Why should you grow strawberries?
Besides being delicious, strawberries are nutrient powerhouses!
Strawberries actually have the highest content of ellagic acid (which is both a polyphenol and antioxidant) of any other fruit. Ellagic acid is being studied for cancer prevention and cure. Strawberries also hold the distinction of having one of the highest folate concentrations of any fruit. Folate is important in the development of red blood cells as well as cell growth and function. Folate is also critically important early in pregnancies for neural development.
Unfortunately, strawberries are part of the “dirty dozen” (the 12 fruits and veggies containing the most pesticides) and should be either bought organic or grown at home.
Strawberries are shallow-rooting perennials hardy down to USDA Hardiness Zone 3-4. A strawberry bed only tends to produce well for about 5 years or so.
Strawberries need about an 1 inch of water per week throughout the growing season, which is relatively modest compared to tomatoes and peppers, for example, that need twice that much. Mulch plants heavily with straw to conserve moisture and keep out weeds.
After a killing frost, mulch strawberry plants with aged manure and a covering of straw or leaves to prevent them from heaving out of the ground during the winter months.