Red fruits signal harvest time for strawberries.
image by www.morguefile.com
A variation of the beach strawberry, the Pacific beach strawberry is found up and down the coastlines of the Pacific Ocean. Thriving in coastal prairies, seaside bluffs, and along sand dunes, the small berries can be collected continuously throughout the spring and summer. Because the Pacific beach strawberry spreads quickly, it also makes this plant suitable as a groundcover to prevent sand erosion, as well as a fruit producer. Luckily, newer plants produce more berries, so the ease of spreading benefits the harvester as well as the ground.
Look for the small, white blooms of the strawberry plant generally between April and June. Although it depends where you live, some blooms may appear as early as March and could last through August.
Check on the strawberry patch often to take note of when the flowers turn into small, light green strawberries. The largest bloom will come in early spring, so having good timing with the first harvest should make it the largest.
Wait for the ½-inch green strawberries to change colors as an indication they are maturing. They will first turn white, then the rich red you want on your berry.
Snip the strawberries from the plant, keeping a short length of the stem attached. The ripe berries should be soft, yet firm enough to not crush easily.
Visit the patch regularly throughout the season to check for and harvest more ripened berries. However, don't make it a point to clear the area of berries because many native animals rely on them for food.