What to Do With Strawberries That Are a Bit Past Their Prime

Ideal Strawberry Containers

Strawberries make ideal container fruits given their compact and quick-growing habit, although they are equally at home within a dedicated bed. Hanging baskets, terracotta pots and special strawberry planters are just some of the containers to grow them in, though for bucolic effect I prefer old wooden wine or vegetable crates. You can seek out originals or source convincing replicas online. My preference for classic country garden style also puts willow window boxes and tubs, reclaimed animal drinking troughs and repurposed wheelbarrows high up the list.

There are a number of distinct advantages to growi

There are a number of distinct advantages to growing strawberries in tubs of any kind. Plants can be moved to track the sun, thereby enjoying more warmth and light than they might otherwise. They can be lifted off the ground to avoid the interest of slugs and dodge soil-borne diseases. And plants can be moved under cover in winter to force an extra-early crop. With some plants left outside and others housed under cover of a greenhouse or polytunnel it is possible to enjoy a much longer harvest from exactly the same variety of strawberry.

How Do You MakeStrawberriesLast Longer in the Fridge?

Here are a few tips you can use to keep strawberries stored in the fridge fresh longer: 

1. Store the Strawberries in the Back of the Fridge

Storing strawberries on the fridge door is a mistake you should avoid making.

The temperature on the door is higher compared to other spots in the fridge.

Keeping the strawberries in the coolest spot of the fridge, such as the back of the refrigerator, is certainly a better option. 

The crisper drawer is an ideal place for storing strawberries.

However, it is often full of other fruits and vegetables. Knowing where else you can store strawberries is important. 

2. Store Strawberries Separately from Strong-Smelling Products 

Strawberries tend to absorb odors.

Whether it’s in the pantry or the fridge, you should always keep strawberries away from foods with a distinctive and strong smell, such as garlic or cheese.

You can store strawberries at room temperature in the pantry, or in the fridge depending on how long you want to make them last. 

No matter which storage method you use, there are two things to keep in mind when storing strawberries.

Firstly, you shouldn’t wash the strawberries all at once.

Wash as many strawberries as you will be eating.

Leave the rest unwashed as leaving water droplets in-between the strawberries will cause them to go bad sooner. 

And secondly, keep the strawberries well-ventilated. 

Airflow is key when you are trying to maintain the maximum freshness of your strawberries.

Strawberries from the supermarkets often come in plastic bags with holes.

If you happen to buy strawberries in such bags, you can leave them there. 

3. Never Mix with Bad Strawberries

Never leave bad strawberries with your fresh strawberries, whether they are stored in the pantry or the fridge.

Inspect the clusters of strawberries every other day and remove the bad ones. 

Doing this is more important than you think.

Removing molded or rotten strawberries before they manage to affect the rest in the bunch will help you maintain their freshness much longer. 

If you don’t like cold strawberries or there is no room in your fridge, you can store strawberries at room temperature. 

You can leave strawberries at room temperature only when you know you will be eating them throughout the day.

In this case, however, you should make sure that the fruit is out of direct sunlight and heat sources. 

Additionally, before you put the strawberries into a bowl to display them beautifully on your kitchen counter, make sure to thoroughly dry them. 

Video

How do I puree strawberries?

Place strawberries in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pureed strawberries are a great addition to a summertime drink or even a refreshing glass of lemonade. This Strawberry Lemonade Slush is the perfect drink to make with freshly pureed berries. Or, try making a simple strawberry sauce by adding some sugar and serving over cheesecake or even ice cream.

DO FROZEN STRAWBERRIES LOSE NUTRIENTS?

No they do not!  Freeze your berries and use then rather than let them rot and lose them!  Wise words to live by!

GROWING STRAWBERRIES – How and When to Harvest

If you get it right, you should be able to harvest strawberries for at least 6 weeks. After about a month of your strawberries flowering you should be able to harvest. Never pick the berries when they are wet4, 6 or 8 box carriers24, 32 or 48 box crates

Tips for Harvesting Strawberries

  • Pick your fruit only when ripe. For homegrowers these should be fully ripe, for commercial growers the fruit should be firm ripe and fully colored.
  • Throw away any insect eaten fruit, mishapen or over-soft fruit.
  • Pick the strawberry with at least a 1/4 inch stem and don't hold too many fruit in your hand at a time to minimize the chance of bruising.
  • Keep the picked fruit out of the sun and into cold storage as quickly as possible after picking.
  • Make sure you don't trample on your plants while picking.

How should I prepare my strawberries?

Remove the hull, or “cap,” from the top of the strawberry with a paring knife or a strawberry huller, a small tweezer-like utensil with rounded ends. To use, grasp the green, leafy hull with the huller, then pull to remove the green hull and the white core without removing any of the strawberry. Look for hullers at kitchen stores, department stores or shops online that carry kitchen supplies. Preparing your strawberries this way allows for less waste of the berry and makes eating and slicing them so much easier.

When should strawberries be avoided?

To be sure your fruit isn’t rotting or moldy, look for the following signs: 1. Peel the skin off the affected part of the fruit if it is discolored. It’s no longer good if the flesh underneath this portion is dark brown and mushy.

GROWING STRAWBERRIES – Best Companions

Grow strawberries with beans, lettuce and spinach. If you have a herb garden borage and strawberries grow very well together.

Countryfarm Lifestyles Hint To improve the taste of your strawberries mulch with dry pine needles.

When you eat rotten fruit, what happens?

Several things may happen depending on the process of spoiling. You may swallow dangerous germs, fungi, or spores if the fruit is rotten and moldy. Several things may happen depending on the process of spoiling. You may swallow dangerous germs, fungi, or spores if the fruit is rotten and moldy.

Jam Time

To make jam for canning. it's best to use fruit and berries that have no blemishes. But bruised and blemished berries work just fine for a small batch of jam that you'll use quickly, or one that you plan to store in the freezer. (Added bonus: No need canning jars necessary!)

Strawberry JamGet This Recipe

8) Renovating Strawberries

Now…

Once you have your strawberries in full flow, you’ll want to renovate them by renewing or simply maintaining the beds.

  • Day Neutral Beds: Replace after 3 years
  • Everbearing and June Bearing Beds: Renew

Maintenance kicks in directly after the final strawberry harvest.

8.1 When Is Strawberry Harvest?

Source: LinkedIn

  • Day Neutral and June Bearing Plants: These produce over a period of 2 or 3 weeks. Harvest falls anywhere from March to June depending on climate
  • Everbearing Plants: Everbearing strawberries keep on producing throughout the summer. Crops can be distinct or continuous

8.2 Test Your Soil

Source: Soil Test

Check your soil when harvest is over following the guidelines set out above.

8.3 Thinning and Cutting

Once harvest is over, cut back all your plants to 2 inches in height.

Make sure you get rid of any weeds before renovation.

How To Thin Strawberries: Matted Row System

  • For matted rows on the ground, just use a lawnmower to cut back your plants
  • For matted rows in raised beds, cut by hand
  • Narrow the rows by hoeing
  • After this, yank out the least healthy plants. Aim for 5 strong plants per square foot

How To Thin Strawberries: Hill System

  • Use garden scissors or shears to cut back the plants to 2 inches above their crowns

For both methods, rake away all leaves and compost them if the strawberries are free from disease.

8.4 Fertilizer

Source: Gardening Know How

Pick your fertilizer according to the soil test you conducted.

After applying the fertilizer, check all the leaves and brush off any excess on the surface.

Water in nicely.

8.5 Cultivation

Have you been using organic matter as mulch? If so, turn it back into the soil or pop it on your compost pile. Take care not to damage any shallow roots.

8.6 Rotation

Rotating your crops regularly is good gardening practice.

As outlined above, strawberries are particularly susceptible to Wilt’s Disease. Frequent rotation is one way to guard against this.

  • Rotate your strawberries to a new location every 3 years
  • Avoid planting them where cross-contamination could occur. This is where the solanaceous plants mentioned above have been previously planted

Follow these simple pointers and maintaining your strawberries need not cause you a headache.

Warnings

  • Too much contact with zinc or other metals may cause fruit to break down sooner.[5] This is mostly a concern in large-scale commercial operations, not home kitchens.

    Thanks! Helpful Not Helpful

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Pie Please

Sure, for snacking and salad, you want perfect looking berries. But once heat hits those strawberries, they turn to mush no matter how they started out. If you end up with a pint of so-so looking berries, no one will know if they're turned into a pie, cobbler, or crumble. Or you can roast them sans pie crust, and serve with whipped cream for a simple summer dessert.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Roasted StrawberriesGet This Recipe

Caring for Strawberries in Containers

Compost should be kept moist by watering whenever the soil dries out. When watering, try to keep moisture off the leaves to prevent fungal diseases getting a hold and spoiling the fruits. If you can, carefully lift the leaves to apply the water to your sunken pots. Your plants will also appreciate regular feeding with a high-potash liquid feed as soon as the first flowers appear – a brand sold for feeding tomato plants will work just fine for this purpose.

Keep your tubs of strawbs in a sunny part of the g

Keep your tubs of strawbs in a sunny part of the garden, patio or terrace in order to encourage young fruits to swell and ripen. Developing strawberries can be kept clean of compost by tucking in wood chips or straw beneath the fruits to lift them clear. Drape netting over the tubs if birds start to nab your fruits.

After fruiting is over foliage can be cut back to leave just the central, young leaves intact. Runners should be removed, unless you want to propagate new plants, to ensure plants bulk out again before winter. Tubs can be moved into a greenhouse or polytunnel for winter to coax an earlier picking next year.

If you have never grown strawberries before then housing them in containers is a great way to start. It’s an almost fool-proof option and the rewards are indescribably sweet! Plant, water, feed and pluck then fill your own mouth with the unbeatable aroma of home-grown strawberries.

By Benedict Vanheems.

What can I do with mushy strawberries?

Make strawberry Jam or Jelly. Making strawberry preserve is easy and requires only a few ingredients.

If you have lots of strawberries that are about to go bad and you don’t know what to do with them, you can make strawberry jam.

Overripe strawberries the perfect candidate for other sweet treats.

Here are more ideas for what to do with mushy strawberries:

  • Strawberry Cobbler
  • Strawberry Pie
  • Strawberry Jam & Jelly
  • Strawberry Popsicles, Ice Cream, Sorbets
  • Strawberry Salsa
  • Strawberry Smoothie
  • Strawberry Cakes & Muffins
  • Strawberry Sangria and Cocktails (Daiquiris, Margaritas)
  • Strawberry Vinaigrettes & Salad Dressings
  • Strawberry Pancake/Waffle Garnish
  • Strawberry Smoothie

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