This Morning: Alison O'Neill shares her strawberry jam recipe
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Fans of the red fruit can rejoice, as the season to plant strawberries is just around the corner. As well as being sweet and delicious, strawberries are very easy to grow and make for an affordable snack the whole family can enjoy planting and eating.
How to plant strawberries
An optimum time to plant strawberries in the UK is known to be March and April.
Once you’ve bought some strawberry plants, it’s important to make sure they are planted in good soil which is well-drained.
Gardeners’ World state strawberries can be grown in a strawberry bed or strawberry planter.
Gardeners’ World also states strawberries should be planted in full sunlight.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) method for planting strawberries is as follows: “Prepare your ground by digging in two buckets of well-rotted manure or garden compost per sq m (sq yd).
“Add a general purpose fertiliser such as Growmore at 100g per sq m (3oz per sq yd).
“Measure out planting holes 35cm (14in) apart. Space rows 75cm (30in) apart.
“Dig out a hole large enough to accommodate the roots.
“Trim the roots lightly to 10cm (4in) if necessary, then spread them out in the hole.
“Ensure that the base of the crown rests lightly on the surface before firming in gently.
“Planting at the correct depth is important: if the crown is planted too deeply it will rot; if it is planted too shallowly the plants will dry out and die. Water the plants in well.”
Maintenance and harvesting of strawberries will depend on what variety of strawberries are being planted, so its best to do some research to care for specific strawberry plants.
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When do you harvest strawberries?
After being planted in March and April strawberries are usually ready to harvest in the summer months of June to September.
To avoid damaging the fruit, just pinch through the stalk with your finger and thumb when they are ready to be harvested.
Strawberries should be harvested when they are red all over and should be eaten as soon as possible after harvesting.
What can you do with strawberries?
Once your efforts have come to fruition, there are several ways you can enjoy your strawberries.
Many opt to make jam with their fresh strawberries, while others choose to make desserts like tarts.
If you’ve got an ice cream maker, maybe make some fresh strawberry ice cream, or use strawberry jam to make doughnuts.
Or simply just enjoy strawberries on their own, or with a splash of cream for a British classic dessert.
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