This is the time of year when we’re dreaming of the taste of that first strawberry of the year. We thought we’d provide some fun details about strawberries.
Thanks to Art’s Nursery for this great article!
If you ask people what their favourite summertime berry is… odds are they will say strawberry.
Strawberries belong to the Fragraria genus of plants and are one of the most popular fruits for fresh eating, cooking, jams, jellies and desserts. They grow to about 6 inches high and have semi-evergreen leaves comprised of three leaflets with serrated edges.
Types of Strawberries
There are three different groups of Strawberries:
June Bearing Strawberries are also called Spring Bearing varieties. They respond to increasing amount of daylight and shortening nights by producing flowers and setting a large heavy crop of berries in late spring to early summer depending on your location. June Bearing varieties tend to be much sweeter than other varieties. They may also produce a small crop in the fall when days begin to shorten and nights get longer. These types tend to send out more runners than do ever-bearing varieties.
Ever bearing Strawberries, also called “Day Neutral” varieties, produce a smaller, steady stream of berries in Summer through to the Fall. As long as temperatures are between 35-85F (basically above freezing and below 30C), they will continue to produce flowers and fruit. Ever bearing varieties tend to produce the most in the first year. Their disadvantage is that they don’t ripen as many fruits at one time and while they may be juicier, they may not be as sweet as June-Bearing types.
Alpine Strawberries, Fragraria vesca, is also called Fraise de Bois. These plants tend to produce much smaller berries, but are packed with incredible flavor. They are day-neutral and produce most heavily in late summer. Some varieties are available as seed or ornamental types may be sold as groundcovers. Alpine strawberries do not normally produce runners, but will self-seed. Generally speaking, Alpines are easier to grow and need less fertile soil and moisture than do other types of strawberries.
You’ll find lots of delicious June bearing and ever bearing strawberries at BC Farm Fresh. The alpine strawberries, you’ll have to plant in your own garden.
The Farm Fresh Reference Guide is produced by the Fraser Valley Farm Direct Marketing Association in cooperation with the BC Ministry of Agriculture.
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