Smoothies are easy-peasy to make and are the bees’ knees when it comes to fruit drinks. While pure juices have plenty of vitamins, their absence of fibre means their natural sugars are released quickly into the bloodstream to leave you feeling peckish before you know it. Smoothies, on the other hand, contain all the fruit’s roughage so make our digestive systems work harder to break down the fibre. This means that the sugars are released more slowly into the body and you feel fuller for longer. Health benefits aside, the pink-flowered strawberry with the dark purple basil makes this a container pretty enough to take centre stage on a patio or balcony.
Plant the pot
- 2 x strawberry ’Flamenco’
- 3 x strawberry ’Toscana’ F1
- 1 x apple mint (Mentha suaveolens)
- 1 x basil (Ocimum basilicum ’Summer Surprise’)
- 1 x 30-cm/12-inch-diameter container
- Multipurpose or soil-based compost
- General organic vegetable fertilizer
Pink strawberry and dark basil makes a striking pot (Jason Ingram)
- Set the container in a sunny, sheltered spot, then prepare it. Place the strawberries at equal distance around the edge of the pot, alternating varieties.
- Plant the mint in a 15-cm/6-inch pot and plunge the pot into the compost, leaving the rim of the pot above the surface. Mint is a bit of a thug, so this will help to restrict the roots and prevent it from taking over the container.
- Plant the basil in-between the mint and the front-most strawberries to make the most of the contrast in leaf colours. Water the container regularly to prevent it from drying out and feed the strawberries every week with a proprietary fertilizer. Remove the runners, cutting them off near the base, and pot them up to boost your stock or to give to friends and family. When strawberry flowers appear, add a straw layer as a mulch to avoid the fruits being splashed with compost and spoiling.
- Pick the basil and mint leaves regularly to promote new growth from the plants as well as a compact habit.
Time to harvest
Both strawberry varieties, being perpetual types, crop from midsummer into early autumn and, of course, the herbs will be ready to harvest before that, so do not be bashful – use them whenever you can in salads, pasta and other dishes.
More one pot recipes
Taken from One Pot Gourmet Gardener by Cinead McTernan (Frances Lincoln, £16.99). To order your copy for £14.99 plus p&p call 0844 871 1514 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk
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