Best Strawberry Varieties?


My wife brought some of my strawberries to her work and the people thought they were the best they ever had. Try Mara des Bois, or Jewel. Also look for late ripening, brix is directly proportional to the sun they get. Later types run into better weather here. Don’t over water them either. When they look ripe, wait a day or two before harvest. That last ripening is when the sugar goes through the roof. If fruit will rot the next day, that is when to harvest.Usually they become super deep red once ripe.MdB turn from red to a fire engine red when fully ripe. Super tart anytime before, and super unbelievably sweet once ripe. If no alpine taste to the taste profile, they are not ripe.
Bob sent me some extra Ozark Beauties, and I do not like them at all. Removing all this year.
You could grow something you can’t get at the store, pineberries. White D is the best cultivar. They are a very soft fruit, and get lot’s of leaf spot. But man they are so good!


Try Earliglo! I second Drew’s thumbs down on Ozark Beauty.


I don’t think it is the soil- I’ve grown strawberries in different parts of the yard, including raised beds. I’ve also bought them at farmer’s markets and notice the same thing, so it could just be that in this climate they don’t get enough sun. Some of the past ones I’ve grown (different varieties) and the FM berries were sweeter than the Cabot, but still lacking. More tender than the store berries, but not more tasty. But, it could be the varieties that are grown here.

I haven’t tried MDB, but I did have Caroline raspberries for a few years. I got rid of them, as they weren’t all that productive and were heavily infested with SWD for a couple years in a row (Prelude and Royalty fruited before SWD and Anne seemed less susceptible at the same time). But, the taste was probably the best of all the red raspberries I’ve tried (I like Anne better).

I figured that might be a reason the CA ones have an edge. Cabot is a mid-late ripening variety. I think it actually has less sugar than the earlier ones I used to grow (they used to be around June 1st, while Cabot was ~June 15).

Do you have a good source for Mara des Bois? Given that both you and MrsG reccomend it, I think it sounds like a good one to try. I checked both Nourse and Indiana Berry and while both have Jewel, neither has MdB. One note- Nourse says that Cabot has “Excellent” flavor, which makes be really wonder about the ones they say are only “Good”.


Bob I buy my MDB strawberries from Nourse. Their bunches are always healthy and are full rooted. Good product!


Thanks- I see it now. I was looking under June bearing and didn’t realize it was an everbearer.

@Drew51, How does Jewel compare to Sparkle? Have you tried Rutgers Scarlet? I watched the video posted above and Nourse says it has “Exceptional flavor”.


Mara des Bois is a day neutral berry. What is different about them, is that they are rather round, and are all sizes. Not all one uniform heart shaped berry. The second crop into fall is much smaller but the berries are very tasteful and sweet.


Yeah Nourse has them. They are everbearing, but have a huge June load. Very early too, so no SWD problems with first crop.
I can send you some pineberries if you want to try them? They run like crazy so a couple plants will not take long to fill an area. I started with two, and last year when re-doing a bed I threw out about 100 plants. You have to watch the runners.


Bob, if you like large, firm, very sweet berries you should try Albion. The 10 acre strawberry field behind my back fence grows Albion and Chandler. Both are excellent, chandler is huge and fairly firm, and Albion is large very firm and keeps well. I believe Albion is the number 1 strawberry grown here in California but may be wrong. I grow Albion organically and get very nice results, sometimes I thin the small berries to get jumbos. Highly recommended!


Albion has won taste tests in CA, my concern is it won’t do well here.
Bob, probably what you’re getting in the store is Albion.


We just got home from town, and see that my free replacement Earliglow and Jewel plugs have arrived. Some look a bit green, so they’re going in the ground today. Hope these take and do well this summer.

Again, thanks to Nourse for their fine customer service.


Never know unless you try it, its only a strawberry plant.


I used to grow Chandler in Austin Texas area. It was great to my taste and to others as well. Strawberry growing in that area is very different than other climates and it seems that varieties are highly area specific.



Very nice Drew, nice to see others growing Chandler. They are huge and great tasting. Sounds like yours were excellent! I agree that strawberries can be very area specific. I think if you have an area that gets full sun when its out you will have a better chance getting good results.


I grew Chandler the patch before the current one - very satisfied

Not sure why I switched


I do agree with that, but reports I have seen from the Midwest were not good. I’m still going to try both of them at some point.


Very happy with Rutgers Scarlet, very well balanced and sweet, care free plants.


I have seen photos of your berries, they look fantastic! If anyone can grow them successfully in the Midwest it would be you!


I have a couple, they produced a few fruit, not bad! I still need next year to make a good evaluation. I planted them near Archer just released by Cornell. They are very similar to each other. Hard to judge though till I have established plants produce. I’ll have a better idea after next season.


best tasting cultivated variety I’ve ever tasted is sparkle. they have smaller berries but lots of them. even better tasting than earliglow in my opinion. very close in taste to maria des bois. its a older cultivar still available today. many of the u pick farms around here still grow them .


Eagerly awaiting the chance to try pineberries from drew’s escapees myself…