Berry plant and harvest report 2019


#21

First bowl of strawberries for the season, mostly Earliglow.


#22

Does it has that unique strawberry flavor? Sweetness?


#23

Well, I just ate them, couldn’t resist. They seemed a bit tart even though they were pretty dark red. They weren’t all that sweet, but it’s still still early. Overall flavor of this batch was pretty good.

If you are thinking of four varieties to try, I would recommend Earliglow, based on the flavor and sweetness. Their drawbacks are that the berries aren’t that big to begin with, and get smaller as their season goes on. They send out lots of runners.

Jewel are bigger berries, but not as sweet, but more consistent in production. They don’t send out as many runners.

I don’t grow Mara des Bois, but understand they have a great aroma and flavor, just not a real big berry. They’re also an everbearer as opposed to the June bearers you listed.

I just planted Flavorfest last week, so can’t comment on them. They are supposed to be a large berry with very good flavor, and don’t need a lot of nitrogen to grow well. Their ripening period is the same as Jewel.

If you want a good later strawb, Sparkle is supposed to be pretty tasty.

Maybe @ltilton, @moose71, @drew51, @mrsg47 and others could comment on their varieties and how they’ve done for them. I’m still new at growing these things, so my experience is limited.


#24

I’m more a specialty strawberry grower. I’m still trying to find the best regular strawberry. I’m trying Archer right now, and they were decent last year. I need more time.

On sweetness. One needs to let a strawberry just rot on the vine and take notes. A couple days before it rots is when to pick them for sweetest flavor. You need to see how long they last to figure out best time to pick them. Figs too tend to be picked early. They look ripe, they are not!


#25

i have evie 2 that is a good bearer of good sized berries. not as sweet as earliglow but close. its a ever bearer. i have AC Wendy coming to replace my 3 yr. old earliglow. heard good things about them. just put in mara des bois and have wonderfull pine berry coming in. sparkle is a old heirloom that was grown commercially up here until 20 yrs ago. the fruit is medium sized and very good. at least as good as earliglow maybe a little better. it has good crops. i produces in late july here. a good berry to extend your harvest. i also grew out 17 alpine strawberries from seed. i have1/2 reds and 1/2 whites. they will be going in the ground in a few weeks.


#26

The farms around here go with Earliglow, and then for a later berry Ozark Beauty. I’ve grown both as well and the Ozarks are indeed a later berry.


#27

I just called one of the strawberry farm about 25 miles away. The owner said they grew All-star and Kent. He stated they are real sweet and Large and blew away those California grown strawberries. Do anyone grow these two varieties and agreed with his assessment?

Tony


#28

I tasted All Star, it’s pretty good. I have a couple buried with others. But with strawberries sometimes location matters.


#29

How’s the sweetness with Ozark?


#30

Hi Sub! I grow all berries for flavor first. When it comes to flavor I like the Hybrids that have been mixed with a wild variety. Not hybrid to hybrid. It leaves me with few choices so I grow Mara des Bois, and Italian version of Mara, and Gariguette. The latter is a long cylindrical shaped berry, rare and unique in the states. As for Mara des Bois. The berries all vary in size on one plant. Since it is ever bearing or day neutral, the first berries are the largest, the next time they cycle, there will be almost large and medium, then end of summer you can still fine a few large berries, but not many. Most are about the size of a nickel or a bit bigger. The darker they get the sweeter they are. But its about their true strawberry flavor which is the reason I grow them. Drew has grown them as well a number of others.

On the large berry front, I kind of got laughed at, as I stated I just ordered fifty Honeoye strawberry plants. The reviews were, ugh, they taste like kool-aid or worse, strawberry bubblegum! They were all so right! Very large berries but after I ate the first berry i knew they were right and threw out all fifty plants! The folks in this forum know from where they speak! Like Drew, I too am a picky planter.

I got rid of all of my alpines, as for a while they were charming tasted ok, but I didn’t have the energy to plant all of the plants you need to make them a crop. They are a nice tasting berry. Unusual, but to me, do not make an impact.


#31

alpines aren’t planted for a crop. more for a treat. they are a lot of work but the taste makes it worth it. they remind me of the wild ones we used to pick as a kid. i grow the bigger varieties for filling the freezer.


#32

funny. my cascade golds have light colored leaves also. must be typical of the cultivar. my other rasps. have darker green leaves.


#33

Not as sweet as Earliglow IMO, but very good, large size as well.


#34

I got almost the same as you. I went with Earliglow, Jewel, Flavorfest, and AC Valley Sunset. AC Valley Sunset is a pretty late variety, so it extends the season. Hopefully it’s a pretty good one! Half the crowns were put against the walls that abut my driveway. The rest were given away.

If it wasn’t for SWD I would have probably tried MDB since the people here hold it in such high regard.


#35

It is, they are light. I have an offspring of Cascade Gold, unknown pollen parent. Berries are yellow, grown from seed. It was not an intentional cross. I was practicing germinating raspberry seeds. Seeing how much scarification I needed, and this plant grew from Cascade Gold seeds. This one had a few fruit last year and they were excellent. But I need another year or two to fully evaluate. I have a 2nd plant too, but it has yet to fruit. Both are 2nd leaf from Cascade Gold seed. The former I call Andrea, the latter is yet to be named. I might not keep it! I need to taste the fruit!

The first wave of fruit is the most and they ripen very early in the season. usually my first berries. I would say worth trying even if you don’t harvest again. Later harvests are small anyway.

2 years ago I replaced all of mine with runners, and this year I should have a bunch of MdB to harvest. It’s my 5th or 6th year of growing them.


#36

Picked these after church today, a little over a quart of Earliglow. Jewel are starting to plump up, so should start picking some of those next week.

These taste OK, but still not really sweet. It might be the rain diluting the flavor. Still nice to have berries of any type this early. Hopefully these will be followed by raspberries, gooseberries and then blackberries.


#37

Well, it’s been a couple weeks since I planted the 26 Flavorfest strawbs. It looks like all but one have sprouted, some with many leaves already. There were even a few that have produced fruit buds, which were pinched off to allow the plants to get established.

Of the ones producing, I picked abt a pint of berries again today. I’ve had to do some major weeding, not of real weeds, but what looks like a wild or false strawberry type plant that is trying to take over the patch. I’ve left a few to see if they will produce any berries as they have flowers, but so far nothing is forming. The flowers are yellow, the leaves are small and the plants shoot out lots of runners. I’ll have to look up what they might be. Whatever they are, they are very invasive.

Edit: some research shows that they could be mock strawberries due to the yellow flowers, and are very prolific. If they do fruit, it isn’t very tasty. I may let a few produce, but plan on pulling most of them out.


#38

Some pics of our growing and flowering blackberries.

Our prolific Freedom, with lots of new canes, growing like weeds

Traveler blooms

Ouachita blooms

Osage blooms, with light purple blossoms. Plant had quite a bit of dieback, but has shot up some big new canes.

Overall view, I’ve since weeded the patch

Some wild berries on the other side of the property. Don’t know if they’re blackberries or black rasps.

Already forming fruit, almost looks like rasps?


#39

This is the weed that’s in my strawb patch, I looked it up and it is Cinquefoil, not mock strawberry as I first suspected. It’s an invasive weed, can set some pretty deep taproots and doesn’t fruit, so out it comes.

I did notice a few of the real strawbs sending out some runners.


#40

I put in new Earliglow and Jewel strawberries this year. @subdood_ky_z6b your pics have me excited for next year.

And my unknown blackberries