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□¡□How Grow Strawberries□¡□

The best tips for growing strawberries in backyard vegetable gardens. Learn how to plant.

How to Grow Strawberries from Seeds
In order to have fruiting size plants in May, the seeds must be sown indoors in December.
Sprinkle the contents of one seed package onto the surface of a 6 inchpot filled within a quarter inch of the top with potting soil.
Cover the seeds with 1/8 inch of peat moss and bottom-water.
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Growing Strawberry Seedlings When first true leaves appear, transfer the seedlings to six-packs.
When they grow to about two incheshigh, put them in individual 3 inch pots.
Early in April, set the plants into the cold frame to harden off.
The growing strawberries can be planted outdoors later in the month.
Beginning late in May the plants grow an abundance of white flowers,followed by the first fruit in early June.
An ideal spot for growing strawberries is above a low railroad-tie retaining wall.
You may want yours to edge a garden walk, to grow in a strawberry barrel, or add interest to a rock garden.
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How to Make Strawberry Jam
Preparation:
*. Use only top quality fruit for achieving the best results making jams.
*. Wash fruit thoroughly under cold running water.
*. Dry fruit.
*. Remove stems, and scarred or bruised areas.
Pectin
Pectin is a natural substance found in varying amounts in fruits.
It is the pectin that causes fruit to gel.
Fruit that is slightly under-ripe contains more pectin than fully matured fruit.
Recipes made without added pectin such as our first strawberry jam recipe below, rely on the natural pectin in the fruit to set the gel.
These recipes use less sugar than recipes with added pectin. However, they require a longer cooking time toreach the gelling point.
Liquid or powdered pectin that is sold commercially is required for some jams.
Sugar
Sugar helps gel to form, adds to flavor, and serves as a preservative.
Light corn syrup can be used to replace part of the sugar in the included strawberry jam recipe.
In recipes without added pectin, one-fourth of the sugar can be replaced with corn syrup.
When commercial pectin is added, corn syrup can replace one-half of thesugar if desired.
Strawberry Jam Recipe #1
Sliced and sweetened strawberries that have been turned into jam, make Sunday morning pancakes or waffles even more of a family celebration!
The following recipe has no added pectin and yield about 4 pints.
Ingredients:
2 quarts strawberries
6 cups of sugar
Directions:
*. Wash, drain, and remove stems from strawberries.
*. Crush berries one layer at a time.
*. Combine fruit and sugar in large pot.
*. Gradually bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
*. Cook rapidly to gelling point.
*. Stir often to prevent sticking, as mixture thickens.
*. Remove from heat.
*. If necessary, skim foam.
*. Spoon hot strawberry jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headroom.
*. Place two-piece lids on jars.
*. Process for 15 minutes in boiling water bath canner.
Gelling Test:
When preparing a strawberry jam recipe that does not require the addition of a commercial pectin product, you will need to test for doneness.
Remove the jam from the heat while you are testing the gel, so it does not continue to cook.
Jams can be tested using a plate test or a thermometer.
Put a small amount of the jam on a pre-chilled plate.
Place plate in freezer until jam is cooled.
The jam is ready to can if the mixtureis set.
If a jelly thermometer is used for testing the gelling point, determine the gelling point for your elevation.
Use the thermometer to establish theboiling point of water and add 8 degrees for the gelling point.
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