Simple gardening trick will give you longer-lasting strawberries

Baskets of fresh strawberries at the market.
-Credit: (Image: (Image: Getty))

It's strawberry season, and British gardeners are keen to find the perfect balance between underripe and overripe strawberries. To prevent these delicious red berries from turning mushy, they need proper care.

One of the biggest mistakes when growing strawberries is not protecting them from the summer heat, which can dry out the soil and affect the quality of the berries. However, a simple solution is to add a layer of straw to the mulch, which many people often forget.

The straw acts as a shield, locking in moisture and preventing it from evaporating. It also protects the berries from getting scratched or dirty from soil contact.

This simple step can make a big difference to the health and flavour of your harvest. For those who don't have a garden but still want to enjoy fresh strawberries at home, there's 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 keeps strawberries looking and tasting their best. All you need is a simple glass jar, which prevents mould from reaching the strawberries by acting as a barrier against exposure to air and moisture, reports the Express.

Firstly, place the strawberries in a large bowl and clean them under tap water to rid them of any dirt, as residual bacteria can make the berries go bad quickly.

In a different bowl, add 60ml of white vinegar to two litres of water. Then allow the strawberries to soak in this solution for a couple of minutes - no longer!

Amy has stressed: "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."

Once clean, gently drain the strawberries in a colander. Place the berries on a clean towel to air dry for a few hours - don't pat them dry or you risk bruising them.

When the berries are completely dry (or "bone dry", as Amy puts it), put some clean paper towels at the bottom of a sterilised jar before carefully storing the strawberries in it.

Store the jar in the refrigerator to keep the fruits fresh for as long as possible. According to Amy, this technique will give you "fresh strawberries to enjoy for the next three weeks".