension and Outreach county office for information about the Master Gardener program. Training begins across the state this fall. 
 
The Sow, Grow, Eat and Keep quickinars are 5-15 minute online lessons of seasonally appropriate topics for the garden, food preparation, and food preservation. Some of the upcoming topics include:
 

  • Garden maintenance.
  • Freezing fruit.
  • Edible flowers.
  • Pollinators.
  • Produce food safety.
  • Canning produce.
  • Freezing vegetables.
     

For additional resources and publications, visit the Sow, Grow, Eat and Keep web page. Send your food or garden questions to sowgroweatkeep@iastate.edu.  

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