Trials Now Planned or Underway
Germination Trials – Some suppliers don’t provide germination data so we are conducting germination tests in a controlled environment
- 2008 Production Trials – 9 varieties will be tested with 4 replications for fruit production – pictures of the plants will be added soon
- Hydroponic Trials – in November hydroponic trials have been initiated. What we are specifically looking at are the possibility of growing strawberries with the Aerogarden system and in home-made systems
Preliminary Thoughts on 2007 Trials
(written in late October 2007)
Most of the research for 2007 has been completed. Most of the plants in the ground bed stopped producing when it got hot in the summer and are struggling to survive. Some are coming back with the cooler weather but there is little or no production from them this fall (this is being written in early October 2007).
Plants in containers tended to do better this year than those planted in the ground bed. Location may have had something to do with that. The ground bed gets full sun from early morning until early afternoon and gets quite hot. Soaker hoses are used for watering except when fertilizer is applied with a sprinkler can. This is one aspect of alpine strawberry production that needs to be looked at. Once planted, ground beds cannot be moved. When containerized plants get a little crowded they are easily moved. In addition, I use primarily white containers for that production and I feel strongly that pot color plays an important role in production and length of season. Another study needed!!
Production trials were very interesting. I have not yet begun the task of summarizing the data collected. It’s a massive amount of information. Most data was entered into a spreadsheet which should help make it easier to summarize. I’ll need to find someone with a statistical analysis program to do the analysis but I hope to have a general summary completed soon.
After a lot of fruit loss and trouble due to birds, I think I’ve finally decided to limit production of red varieties. I frantically put up bird netting in the spring after losing quite a few fruit. Many red fruit had one peck taken out of them, thus ruining the whole fruit. Granted, they are not that large but the taste is so wonderful that one gets angry when even a few fruit are lost. I’m leaning strongly toward producing yellow and white varieties only. In fact, I found a couple of garden varieties of white berries and will be testing them next year in addition to the musk strawberries. I know, they’re not the same species and they runner. I did grow them years ago and the runners kind of made me a little crazy – a little like what I wrote above for ‘Mara’. But, we soon forget and need to be reminded. We’ll see how long I can stay interested in the musk strawberries.
Variety production trials are in the planning stages for next season. I already have 8 varieties with 4 pots for each variety planted for a replicated trial. The plants should be well established by the time it gets cold. It will be a lot of picking and weighing, but I’m looking forward to getting more and better data.
I spoke to a fruit buyer who is VERY interested in buying fraises des bois for the restaurant trade. I’m seriously considering going into production, but the pieces just haven’t come together yet. There is a demand and there isn’t much competition. We’ll see.
I hope to post some more information yet this fall. I likely will not post final data here. I plan to summarize the data and submit an article to a magazine. We’ll see how that goes.