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Strawberry varieties

 
Posts: 41
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I would like to gather suggestions on strawberry varieties.  As a kid, I remember strawberries as really sweet tasting, medium size, fairly easily bruised fruits.  Todays strawberries seem to be jumbo berries, rock hard that you can bounce around, and either very tart tasting or tasteless.  They appear to be bred to be big and look great and ship well, taste is a secondary consideration.  The descriptions that I see in the seed and plant catalogues all seem to be marketing hype.  I would like to know what varieties permies are growing and why they like them. It might also help to know how you are growing them, i.e. rows, hills, sun, shade.  Thanks in advance for your inputs.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3111
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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All good questions. I will add that the commercial berries you're describing, Mike, I find to also have an increased inner white area. So the size and overall volume of the berry is larger, but I feel that the amount of yummy berry, the red stuff with the juices and flavour, isn't really increased.

It's the same with all commercially available produce. If it won't stack on pallets, and if it won't ripen on a truck in the presence of added ethylene, they consider it unmarketable. From a food waste perspective, they have a point, but I feel that if the trend towards rock-hard durable and tasteless produce hadn't started, we would still have a lot more locally produced, locally consumed farmed goods, with food waste cycled back to local livestock needs; I feel that food waste on this continent would be a fraction of what it is today.

I suggest you find a seed supplier you like, if you want to go that route, and look at their organic, open-pollinating, non-GMO heirloom products. If they don't carry any such thing, you're looking at the wrong seed company.

Then after weeding out the choices unsuitable for your situation, take the few types that you like best and plant them out. The ones that are best suited for the piece of ground they're in will do the best. You'll want to think about keeping the seed from those plants you like best.

I hope you happen across some interesting varieties that you love and that produce well for you in your conditions. Please keep us posted, and good luck.

-CK
 
Posts: 25
Location: South Shore, Massachusetts, USA (Zone 6b)
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I'm growing Sparkle (June Bearing) and Mara de Bois (Everbearing), both purchased from www.fedcoseeds.com. Most are in beds with a generous mulching of woodchips. This spring my husband and I interplanted strawberries in a plum tree guild, along with asparagus. They're not producing yet this season, but the plants look happy so far!

 
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Hi Mike,

What state do you live in, and whats your climate zone? That information will help determine what varieties can grow best there to select from.

Just in general, Ozark Beauties are a good everbearing variety that is cold tolorant, adaptable and has a fairly wide distribution range recomended in numerous state extension offices. It's a smaller berry with good flavor, however, it will be important to answer those first questions so it can be determined what will do best in your spacific location,
 
gardener
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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I made the mistake of buying a half dead strawberry plant last fall. I planted it. It sent runners, the runners sent runners. I was proud of myself cause i turned it into 20 plants.

Then they bloomed in february. RED BLOOMS, i never saw such a thing. Google led me to red blooms on an ornamental strawberry plant. What a waste. I let it play out to see if an berries would come. 3 months of blooms. No strawberries.

So, for those that didnt know, ornamental strawberries exist. I just dont understand why they exist.
 
pollinator
Posts: 758
Location: 6a
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I live in zone six. I have several types of Alpine Strawberry.   You can get the seeds from rareseeds.com

Most of my large strawberries go to the birds.  Guess I should net them.  :)
 
Mike Schroer
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Oops, didn't think to post my location.  I'm located in north Alabama, zone 7b.  It is hot and humid with wet mild winters, very little snow.  Strawberry plants in full sun really suffer in the late summer here.
 
pollinator
Posts: 543
Location: Denmark 57N
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We've grown Malwina, honeoye, senga sengana and sonata is large quantities. Malwina and senga sengana taste similar to each other despite one being a modern late June barer and the latter being a old ever-barer (with REALLY long runners up to 3ft!) Honeoye was viley sour in our soil even the birds didn't like it.

Sonata I would recommend totally, round fairly large fruit. vulnerable to rain, they are soft and do not travel well at all but very sweet and juicy, the birds do love them.

All of ours were grown in an open field either in plastic covered ridges or just direct into the soil, no difference noticeable except less weeds of course! Also 7b but cool summers, all strawberries in full sun.
 
Posts: 7051
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We were given a few plants from a friend here locally a few years ago.  
She says they are  'Albritton' variety.  They are wonderful.

Large, flavorful berries on long stems to keep them up off the ground...we do mulch with straw also.

They send out enough runners to double their area almost every year and don't seem to have any disease problems.

We are expecting slugs this year as it's been so wet.

Zone 7a or b.  

These are not in full sun but seem to be getting enough.  I'm not sure any plant needs 'full sun' in Arkansas.
 
master steward
Posts: 10036
Location: Pacific Northwest
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wayne fajkus wrote:I made the mistake of buying a half dead strawberry plant last fall. I planted it. It sent runners, the runners sent runners. I was proud of myself cause i turned it into 20 plants.

Then they bloomed in february. RED BLOOMS, i never saw such a thing. Google led me to red blooms on an ornamental strawberry plant. What a waste. I let it play out to see if an berries would come. 3 months of blooms. No strawberries.

So, for those that didnt know, ornamental strawberries exist. I just dont understand why they exist.



They're a cross with a totally different plant--a cinquifoil, I think?--to get the red/pink flower. They do sometimes make fruit, but it's rare and not very tasty, from what I've read.

....Ooooh, I was right! I found more info on the "Lipstick" strawberry: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=245780&isprofile=0&

This strawberry is an intergeneric hybrid strawberry that is grown primarily for its ornamental value. It is the result of a cross between Fragaria (strawberry) and Comarum (cinquefoil).

'Lipstick' produces numerous small 5-petaled, deep rose-red flowers (to 1.5" diameter) with yellow centers appear from late spring to early summer and again in fall over a clump of tri-foliate, coarsely-toothed, typical strawberry-like, deep green foliage which forms a bushy, compact, 8" tall mound. Flowers are only occasionally followed by small edible berries.



My favorite strawberry is the everberring Seascape strawberry.



It tastes like a wild strawberry (wild/wood strawberries are really yummy. They probably taste as yummy as the alpine ones do, though I've never had an alpine strawberry.) It's a really nice, large strawberry, with the best flavor of any domestic strawberry I've grown, and it's everbearing, so it has a long fruiting time! And, it makes a lot of runners when happy, so you get more plants faster, while still getting yummy berries. I ordered a bundle of 25 of them from Burnt Ridge (https://www.burntridgenursery.com/Strawberry-Plants/products/44/), and ever plant did great...of course, they didn't spend too much time in shipping because they're in the same state as me. I also ordered the Albian strawberries from them, and they did well, too, but didn't spread as well. They were also tasty, though!

I think the problem might be finding a variety that grows well in your area? I'm in Seattle-ish area, and so what grows well here might not do well there? I've gotten yummy strawberries from Quinalt, Totum, Albian. Pretty sure I've also grown Tristar and Puget Crimson (can you tell that I buy strawberry plants a lot? I'm at the nursery or grocery store and just can't help myself!) I've never grown a strawberry that wasn't good, but I think we're also prime strawberry-growing land here? So, what does well here, might not do well elsewhere. But, Seascape is a clear winner in all the strawberries I've grown!
 
R. Steele
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Hi Mike,

Hear is a list recomended by several extension offices in Alabama. They are most likely commercial cultivars so I cant speak for there flavor, and your late summer heat most likely reduces the availability of variety options, as the best varieties tend to grow in cooler regions. You can look into the variety Sparkle along with the other variety mentioned in my previous post, to see if they will handle your heat. Maybe late afternoon shade may help increase heat tolerance of more heat sensitive varieties.

ALABAMA Strawberry Varieties

Recommended strawberry varieties for Alabama: Albritton, Allstar, Cardinal, Chandler, Delite, Douglas, Earlibelle, Earliglow, Sunrise.  (According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension Services of Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities)

My advice is research each once individually and check the bloom cycles for production and flavor, to make sure they have that old time flavor. Write that information down, and scratch off any that don't have the flavor you're after. The year they were developed will give you a clue on flavor, plus the fruit description will clue you in as well. Then after sorting out flavorless rejects, check bloom cycles and or fruit production cycles to seperate into categories that show you when they produce. Once you've done that you can select the best tasting most disease resistant varieties from the different fruiting cycles, so you have the widest possible berry production times that overlap throughout the growing seasons. This will keep you in constant strawberry heaven, especially if any are everbearing varieties.

Hope that helps!
 
pollinator
Posts: 991
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Aromas have done the best for me. They taste great and are productive.
Evie 2 also tastes great. They haven’t been as productive so far, but the plants I ordered online arrived in very poor condition. I think they are going to do good this year.

All strawberry varieties taste better if they ripen in fairly hot dry weather.

I was surprised how well my basement strawberries taste. Since it’s a controlled environment, I was able to let them get perfectly ripe. I would have picked them a few days earlier outside, so they didn’t get eaten slugs or rot.
 
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We love our beds of Hood strawberries.  We are in the PNW, they are a medium sized June bearing berry and they are absolutely delicious fresh and make excellent freezer jam.  They were all loaded up with flowers and some of them already turning into berries this evening.  We continue to expand our patch every year finding new places in the gardens for runners to be planted, we never seem to have enough, we always wish we had more.
 
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