Fresh strawberries are the culinary highlight of June. Here are some of the best tasting strawberry varieties to grow in your garden (or search out at local fruit stands or the farmers market).
Top 5 of the Best-Tasting Strawberry Varieties
Here are five perennial favourites of the top tasting strawberry cultivars:
While these five strawberry varieties are perhaps most popularly searched out for their excellent flavour, there are quite a few delicious types of strawberries! Read on to see the full list of yummy berries to grow or buy.
“Genetics is very important, usually the most important determinant of flavor.”The Ever Curious Gardener: Using a Little Natural Science for a Much Better Garden, by Lee Reich
List of the Best Tasting Strawberry Varieties
Here are over 70 of the best-tasting strawberry varieties. Choose a few that are well-suited to your climate (ask at local garden centers) – then pick your own favourites to grow year after year!
- Albion (Albion Strawberry Plants)
- American Wild Virginia/Fragaria virginiana (Virginia Wild Strawberry Seeds)
- Cambridge Favourite
- Cambridge Late Pine
- Camino Real
- Chandler (Chandler June-Bearing Southern Strawberry Plants)
- Earliglow (Earliglow Strawberry Plants)
- Fairfax (Buy Live Fairfax Strawberry Plants)
- Fort Laramie (Fort Laramie Hardy Everbearing Strawberry Plants)
- Jewel (Jewel Mid-Season Strawberry Plants)
- Mara des Bois (Mara des Bois Everbearing Live Strawberry Plants)
- Marshall (Marshall Strawberry Plants)
- Old North Sea
- Oregon Hood
- Ozark Beauty
- Quinalt (Quinalt Everbearing Strawberry Plants)
- Reine des Vallees
- Rosa Linda
- Royal Sovereign
- Rutgers Scarlet
- Seascape (Seascape Strawberry Plants)
- Sequoia (Live Sequoia Strawberry Plants)
- Sparkle (Sparkle Strawberry Plants)
- Sparkle Supreme
- Sweet Ann
- Sweet Charlie (Sweet Charlie Strawberry Plants)
- Yellow Wonder
Phew! Refer to this list at the local garden centre, as all varieties are not well-suited to all climates. Look locally for a few dependable, yummy varieties to start with. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to add a new type of strawberry to your garden each year!
Here is a great guide to the unique characteristics of some of these yummy types of strawberries: Cornell Strawberry Variety Review, by Courtney Weber
“Earliglow is still considered the best tasting berry around.”Strawberry Variety Review, by Courtney Weber, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.
Now let’s move on to some extra tips for bringing out the best flavour in your chosen strawberry variety.
Growing the Best Tasting Strawberries
There is more the the best tasting strawberries then simply choosing a variety labelled “excellent flavour”. Strawberries are kind of like wine grapes, in that while the variety is important, so is the terroir of their growing environment. The flavour profile and overall character is determined both by the variety (cultivar) and by the terroir of the growing location.
Here are some tips for creating a happy strawberry growing environment that promotes the growth of flavour-rich berries:
- Choose healthy plants from reputable sources
- Plant it in sandy soil enriched with homemade compost or other nutrient-rich organic matter
- Ensure the plants are getting a solid 8 hours of direct sunlight per day
- Keep the soil consistently moist, but not soaking wet (like a wrung-out sponge). Keeping the plants just a little bit on the dry side as they fruit can help concentrate flavour in smaller, more flavourful berries.
- Try a red plastic mulch (like this one, or make your own from recycled plastic)
- Feed plants with broad-spectrum, controlled-release organic fertilizer
- Avoid growth spurts (don’t over-water or over-fertilize…more is not better for producing tasty berries…we want to concentrate the flavour!)
- Pick berries at different maturities to determine peak ripeness
- Don’t replace the plants each year (let the plants become established over several years and note the changes in berry flavour)
“Size and chemical composition of berries developed in sunlight over a specially formulated red plastic were compared with those that developed over standard black plastic mulch. Berries that ripened over red were about 20% larger, had higher sugar to organic acid ratios and emitted higher concentrations of favorable aroma compounds.”Light Reflected From Red Mulch to Ripening Strawberries Affects Aroma, Sugar and Organic Acid Concentrations (Kasperbauer, Loughrin, & Wang)
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