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Kitchen Garden

Pursuits | By Simon Courtauld


Strawberries

A friend of mine, dying of cancer some years ago, said he was determined to hang on until the beginning of June so that he could enjoy the first English strawberries. Although I always associate them with midsummer, English strawberries, grown under cover, are available these days from early April. For the non-commercial kitchen gardener, however, June is the strawberry month. When we moved here, we inherited a patch of Florence strawberries, which had an excellent flavour, but the plants were not new and needed replacing after a couple of seasons. For whatever reason, we replaced them not with more strawberries but with autumn raspberries.  But I think it’s time to grow strawberries again. Cold-stored runners (which will have been dug in January) can be planted in spring or autumn, and when young runners start to form in midsummer, they can be secured and rooted in pots of compost...


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