Choosing Cultivars

You can find June-bearing cultivars adapted to northern climates in many nursery catalogs. Some cultivars perform better than others, but it is difficult to predict which will grow best in a particular garden.

Cultivars differ in flavor, disease resistance, cold tolerance, when they ripen, and suitability for frozen storage. Perhaps the best way to decide which cul-tivars to grow is to find out what works well for your neighbors or local commercial growers. Then try several promising cultivars before planting a large area.

June-bearing strawberry cultivars are reliably winter hardy throughout New York (as cold as USDA Hardiness Zone 3), provided they are properly managed and mulched. Some cultivars that perform well include:

  • Earliglow—perhaps the best-flavored cultivar, it is among the earliest to ripen.
  • Northeaster—ripens about the same time as Earliglow. It is resistant to red stele and does well on heavier clay soils. The berries are large and have a hint of grape flavor, which some people love and others dislike.
  • Sable—has excellent flavor and also ripens early.
  • Allstar—a reliable producer with large light red to orange, sweet-flavored berries.
  • Honeoye, Cavendish, Kent, Raritan, Redchief, and Scott—good midseason strawberries.
  • Jewel—the most widely grown variety in the Northeast, it has excellent flavor. It is productive and maintains a large fruit size throughout the season.
  • Lateglow—a reliable late-season cultivar.

All these cultivars are cold hardy, yield well, and produce firm fruit with good freezing quality. Allstar, Cavendish, and Jewel produce exceptionally large fruits.

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