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A Taste of Summer

June 1st, 2011

Yesterday we picked our first three strawberries. As you can imagine – we’re super excited about the flush that will follow most likely next week through the end of June. I see a lot of strawberry shortcake for dinner in the coming weeks!

I have five different kinds of strawberries growing in my edible gardens.

‘Yellow Wonder’ – a yellow alpine strawberry that produces small yellow pineapple flavored berries all summer long. Compact, about 8-10 inches tall and very lush, perfect for edging gardens. Do not produce runners. (source: started from seed a few years ago originally from Baker Creek)

‘Sparkle’ – The best berry for jam and freezing, Sparkle has been known for flavorful, high-quality, attractive fruit for over 60 years. Do not allow the bed to become too thick, and you’ll be rewarded with a nice crop of tasty, medium-sized berries. An extremely vigorous variety, Sparkle is an excellent choice for home gardeners and PYO operations in northern climates. (source: plants from Nourse Farms)

‘Allstar’ – Allstar produces a good crop of very large, light-colored, sweet berries. Glossy, firm fruit makes this variety excellent for fresh eating. This widely adapted variety has performed consistently well from the East to central Midwest. It is highly resistant to red stele, with intermediate resistance to Verticillium wilt. (source: plants from Nourse Farms)

‘Earliglow’ – “Wonderful strawberry flavor” is this variety’s trademark. Earliglow’s fruit has a very firm, glossy skin, firm flesh, and medium size. Its sweet flavor makes the variety excellent for fresh eating and freezing. Fruit size tends to decrease as the season progresses. Earliglow plants are very vigorous and runner well. This variety has good resistance to red stele and intermediate resistance to Verticillium wilt. Recommended for beginners. (source: plants from Nourse Farms)

‘Tarpan’ – Starts producing abundant, 1-1 1/2″, deep rose flowers in about 85 days. Plant in a hanging basket, container, or in the ground. The bright red, small to medium-sized fruit are plentiful, tasty, and will produce from midsummer to frost. Produces runners. (source: seeds from Johnny’s)

I’d also love to add some ‘Tri-Star’ berries to my gardens someday. I’ve heard good things about them and I like that they’re everbearing. I’d love to have a few strawberries to add to my salad every so often.

Have you been harvesting strawberries yet? Do you grow June bearing or ever bearing varieties?

21 Comments to “A Taste of Summer”
  1. LisaAlso on June 1, 2011 at 6:34 am

    I’m so jealous! My strawberries are finished for the season and I miss them already!

    I grow a variety called Tennessee Beauty (I think) that is just perfect for my west TN garden. I wasn’t expecting many this year after pruning out the raised bed, but managed to freeze 2 gallon bags and eat a huge bowl every morning. I think I’ll take my husband’s advice and start a second bed in the fall.

    Reply to LisaAlso's comment

  2. Barefeet In The Kitchen on June 1, 2011 at 8:54 am

    We only planted a couple of strawberry plants this year, not really expecting much. I’m loving all the beds of strawberries that I am seeing different places now though. We’re definitely going to do an entire bed of them for ourselves next year!

    Reply to Barefeet In The Kitchen's comment

  3. Missy on June 1, 2011 at 9:19 am

    My mom has already harvested enough to make a few batches of jam! Her berry patch is going crazy.

    Reply to Missy's comment

  4. Mich on June 1, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I grow ever bearing variety called ‘Mara de bois’ a lovely sweet little strawberry :) I have eaten a few ripe ones whilst working in veg plot. Yum.

    Reply to Mich's comment

  5. Not Just Apples on June 1, 2011 at 9:34 am

    our strawberries are starting to get a nice red tint on them – and i’m looking forward to eating some in a week or so :)

    so great to hear about your favorite varieties!

    Reply to Not Just Apples's comment

  6. Seren Dippity on June 1, 2011 at 10:03 am

    My strawberries have come and gone! Finished harvesting about 8 lbs by the 2nd of May from my small 4’x4′ bed. These are what I call my heirloom strawberries. They are probably some variety of wild berries but have been growing out behind my grandma’s barn for over 50 years. After she passed and the family place was sold, my mom brought home some runners. I am the only one who managed to keep them alive I am attempting to start another strawberry bed under my blueberry bushes but my first attempt died over the winter. I planted “Sweet Charlie” they died. Now I have some “Allstar” and “Loran” that seem like they may survive. I want something larger than the tiny, but tasteful heirlooms.

    Reply to Seren Dippity's comment

  7. igardendaily on June 1, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Oh, that is so fun to see! I just spotted the first red strawberries in my raised planters yesterday. I grow almost all Tri-star in a raised planter and a couple of ribbon rows in the ground. This will be the second year so I hope to have a good crop. I also have a few other ever-bearing types. Enjoy your berries, they look great!

    Reply to igardendaily's comment

  8. Daedre Craig on June 1, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I’m growing strawberries for the first time this year. I have the cultivar ‘Honeoye’ which is one of the most popular in Michigan. I’m even using Honeoye in one of my greenhouse experiments on photoperiodic induction.

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  9. MAYBELLINE on June 1, 2011 at 10:23 am

    My berries are most likely ever bearing. I continually enjoy them. This morning I’m enjoying strawberries and boysenberries while reading your post.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  10. melissa on June 1, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Do you do anything special to preserve your berries? I’ve made one batch of jam already and I’m looking for ideas- saw a good recipe for making a strawberry lemonade concentrate. I’m glad you mentioned those Tarpan berries- saw a pot of those the other day with the pink blossoms and had been wondering what they were! I think I may need to order some of those- especially like that they are mid-summer to frost bearing. This would fill my gap after the early spring/summer berries are done!

    Reply to melissa's comment

  11. Lee on June 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I had a small strawberry bed till the cats ruined it, so I decided to grow Fraises des Bois in a strawberry jar. It was wonderful, so fragrant and delicious, but every so often some tasted rather nasty. I didn’t know what was going on until I saw one of my cats do his thing to the jar. As you can imagine, that was the end of the strawberries for me. Maybe I should try one of those hanging strawberry grow bags.

    Reply to Lee's comment

  12. Margaret on June 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Suzy,
    I think you have the same description for sparkle and early glow?
    I love the name sparkle, would love to know your source.

    Reply to Margaret's comment

    • Susy on June 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks for pointing that out, not sure what happened there but I fixed it. I got my ‘Sparkle’ plants from Nourse as well. I ordered a variety sampler from them with three of the varieties listed above.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Margaret on June 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm

        I picked up seascape and Camino from Peaceful Valley. I am zoned 9 but have been successful with things zoned 8. I think I’ll try the Sparkle berries next year. Just love the name. Hope you will follow up with the posting on taste.
        Thanks for all your good info.

        to Margaret's comment

  13. Margaret on June 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Between my bunnies and hens we get very few berries, Hee hee. At some point I will put them into places where my animal friends can’t eat everything, but for now they harvest more than we do. I do like that they are getting wholesome food from our yard.

    Reply to Margaret's comment

  14. nic@nipitinthebud on June 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    we’re picking ours too. I tried them with balsamic vinegar for the first time and it’s true that it brings out the flavour all the more (see latest post)

    Reply to nic@nipitinthebud's comment

    • Susy on June 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      OH, I LOVE strawberries and balsamic. I have a bottle of good balsamic that I save strictly for eating by the spoonful or dipping strawberries in. Every now and then we’ll make strawberry ice cream and drizzle it with good aged balsamic vinegar as well – it’s a perfect combo!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. Kathi on June 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I can’t wait for mine after seeing your picture. I’m loaded with flowers and just starting to get some green berries. I thought this year might be a dud since last year was so prolific and I drastically thinned them out but they seem to have loved it. I added a few everbearing this year ,but most of mine are June bearing. I have know idea what varieties they are but they all taste delicious to me. I llove them with salad greens,,goat cheese, walnuts ,and a semisweet dressing made with white balsalmic vinegar.Think I’ll head out now and go check on them!

    Reply to Kathi's comment

  16. Jennifer Fisk on June 1, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I just planted 4 everbearing but I was cautioned to pinch off blossoms until the second week of June. The wild strawberries are just in bloom here on the coast of Maine.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  17. Lynda on June 2, 2011 at 12:02 am

    I bought 300 Sparkle crowns year before last and the chickens destroyed all but a handful…I never got any berries. This year I ordered another 300 from the same grower (he grows berries for the Farmers Market) and they all did very well…nice big red berries…but they were not sweet. Our weather has been so cool they did not get the required heat to *sweeten-up*…such a shame. I understand they are a delicious fruit. I’ve pulled the berries and flowers off and I’m hoping for another bloom when and if it warms up.

    Reply to Lynda's comment

  18. Candie on June 2, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I do not grow strawberries yet but we did get enough mulberries from our tree today to make the first pie!

    Reply to Candie's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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