Haskins Garden Centre is encouraging gardeners to make the most of their home-grown strawberries this summer, with a strawberry jam recipe.
Lisa Looker, brand director at Haskins Garden Centres, commented: “Strawberries are easy to grow and it’s the perfect time to get planting as the British climate heats up. The fruity berries can be harvested from borders, growbags, containers or hanging baskets – they just need plenty of sun, shelter and fertile, well-drained soil.
“With Wimbledon season now in full swing, it’s the perfect time to sample the fruits of your labour and have a go at making your own strawberry jam. Even if you haven’t been able to grow your own berries this year, we still recommend following our step-by-step recipe.”
Ingredients (makes enough for one jar)
Layer the sugar and strawberries into a large bowl, finishing with a layer of sugar.
Cover and leave the bowl for one day.
By the following day, your berries should have reduced into lumpy sugary pink syrup.
Tip the mixture into a large heavy-based pan and warm to dissolve the remaining sugar. Once dissolved, bring to the boil, stirring frequently.
Add the lemon juice, return to the boil for 10 mins, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
After 40 minutes, the jam should be a jelly-like consistency to indicate it is ready.
Allow to cool for half an hour, then pour into sterilised jars leaving 1cm from the top and seal.
For those keen to grow their own strawberries, Lisa Looker has the following recommendations: “Top tips for keeping strawberries healthy, include giving the plants a liquid feed that’s high in potassium, such as a tomato feed, every 7 to 14 days. Also, as the fruits start to develop, tuck straw underneath them to prevent rotting.
“Strawberries are best picked when they are bright red all over, ideally during the warmest part of the day.”
Haskins has centres in Ferndown in Dorset, West End in Southampton and Roundstone and Snowhill in West Sussex. For more information visit www.haskins.co.uk