Anyone know where I can order Maxim or the likes? An everbearer/Day Neutral would be even better!
I'll be following this closely Crabjoe, I'd like to know the answer myself. Cabot is about the largest variety I know of that can be readily obtained, and that's not an everbearer.
I'm pretty close to the end of my berry picking season and will be replanting my beds soon(I have all June-bearing). I am getting rid of Surecrop and would welcome another variety, specifically a large-jumbo type. My Winonas get some good size to them, but nothing like you see in the market. They are a sweet, fruity tasting berry though. The Honeoye isn't too bad either.
Be careful what you wish for. I think it was Scottsmith who once said, in effect, that you can't have it all and there are tradeoffs among size, sweetness, flavor, productivity, texture, and all the other elements of a strawberry.
In spring, 2006, I prepared an elaborate bed on 6 mil. black plastic to hold down weeds, and planted Gurney's Whopper strawberry. According to Gurney's this berry was not only large, but, because of its European parentage, was also absolutely and totally delicious.
Well, we are picking those Gurney's Whoppers now, and while they are much larger (in the first few flushes) than anything I have ever grown before, they are a big, big, disappointment in the flavor department, although they are bland enough that you could call them sweet. My spouse describes their flavor as "washed out". They are also softer than the varieties I grew before, and more subject to damaged spots in the patch. When they turn red, you had better be there to pick them right away, or they begin to rot quickly.
I think the element missing from these strawberries is acidity, which is another way of saying tartness. Strawberries can have very good flavor and still be slightly tart, as with Honeoye, Earliglow, Delmarvel, Cardinal, etc. If, like me, this makes you pucker, just put on a little sugar and you have a delightful flavor.
We are getting a lot of these Gurney's Whoppers, although size has begun to inevitably decline with the heat, and our normal practice is to freeze whatever we can't eat fresh. Gurney's Whopper is far inferior for freezing purposes than the normal size berries I grew before, both because of softeness and the watery flavor.
Now I am committed to these things for at least 2-3 years because of all the work I did setting up the plastic covered patch and cutting slits for runners (The Whopper plants are vigorous and do runner well). But I wish I had just planted Earliglow, which I still think is the best all-around strawberry that can be successfully grown in this area.
Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
Don, do you think Earliglow is better than Delmarvel? I only ask because Delmarvel has Earliglow parentage. I imagine there was something in Earliglow they were trying to improve upon or add to. I am continually impressed by Delmarvel,this is my 3rd or 4th season with it, and it will be replanted this year. The size tends to be smallish to medium, but they produce like crazy! The are first set fruit, first to ripen, and they bear the longest. They are on the tart side at first, but towards the end of the season they have sweetened some, plus a little rain helps too regardless of type. I don't mind putting a little sugar on them, but nothing beats a sweet berry without having to add it. I think your right about the "washed out" flavor, and many of us will probably equate that with sweetness, since the tart flavor has been subdued.
I had a patch of Delmarvel for two years, and liked it very, very much. Right next door was a patch of Jewel, but Delmarvel was more productive, as you say. Trouble then was that weeds took over the patches so badly I could only keep them going two years.
Delmarvel may in fact be as flavorful as Earliglow, and I suspect it is more productive. Maybe that is what they were trying to improve. Clearly, this berry is very well adapted to regional growing conditions.
At any rate, I have planted my last "giant" berry. I think there are some larger California varieties that they can grow very well -- in California.
I have no idea where Great Falls, VA might be, but if you're not to far and I'm in the mood for a drive, would you mind allowing me to have a few runners of some of your Strawberry plants?
BTW, I don't like tart (Ozark Beauties I have are way to tart for my taste), so washed out sweet might be just right for me.
I want to find a maxim giant retailer in the U.S. as well. I bought strawberries from CA last week that were literally the size of apples and had a wonderful taste. I have a wonderful location for this type of giant strawberry.
You can have all the runners of Gurney's Whopper you want. I don't recommend them though. E-mail me off list for directions. If you know where the Washington beltway is, you can find Jellyman farms.
I sent you an email using whatever email address this forum has for you.
Did you get my email?
No, I never did get your e-mail. Apparently, you didn't get mine either, which I sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with address and phone number here.
Mine is email@example.com
Apparently the system is not working on gardenweb.
I sent an email directly to you.
Crabjoe, I'm digging up runners today, replanting my patch. I'm just below the C&D canal. I've got Winonas if you want to come down today and get some. Probably not exactly like the Whoppers, but similar. Hopefully you'll see this in time....
I picked up the Whoppers from Don yesterday. He might not like the taste but the couple I tried, were just to my liking. I can't want to get them in the ground to see them go.
As for the Winonas, I'd love to try them if you get runners later, especially since you're not far from me. If you're just below the C&D, I could be over at your place in a flash! I'm just down in Port Deposit and travel to Elkton and down, 213 and 301 often.
BTW even if you don't have runners, I've love to see your garden/orchard. My garden is terrible compared to Don's and other's I've seen and I need all the ideas I can get.
How many whoppers did you get? I tilled most of my plants under yesterday and managed to save a little over sixty (various types) plants for myself, but there are still quite a few Winona runners that found their way outside the garden that haven't been touched. I'm mowing today, but I'll make sure I mow round those if your coming to get them :). I'll be home all day today, but you're welcome to come down anytime. I'm home during the week days too. I noticed you post in the Tomato forum as well. I've got a few seeds I can share with you(for next year), if you decide to come. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to get some strawberry information from you two. (crabjoe and jellyman)it sounds like you have the edge on strawberries.I am just starting out with them. This is my second year and I'm not sure about the yellow flowers I have growing on mine.If you could email me directly I would love to ask you some questions. email@example.com
Couple of questions.
I've grown strawberries, but wasn't very successful. Hope to change that this year. I plan on buying 2 or 3 types and create a good sized bed. My wife loves strawberries and so do i and they are getting awfully expensive at the u pick operations (what isn't!).
Looks like so far either Earliglow or Delmarvel are on my list. Maybe Winona or Honeoye?
How is this year looking for you? I'm thinking a 100 plants to begin with, maybe less maybe more. I need to order soon or i'll be forced to put in what the local places carry (they do carry quite a few varieties if you buy early enough).
Those giants seem interesting, but i'd rather have them taste like the berries you get at a upick operation, better then anything i've ever had from CA.
Frank, all those you mentioned are great choices.
Honeye was slow to produce the after first full season with them(one full year after planting). The plants were big and healthy but no berries. I seriously thought about ditching them, thinking they might not be good for my soil type, climate etc., but I decided to leave them in and give them a fair shot. Glad I did. Man, they went crazy in the second and third year. Berry size can run the gambit, but mostly medium to large berries. Once these are fully ripened they can be a very sweet berry. Very good choice IMO.
The Winona produced VERY well the first and second years but took a hard nose dive on the third. A little later to produce than the others, and might require a bit more watering(in the absence of rain). They are a very large, sweet berry, and very fruity. On the soft side, but great for eating fresh. I LOVED these on my corn flakes in the morning!
I don't have any experience with Earliglow, but sounds like they are very similar to Delmarvel. I don't know how well any variety will translate to your particular growing zone, but around here in the mid Atlantic region, Delmarvel do exceptionally well. I couldn't pick these fast enough. Smallish berry compared to many other varieties, but these are just a great all around berry. Spread runners like crazy, very disease resistant. Not the sweetest berry, yet not too tart. Good fresh, or great for freezing and preserves.
100 plants is plenty to start with for the average family (keeping relatives and close friends in mind)~smile~ That's what I started with. I got the variety pack from Gurney which included 25 ea of Winona, Surecrop, Honeye, and Delmarvel. With the exception of Surecrop, all of these plants did extremely well. I think only 2-3 plants didn't make it past the first year. 100 is a good # if you want variety. But, I venture to say, one could easily start with 25-50 plants and still be ahead of the game. Once they start producing runners after the first year, you'll have more strawberry plants than you could ever want.
Gee I am sorry to hear you knocking California strawberries. A lot of university research has gone into producing a berry that will keep for a month and withstand being shipped all over the world. They are bred to make excellent decorations in arrangements of all kinds. As long as you persist in eating the decorations you will be disappointed in the flavor. Al
Maxim strawberry plants can be purchased from the National Vegetable Society. I'm not sure how you'd get them here, but there is probably a way. As for other varieties, check out Strawberry Plants .org and specifically the Strawberry Plants for Sale Online page. It is a directory of over 60 strawberry plant sellers that sell online. All the varieties each sells is listed for each seller. Hope that helps!