Results of Junebearing strawberry trials planted at two locations in 2020 and harvested in 2021 and 2022 are summarized here. Additional results are included from the 2018 harvest at Morris from planting established in 2018 and harvested in 2019. Unfortunately, the planting could not be harvested in 2020 due to COVID restrictions.
Rows were 4 ft apart on center and plants were allowed to form a matted row up to about 18 inches wide. The plantings were mulched with about 4-6 inches of straw in early November and uncovered in late April (Morris) or early May (Grand Rapids). Plots were harvested every 2 or 3 days. The total weight of fruit from each plot was weighed to estimate yield and the weight of 20 berries was used to estimate berry size at each harvest date. Insecticide sprays were applied for tarnished plant bug or cyclamen mites as needed.
Performance in 2021
At Grand Rapids, fruit yields were very minimal in 2021 due to stand loss due to a combination of winter injury and root rot and two freeze events during the May bloom period and are not reported here. Plots were consolidated in summer 2021 and by fall 2021 stand coverage was mostly 70-90%.
At Morris, stand loss over winter was minimal. However, fruit size was relatively small in 2021 due to extreme heat in June. Data for five additional varieties (Genereuse, Glooscap, Red Merlin, St-Jean d’Orleans, St-Pierre) that were planted several weeks later in 2020 are not reported here. It should be noted that plants of Glooscap appeared to be free of the June Yellows symptoms that had been noted on this variety in previous years.
Among the newer varieties, Sonata was notable for its high yield at Morris in 2021. Keepsake and the new AAC varieties from Nova Scotia had excellent firmness and flavor.
Performance in 2022
At Grand Rapids, two reps were reestablished in 2021. Stand loss was minimal over the winter 2021-22. However, yields were dramatically reduced by frosts during flowering in the last week of May 2022.
At Morris, late planted varieties from 2020 made excellent growth in 2021 and were similar in stand to earlier planted varieties by fall 2021. Stand loss over the winter 2021-22 was substantial for some varieties.
Leaf diseases were largely absent this year with the severe drought. Glooscap and Brunswick had very high yields at Morris. Of the newer varieties, AAC Audrey, AAC Lila, Sonata, and Keepsake had very good fruit quality ratings.
Dr. Jim Luby , University of Minnesota, Department of Horticultural Science, St. Paul, MN
Nathan Dalman and Steve Poppe, University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, MN
Rosmanita Learmont, Crystal Sucher, and Keith Mann, University of Minnesota North Central Research and Outreach Center, Grand Rapids, MN