So this weekend there is supposed to be a massive snowstorm and windstorm and POOR BOSTON. I am stocking up on water and milk and candles and books, but in the meantime, let's think SPRING, shall we? In particular, let's think strawberries :) The common queen of jams, strawberry just screams summer, but I want to focus on strawberries in the spring.
|The REAL DEAL in my garden|
Commercial strawberries are so big because they are triploid. That is, they have 3 sets of chromosomes, whereas most plants and animals have 2 sets. In the instance of the strawberry, this gets translated into bigger fruit that lasts a lot longer. It does, however, seem to sacrifice flavor. Real wild strawberries have a more intense flavor. Also, because the commercial strawberries are triploid, they are sterile and the seeds can't germinate (notice you've never seen strawberry seeds for sale!) Bananas are like this too. Being triploid, their seeds are sterile and therefore tiny. Natural bananas have seeds the size of peppercorns! This isn't the case for strawberries though.
OK - so if you have REAL wild strawberries, you CAN try to cultivate them, but only to increase their yield. I don't know how much disturbance they will take, though. If it were me, I'd just try to encourage them in place by keeping the area relatively weed-free and watered during drought. Not sure if they would stand transplanting to the garden, but you could try it with a few of them to see if they take off. How to propagate? Those little runners (the red stem-like guys in the first photo) will do it for you if you let them. The "mother" strawberry plant sends out those runners, they attach and root in the ground nearby and before you know it, a baby plant is born. Move those baby plants where you want them and voila! Strawberry field!