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Strawberry Variety Trials in Maine: Results and Recommendations

Strawberry Variety Trials in Maine (PDF)

girl with fresh strawberriesWhat Makes a Good Strawberry Variety?

  • Yield
  • Harvest season
  • Fruit quality
    • Size
    • Color
    • Firmness
    • Flavor
  • Durability
    • Winter hardiness
    • Disease resistance
    • Longevity
  • Customer Appeal

rows of strawberry plantsStrawberry Variety Trial 2006-09

Highmoor Farm, Monmouth, Maine

  • Narrow matted row, raised bed
  • Trickle irrigation
  • Planted 2006, flowers removed
  • Plants 12” apart, 4.5’ between rows
  • Rows trained to 18” wide
  • Mulched for winter
  • Harvest 2007-2009
  • Note: flooding in springs of ’06, ‘08

The Best of 2007-2008
Kg/Plot Kg/Plot g/fruit g/fruit  % Cull  % Cull
Variety 2007 2008 2007 2008  2007 2008
Mesabi 27.6 17.1  10.8  10.9  18.1 38.0
Sable 20.7 21.1 10.5 10.3 13.2 31.3
Cavendish 20.0 21.5 13.6  14.0  18.3  33.7
Mira 18.4 21.1 11.1 10.7  15.0  27.4
Jewel 21.2 17.0 11.1 10.7 15.7 25.5
Wendy 14.4 22.3 13.1 12.8 11.7 29.1
Brunswick 18.6 16.6 13.5  11.4  14.3  29.0
Cabot 18.7 13.3 21.5  16.0 21.8  36.8
Darselect 16.6 11.7 13.1 9.8  19.7  28.1
Seneca 16.4 13.5 13.9  10.5 17.7 27.8
Annapolis 10.1 17.0 11.9  11.7  16.3  24.7
Honeoye 15.4 11.3 10.9  7.7 20.3  27.1
LSD 0.05 7.6  5.7 3.1 1.7  8.3 9.7

The Rest of 2007-2008
Kg/Plot Kg/Plot g/fruit g/fruit % Cull % Cull
Variety 2007 2008 2007 2008 2007 2008
Yamaska 12.4 14.0 15.6 9.35 27.0 20.7
Itasca 20.5 2.1 11.4 7.9 19.0 47.1
Ovation 10.4 11.5 16.2 12.2 35.2 32.2
Allstar 10.0 11.6 11.0 10.3 15.0 32.5
Orleans 14.5 6.4 12.5 9.88 18.7 25.2
Evangeline 10.1 9.5 9.7 7.6 11.3 31.1
Clancy 10.4 7.6  19.2  10.4  25.4 24.0
Canoga 10.5 4.9 12.7 9.2 20.3 34.5
St. Laurent 9.4 4.2 12.3 9.7  25.1  37.7
L’Amour 4.7 2.1 12.3 10.7  20.5  32.7
LSD 0.05 7.6 5.7  3.1 1.7 8.3 9.7

Harvest Season

chart showing Kg/plot and harvest dates for Sable, Mesabi, Cavendish, Mira, Jewel, and Ovation


Strawberry Variety Trial

Click on the images below to view enlargements.

Mesabi

  • Mid-season
  • Highest yielding
  • Fair fruit size
  • Good appearance
    • Firm, glossy
  • Difficult to pick
    • Hidden, hard pulling
Mesabi strawberries

thumbs upSable

  • Early season
  • High yielding
    • Rank: 2nd
  • Fair-good fruit size
  • Good appearance
  • Fair cull rate (size)
  • Good flavor
Sable strawberries

thumbs upWendy

  • Early season
  • High yielding
    • Rank: 6th
  • Fair-good fruit size
  • Very nice appearance
  • Low cull rate
  • Good flavor
    • Sweet, lacks acid
Wendy Strawberries

thumbs upMira

  • Mid-late season
  • High yielding
    • Rank: 4th
  • Good fruit size
  • Good appearance
    • Light color
  • Low cull rate
  • Good flavor
Mira strawberries

Itsaca

  • Mid-early season
  • High yielding first year
    • Two year rank: 13th
  • Fair-good fruit size
  • Good color (dull?)
  • Slightly soft
  • High cull rate (size, rot)
  • Bland, slightly acid flavor
  • 2nd season disaster
Itasca strawberries

thumbs upCabot

  • Late mid-season
  • Good yields
    • Rank: 8th
  • Very large fruit
  • Rough appearance
    • Nice color, stem & calyx
  • Fair cull rate
    • Rot, splits, misshapen
  • Good flavor, soft
  • Large plant
    • Supplemental N
Cabot strawberries

Brunswick

  • Early mid-season
  • High yielding
    • Rank: 7th
  • Good fruit size
  • Good appearance
    • May be dark, soft
  • Few culls
  • Flavor issues?
  • Renovate lightly
Brunswick strawberries

Darselect

  • Mid-season
  • Good yields
    • Rank: 10th
  • Nice appearance
    • Uniform, fancy calyx
  • Fairly high cull rate
    • Rot, size, misshapen
  • Good flavor, firmness
  • Large, floppy leaves
    • Very susceptible to scorch
  • Winter tender?
Darselect strawberries

Strawberry Variety Recommendations 2009

  • Early: Sable, Wendy, Annapolis, Honeoye
  • Early Mid-season: Brunswick, Cavendish, Itasca?
  • Mid-Season: Jewel, Mesabi, Mira, Darselect
  • Late: Cabot, Allstar, Clancy, Ovation?, Yamaska?

Day-Neutral Variety Observations

Evie-2 (UK)

  • Early
  • High yields
  • Seascape strawberriesGood size, uniform, light color
  • Very soft, high cull %
  • Overall quality: Fair

Seascape (CA)

  • Mid-late
  • Large plants (Use wider spacing?)
  • High yields
  • Good size, nice appearance
  • Firm, good flavor
  • Overall quality: very good

Albion strawberries

Photo by D. Pike

Day-Neutral Variety Observations 2006

Albion (CA)

  • Late (many plants didn’t produce until late)
  • Good size, very nice appearance
  • Firm, good flavor
  • Overall quality: good

New Releases for 2010

  • Early: Galletta
  • Early Mid-season: Daroyal
  • Late: Valley Sunset, Record
  • Day Neutral: Portola, San Andreas

girl holds up a giant strawberryStrawberry Variety Trials

  • Test them yourself!
  • Always trial new varieties in small plantings (reduce risk)
  • Plant new varieties next to a standard for your area
  • Observe for at least two harvest seasons before “buying in”
  • Get customer feedback


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