Last year I told you about how and why I lost my main crop of Honeoye Strawberries. I grow Honeoye as a main crop because they resist berry rot, have good flavor and if necessary, will hold for at least a day to finish ripening on my table.
They are an excellent main crop berry. We freeze as many as we eat fresh and when you thaw the frozen ones and serve over vanilla ice cream — WOW!
I had hoped to have the Honeoyes recover this year, but because of some digging we had to do to remove invasive roots from some “junk” trees that traveled about 30 feet or more — the berries were once again set back. It was too late in the spring for the berries to make a total recovery from being moved; so although they’re alive and trying to produce — they’re far from what they should be.
Not to worry — I always have back up. I don’t go without strawberries when something happens to my main crop.
Earliglow – The first to ripen and the sweetest!
About four years ago I ordered several kinds of berries. As is often the case in my garden, I ran out of space. So I planted the Earliglow here and there along the outside edge of my flower borders.
Earliglow lovin’ it in the flower border.
Most of the plants did ok, but there was one spot in my border that Earliglow loved! So in paying attention to what nature was telling me — I left them there. Each year I thin them, take out the ones working their way to the back of the border, cut off the old foliage right after fruiting, and give them some compost in the spring. About 10 or 15 strawberry plants give me lots of sweet berries for fresh eating each day.
Earliglow is probably the sweetest strawberry you will every taste!
I don’t grow Earliglow as a main crop because I find it more prone to berry rot. Also, even though I pick daily and pick all the ripe ones, I like to pick those that are one day away from being ripe. I leave them on my kitchen table to ripen completely by the next morning. This strategy keeps the birds from getting many prime fruits. Earliglow cooperates to a degree with this strategy — but Honeoye does it better — which is why Honeoye is my main strawberry crop.
Tristar – Everbearing
At the same time I was planting Earliglow along my flower borders I planted a few everbearing Tristar in the garden. I always thought of everbearing as not giving enough fruit to be of value. But I was shocked when they gave me delicious strawberries off and on through July and again in the fall long after other strawberries have said goodbye for the year.
I didn’t keep track of the exact time between bearing, but according to what I read they bear every six weeks in summer and into fall — and that sounds about right.
Almost half made it through the severe drought year. The next year they had to share the bed with other crops because I needed the space. This year I’ve given them enough room to accommodate a couple of dozen plants.
The leaves look stronger than any strawberry I’ve ever had and the berries have been huge — a bit more than 2 inches long and a diameter of about 1 1/2 inches.
Tristar has a good flavor although not real sweet like Earliglow. But when there’s no other fresh strawberry to be had — believe me they’re a special treat!
To be Successful – Remember
Strawberries don’t compete well with grass and if you place them in that type of situation your plants will be small and and berries will be few. So if you want beautiful foot high plants that give you gallons of berries — plant them in a deeply prepared bed rich with organic matter. Then mulch.
If you have some spinach left in your garden try my strawberry salad. You won’t believe how delicious it is!
And if for some reason you don’t have strawberries — PLEASE — plan to plant and treat yourself to one of the most delicious fruits on earth — when they’re grown in your own garden.
Other Posts on Strawberries:
Organic Gardening is easy, effective, efficient and it’s a lot healthier.
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