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Berries for every taste
The assortment of strawberries is very diverse due to the success of breeding work both in our country and abroad. It is known that in different soil and climatic conditions, the same varieties, as a rule, have different indicators. Therefore, their correct selection in each specific region determines the high efficiency of strawberry cultivation.
The renewal of the assortment of this main berry crop has been especially active in the last two decades in connection with the effective work of breeders who have created new modern varieties for cultivating them both in industrial and home gardening.
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During these years in the North-West region, along with domestic varieties recommended for this territory and occupying the main place in strawberry plantations - Sudarushka, Divnaya, Tsarskoselskaya, Onega and others - a number of foreign varieties were tested. They aroused the interest of amateur gardeners not so much by yield indicators, but mainly by quality properties (good taste, intense color of berries, pulp density, etc.). These varieties include Crown, Polka, Honey, Bounty, Kent, Cavendish, Yonsok.
For a six-year period of testing these varieties on my personal plot, they were studied for all economically valuable indicators, and I can with complete reliability give their characteristics and recommend them for verification in amateur gardening of different regions not only of the North-West, but also of the Leningrad region, differing its soil and climatic conditions.
Strawberry variety Korona
It is a Dutch medium-late ripening variety very popular in the Scandinavian countries. A medium vigorous bush, compact, medium leafy, with green leaves with a specific metallic sheen. Gives many outlets.
Berries of the first order weighing up to 18 g, subsequent ones become smaller. In order not to reduce their size, plants should be watered during fruiting. The shape of the berries is truncated-conical, very beautiful, with a small neck. The color is dark red, with shine. In cool summers, their top can remain light.
The surface of the berries is smooth, the achenes are slightly submerged. The pulp is light red, very dense, good sweet and sour taste, with a pronounced aroma. But the surface of the berries is soft, so they do not tolerate long transportation and rainy weather. The Crown fruit is easy to pick, but the calyx is difficult to separate. When collecting and weeding, you need to be careful not to damage the peduncles, which easily break. Plants are not hardy enough, they are susceptible to gray mold and powdery mildew disease.
Strawberries of the Polka variety
Dutch medium-late, high-yielding variety. Plants of medium height, compact, densely leafy bush. Leaves are of medium size, wrinkled, often with 4-5 lobes. Peduncles of medium length, thick, strong. Inflorescences are compact, located below the level of the leaves.
Berries of the first order are rather large, weighing up to 19 g, subsequent ones become smaller. The shape of the berries is very beautiful, round-conical with a small neck and a smooth surface. The color is bright red with shine. Achenes are semi-submerged. The pulp is intense red, dense, juicy, dessert-like, with aroma.
The variety is moderately hardy, resistant to powdery mildew, but not sufficiently resistant to gray rot of berries. It is resistant to rainy weather. In dry weather, it needs watering of the plants so that the size of the berries does not decrease until the end of the season.
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An American variety, one of the most popular in all northern countries. The ripening period is early, the yield is good, if there is no winter damage.
The bush is erect, slightly leafy, the peduncles are straight, strong, so the berries are easy to pick from the plants, however, the weeds can easily make their way to the bushes, since the light hits the center of the plants. The rhizome often protrudes above the soil surface, so hilling bushes is necessary. Forms many outlets.
The berries are large until the end of the season. The color ranges from bright red to deep red. The top of the first berries sometimes remains light. The pulp is firm, with good taste. The berries must be picked when ripe, since the taste is fully formed only in ripe berries. Honeycomb is exceptionally good for transportation and is resistant to rainy weather. The cultivar is susceptible to powdery mildew, but rather resistant to gray mold.
The disadvantage of the variety is its weak winter hardiness, therefore, to protect plants, you need to use a shelter made of non-woven material for the winter.
Canadian widespread late ripening variety - about 3-4 days later than Zenga Zengana.
The bush is low, spreading, forms many rosettes. The berries are conical, firm, with a sweet dark red pulp, pleasant to the taste. The size of the berries is medium, the weight of the fruits of the first harvest is 15 g, by the end of the harvest they become smaller. Superficial achenes are a typical feature of the variety, which is not very popular with consumers.
A variety of medium winter hardiness, quite resistant to gray rot, but is strongly affected by powdery mildew, and not only bushes, but sometimes even berries are affected.
Canadian vigorous, productive, mid-early variety. The bushes are dark green, spreading, a more sparse planting is recommended for them. Plants form many whiskers.
The berries are quite large, brick-red in color with a dense surface. The taste of the fruit is a bit atypical for strawberries. Achenes are superficial. The berries are easy to pick, but although they are dense, the transport and rain resistance is not very good. Winter hardiness is quite high.
The variety is of medium late ripening, the berries ripen simultaneously with the Polka variety.
The bush is quite powerful, not thickened, so the light gets well inside the plant. The yield is quite high, but lower than that of the Polka variety. Good winter hardiness. The berries are large, beautifully truncated-conical, dark red, shiny. Achenes are weakly submerged. Sometimes the color of the fruit is judged to be slightly variegated, and the berries do not always ripen evenly from all sides. The pulp is firm, red, with a good sweet and sour taste.
Gray mold resistance is good enough.
Norwegian variety of medium ripening. The bush is of medium size, compact, medium leafy. The variety showed itself as winter hardy even in those winters when other varieties were damaged.
The berries are medium-sized, the mass of the first harvest is 14 g, aligned in shape and size. The shape is rounded-conical, often triangular. The surface is slightly longitudinally tuberous. The color of the berries is dark red, with shine, the achenes are numerous, submerged. The pulp is intensely red, dense, without a core, average taste, without aroma, used fresh and for freezing.
The variety has proven to be reliable in rainy summers as the surface of the berries does not soften in wet conditions. Powdery mildew resistance is good and gray mold resistance is higher than Zenga Zengana variety. Susceptible to late blight.
The biggest drawback is the small berries, but this can be influenced to some extent by fertilizing and watering more than other varieties.
Thus, for a variety of assortment, gardeners can choose any of the above-described foreign varieties. It is especially worth paying attention to varieties with excellent qualities of berries - taste, color, pulp density, although they are inferior to many of our domestic varieties in yield and large-fruited.