To collect garden strawberries (strawberries) you need not only comfortable clothing and diligence, but also certain knowledge. When and how to harvest this tasty berries?
The question of when to pick strawberries will surely surprise many gardeners. When ripe, then collected. But in order to get a really high-quality harvest, it’s worth knowing that there are some nuances in this simple business.
When to pick strawberries?
Each strawberry variety has its own ripening dates, and each of them should be collected on time. But how to determine this time? It all depends on the terrain conditions and weather in the current season. Therefore, in order not to be late, you should focus on the state of ripening ovaries.
A strawberry berry is considered ripe when it is completely reddened (no green tips are left), but it keeps its shape well and has not yet become soft.
Pale strawberries are not suitable for picking
When the season of ripening comes strawberry, you need to collect it regularly: every other day, and if there are many beds or hot weather - every day. You should not leave the crop without attention, because this wonderful berry bears fruit very shortly.
How to pick strawberries?
1. In order for strawberries (garden strawberries) to be kept for a long time, it should be picked together with the stem. If you want to carry out the procedure as carefully as possible, it is worth using scissors. It is enough to make a cut almost near the berry itself, but you can leave a long tail (sometimes it is even convenient). The benefits of this method of collecting are colossal: the fruits remain dry and do not deteriorate longer.
Strawberries with long tails easier to sort through
2. In order not to do double work and once again not to shift strawberries from one container to another, you can sort the crop immediately upon harvest. There are 3 sorting criteria: a large berry, small and low-quality, but still suitable for food or freezing.
3. Folding strawberries need to be in flat containers (for example, wooden or cardboard boxes) in no more than 2-3 layers. Buckets and cans are not suitable for this. First of all, there are no ventilation holes in them, and secondly, strawberries are wrinkled in them and quickly sap. Such berries are subsequently suitable only for freezing.
Cardboard box - a great container for storing strawberries
4. Berries of strawberries are very easy to injure. Therefore, sand and debris that can stick to them should be removed with small brushes up to 2 cm wide. If you try to peel strawberries with your hands, you can damage the berries.
- Mulch will help protect the beds with strawberries not only from the winter cold, but also from contaminated berries. Pure fruits are less susceptible to rotting.
- In hot weather, strawberries, which have not yet begun to bear fruit, should be covered with an awning. Such a "cover" will protect the ovary from overheating. Without an awning strawberries can grow small and tasteless.
- Berries, unfit for human consumption, should be collected in a separate container and sent to compost.
- If you have to pick strawberries in rainy weather, the harvest should be laid out in a thin layer in a cool place to let it dry. Only after this can the berries be put in containers.
How to extend the shelf life of strawberries - useful tips
Since we can enjoy fresh strawberries for a short time, it is important to know how to prolong the shelf life of fresh strawberries.
Do not wash strawberries. Strawberries absorb moisture very well. And the more water it absorbs, the faster it starts to deteriorate (especially when stored in the refrigerator). Garden strawberries should be washed only before being sent to the freezer. When stored in the refrigerator, it is recommended to do this immediately before eating the berries.
Before sending the strawberries in the freezer do not forget to wash it
Separate moldy berries. Mold spreads very quickly. Sometimes one sick berry is enough to lose most of the strawberry harvest. Therefore, if you get moldy specimens, remove them immediately.
Do not store strawberries in plastic.. Plastic containers do not allow air to penetrate to the berries, and they begin to deteriorate rapidly.
It seems that harvesting and preserving strawberries is not such a complicated matter. But even in it there is a technique that affects the quality of the crop. Follow our advice, and you will definitely be able to extend the "strawberry season".