Outdoors Journal: Garden strawberries

  • Article by: JIM GILBERT
  • Updated: June 10, 2010 - 11:04 PM

Strawberry plantings are now yielding buckets of mouth-watering fruit. Strawberries are the most popular backyard garden fruit in America, requiring little room to grow and not much attention but producing a lot of fruit that is high in vitamin C.

It is not certain how the strawberry got its name. Some authorities think it's because straw was spread around the plants in gardens to keep down weeds and protect ripening fruit from the soil. But others think it got its name because the runners resemble straws or because of the old European practice of stringing wild strawberries on straws of grass.

Strawberries grow wild in many parts of the world, including Minnesota. Modern plants probably originated from a chance crossing between North American and Chilean plants growing in the same garden. The strawberry belongs to the rose family, along with apples, pears, plums, raspberries and several other popular fruits. Botanically speaking, it is not a true berry but rather a pulpy receptacle with a surface covered with the true fruits (the seeds).

JIM GILBERT

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