It’s like having your senses blown, but in the best way possible. You keep looking until you find the ideal berry—bright red and sparkling like a gem. You know you’ve chosen a perfect strawberry when you hear that delightful snap as you peel it from the plant.
The small sun-warmed berry in your hand gives off a pleasant aroma even before you’ve eaten it. Finally, you take the red prize and pop it in your mouth, biting down and enjoying the sweet berry juices.
Nothing beats a juicy June strawberry, except maybe a whole bunch of them. If you follow these tips, you should be able to enjoy strawberry shortcake and make strawberry jam this summer.
1. Mulch Your Beds
Strawberries are unique among berries in that they do not require a support system like canes or bushes to thrive. And as we all know, the soil is home to millions of microbes, many of which are not exactly kind to your nascent berry plants.
Mulch your beds well to shield your plants from pests and decay and to improve the quality of your berries.
The name alone suggests a wonderful option: straw.
Although they flourish on any type of soil, strawberries prefer sandy, well-drained soil. By applying mulch over the surface, you can prevent the roots from drying out.
Mulching your berries is an excellent method of disease prevention, as it helps to retain the moisture that your berries need, and it also helps to keep the weeds and dirt off of your strawberries as they grow.
When berries aren’t protected by a layer of mulch, every raindrop spills a little bit of dirt on them. (And whatever microscopic critters may be lurking in there, too.)