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April 8, 2011

Grow Your Own Climbing Strawberries, Indoors or Out

by Val Reynolds

Climbing Strawberry Mount Everest © Thompson & Morgan

Climbing strawberries with a fruiting period from June to September, now there’s a thing!

We haven’t been growing strawberries for some years but the Thompson and Morgan website gives enough information to help you grow the Mount Everest climbing strawberries in pots, or in hanging baskets, or containers on the patio.

We have six plants to plant out and in view of our experience with birds, mice and men! we have decided to experiment. Two have been given to a friend who will probably grow them in a polytunnel. Lucky chap, wish we had the room. Another to my hairdresser who has always wanted to grow strawberries indoors.

We will grow the remaining three up bamboo wigwams, one in a large pot on the patio and two indoors in large pots. If they are as fruitful as the paperwork says we will be strawberried out by September! Or, as I hope there will be so much fruit I’ll be able to make jam.

The best jam I ever made was called freezer jam. Much simpler than conventional jam making, although it produces a soft rather than a very firm set. There are easy instructions on the Certo recipes webpage.

The ‘jam’ is so tasty and delicious on ice cream, cereal, and in cakes. The same website gives a good range of recipes to choose from.  To make sure there is always some Certo in the cupboard we add it to our Goodness Direct orders! Saves a trip in the car to the supermarket.

So this year it’ll be delicious freezer strawberry jam and maybe even ice cream made from unsprayed homegrown fruit!

The plants we are using are Mount Everest from Thompson & Morgan See their website for up to date prices.

We have found another strawberry that cascades downwards. Have a look at ‘Rambling Cascade’ Climbing  Strawberry, a variety that produces long runners (up to 5-6ft  long) which can be trained to trellis, canes or around a stout pole. The flavour of this variety is quite exceptional and surpasses the taste or any bred ‘for long shelf life’ commercially grown strawberry.
Prices July 2014: 5 plants £8.25, 10 for £13.50, 25 for £31.25
One Rambling Cascade Hanging Basket complete with 13 plants, compost and basket. £25.95.

Val Reynolds Brown, Editor

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