Everyone loves Tuesdays because it’s answer day! So let’s test your thinking skills with an internet riddle. What lives in winter, dies in summer, and grows with its root upward?Did you guess it yet? Don’t peek. It’s not a carrot, it’s not parsnip; one last chance - an icicle. Thankfully, most of these remnants from winter are gone. So let’s get right into the strawberry trivia.
1) Strawberries are in the same family as raspberries – the Rose family, Rosaceae. (True) The deliciously sweet strawberry belongs to the genus Fragaria in the Rose family, Rosaceae. Raspberries are also part of this family.
2) Strawberries need full sun; at least 6 hours per day. (True) Strawberries require an ample amount of sun for optimum fruit set and ripening. The plants need well-drained soil and adequate irrigation to assure proper health. Try growing strawberries in containers, urns, even hanging baskets. There are creative ways to grow and display your red berries.
3) The uniqueness of a strawberry is its leaf. (False.) Strawberries are the only fruit with its seeds on the outside. Without going into too much detail, the strawberry you eat is neither a fruit nor a berry. It is the enlarged receptacle of the plant called a pepos. If you are interested in the botany of the strawberry, it is well-worth the read but too much science for a Tuesday morning.
4) Strawberries can have the winter protection of mulch (usually straw) removed in early spring. (True). Mulch should be moved aside in the strawberry rows but not totally removed from the garden. It is good to keep the mulch close by to ensure cover for the blossoms should a frost be predicted. And in the Northeast, we know that happens often in the spring.
5) The American Indians made the first version of strawberry shortcake. (Trick question. It was a joint venture.) The American Indians used crushed berries and cornmeal, which was made into strawberry bread. The Colonists then created a much more decadent version, thus creating the infamous strawberry shortcake. We certainly took a fancy to this tasty morsel. Per the history records, the United States developed the first hybridized strawberry in 1780.
Because we will soon be seeing lots of wigglers and crawlers in our gardens, always a good sign, today’s inspirational thought for the day is fitting. Of course it is another internet riddle. What else would you expect on a Tuesday with Annie!
“What do you call it when worms take over the world? Global Worming.”
Image of strawberry shortcake - from Internet
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