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Stop strawberries from rotting in the garden by avoiding one of the 'biggest mistakes'

It’s now strawberry season, meaning British gardeners are on the look out for that sweet spot between underripe and mushy.

And to avoid these delicious red berries turning into a mush in no time, green-fingered Brits must ensure they receive the proper care.

This means avoiding one of the “biggest mistakes” when growing these plants.

Summer heat can be brutal on strawberries, drying out the soil and hindering those juicy red berries you’re craving.

Luckily, a simple addition to their mulch – that many often forget – can completely resolve the issue.

A layer of straw acts like a magic shield, locking moisture in the ground and preventing it from evaporating.

Straw also protects your precious berries from getting scratched or dirtied by soil contact, so remember this simple step that makes a big difference in the health and flavour of your harvest.

And if you don’t have a garden but still like to enjoy the freshest strawberries at home, there is a storage trick to keep them firm for longer.

Amy Cross, a cookbook author and founder of the money-saving food website The Cross Legacy, has shared a foolproof method that will keep strawberries looking, and tasting their best.

All you need is a simple glass jar, which stops mould from reaching the strawberries as it acts as a barrier to stop exposure to air and moisture.

First, put the strawberries in a large bowl and wash them under running water to scrub off any excess dirt – lingering bacteria will cause the berries to spoil quickly.

Then, pour 60ml of white vinegar and two litres of water into another bowl, set a timer and leave the strawberries to soak for a couple of minutes.

Amy warned: “It is imperative that you only let these berries soak in the solution for two minutes. If you leave your strawberries in the water for any longer than this, they will start the fermentation process. At that point, it won’t matter what you do with them, they will not last.”

Take the clean strawberries and gently drain them in a colander. Next, place the berries on a clean towel to dry off for a few hours. There’s no need to pat them dry or you may risk bruising the soft flesh of the fruit.

When the berries are “bone dry”, as put by Amy, place a clean paper towel at the bottom of a sterilised glass jar before carefully placing the strawberries into the container.

Pop the jar in the fridge to extend the shelf life of the fruits as much as possible. According to Amy, this method will give you “fresh strawberries to enjoy for the next three weeks”.


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