A garden year without strawberries is a lost year for me, because with the red fruits one can taste the difference between the usual supermarket goods and the garden harvest particularly clearly. I get my gardening knowledge from experience and from Helpful Garden. They have a lot of great tips if you’re just starting off.
Which variety is the right one?
When I wanted to create a new strawberry bed in the garden, I asked around for variety recommendations and “Mieze Schindler” murmured from everywhere. Even the name was clear: this must be the right one! The background check was also positive: Mieze Schindler is a garden strawberry that is particularly widespread in the eastern part of Germany. It was cultivated in 1925 by the gardener Otto Schindler near Dresden and romantically named after his wife. The strawberries themselves are relatively small and incredibly aromatic – so it would be hard to imagine my garden without them! The variety cannot be stored for long, so it is best to put it in your mouth immediately after picking.
A special feature of Mieze Schindler are the purely female flowers. When planting, make sure you plant another fertiliser variety that is flowering at the same time – e.g. Senga Sengana, the strawberry variety from my grandmother’s garden. Of this one needs only 1-2 plants per bed. You can also combine this beautiful pussy with a multiple bearing variety like Ostara to extend the strawberry season into autumn.
In the shady shrub bed I also planted some wild strawberries. They are a great groundcover and can cope with less sun.
Keep an overview
You should mark the individual specimens absolutely, since one loses with the wildly growing plants fast the overview, which is actually which. This is important for propagation via offshoots!
Strawberries are called “strawberries” in English for a reason: in order to avoid polluting the berries, it is best to bed them on straw. As soon as the flowers appear, I fill the spaces between the plants. The mulch layer protects the fruit from contact with the ground, which would not only lead to dirt but also rot, mould or snails. Since snails also love strawberries, I water only in the morning if possible and take appropriate anti-snail measures if necessary.
Strawberries multiply themselves
Strawberry yields are declining year after year. After approx. 3-4 years it is therefore advisable to create a new bed (elsewhere). Although strawberries could theoretically also be sown, it is best to multiply them using cuttings, which are also affectionately called “childel”.
- In May/June, mark the best bearing strawberry plants with a stick and let them develop 3-4 runners. The best way to remove the children of all other plants is to remove them, as they only cost the plant unnecessary strength.
- Let the desired runners grow in the bed in the coming weeks.
- Once the new plants have developed 4-5 leaves, you can cut them off and place them in a new bed elsewhere.
- Strawberries need space, sun and plenty of water to thrive. Do not place the plants too densely.
For a bed of 120×80 cm 8-10 plants are sufficient. I planted my first strawberry bed too densely, but thinned it out later to avoid mould.
Create a new strawberry bed
We prefer to eat our abundant strawberry harvest right in the garden. I process part of it into a delicious strawberry chutney. Fresh strawberries are my favourite topping for porridge. My children, on the other hand, swear by pancakes with strawberry jam and fresh strawberries.
For me, the best alternative to homemade jam is the delicious “GLÜCK” jams from the Friedrich Göbber private marmalade, which are available in 14 aromatic varieties. I am very pleased that this means that there is finally a jam with a high fruit content in the shop – namely 70 %. When I cook my own jam, I use jam sugar in a ratio of 1:2. This also makes the jam fruity and not too sweet. GLÜCK jams are also made from jam sugar and extra fruit.
Many GLÜCK varieties, such as raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, mango and black cherry, are also available in a strained version, which I also like. From strawberries to apricots and rhubarb, we like all varieties, so we always have a few glasses in the garden fridge. Apropos: I will keep the beautiful glasses this year and will use them at the beginning of the coming season as mini greenhouses for my cultivars.
Pancakes with strawberry jam
For a delicious garden breakfast you can simply bake a few pancakes, spread GLÜCK jam on them and cover with fresh strawberries. Both the combination of strawberry jam with fresh strawberries and the combination of rhubarb jam with strawberries from the garden is really delicious.
I wish you a good appetite and a wonderful strawberry season!