[nafex] Strawberry Varieties

Don Yellman dyellman at earthlink.net
Wed Jan 23 00:48:07 EST 2002


Brian:

   I have tried more than a dozen different Junebearing strawberry
varieties here over the past 20 years or so, and Honeoye is one of the
two most productive I have grown, the other being Cardinal.  Cardinal
was also interesting because of its bright red color clear through.  I
kept the Honeoye patch three years, (two producing seasons) and probably
would have gone for four, but the deer took it out roots and all in the
winter of 98/99.  When I replanted I decided to move the patch and try
something new, and now have Delmarvel and Jewel as Junebearers.  They
are working out well too, but I think Jewel has a slight edge for
productivity.  Both of these varieties are similar in many respects to
Honeoye.

   Although disease pressures here must be about as high as anywhere, I
had no hint of disease on Honeoye.  I  would call it a good flavored
berry, but it is firm as are most commercial varieties, and not  as
sweet as the softer types famed for their flavor and bouquet.  But never
mind because I can't raise the softies anyway due to their extreme
suseptibility to gray mold, or whatever that mold is.  Also because of
their attractiveness to that blasted little strawberry beetle.  It would
be nice to have some of the soft, fragrant berries for fresh use, but
the firm types are better for freezing, and that's where most of our
Junebearers end up.  When I tried growing Fairfax and Sparkle, they were
complete failures for productivity.  The few berries we did get turned
to mush when frozen.

   I haven't grown Chandler, but if the new Chandler/Honeoye cross is a
real improvement on Honeoye it must be very good indeed.  However,  I
wouldn't hesitate to plant Honeoye unless you've got some particular
disease problems that I don't have here.  I bought my  last batch of
berries from Indiana Plant & Berry, which must be one of the leading
suppliers in the country now, especially since they have digested
Brittingham's.  When I ordered my berries in spring, '99, the fellow on
the phone seemed very knowlegeable and quite willing to converse about
the merits of the various varieties they sell.  I also bought the
day-neutral Selva from them, a decent flavored berry which continued to
produce moderate amounts into October last season.  It's the first
really successful day-neutral I have ever grown.

Best Regards, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA


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