Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Persistance pays dividends

It appears that the Temptation strawberry plant is going to finally produce a crop. And if the number of flowers and small berries on the plant are any indication, it will be a bumper crop. The plant was started from seed in February, and I picked the first berry two days ago. I found the berry while pollinating the flowers with an artist brush. There was a very strong smell of strawberries near the plant, and after moving the branches aside I found a ripe berry. As I have been waiting for months, and have never tasted an alpine berry, I wasted no time in performing a taste test. The consistency of the fruit was quite different than the store bought berries I have been used to. It was softer and smoother and the taste, while slightly tart and less sweet, had a more intense strawberry flavor. Overall, I liked it very much.
As there does not appear to be any deformed berries on the plant, pollination with the artist brush appears to be beneficial. And, as I did not find a single runner on the plant, it appears that the only way to grow Temptation berries is from seed.
I happened across a seed catalog last evening with Sarian seeds. It read that it takes 150 days to get berries. In my part of New York, we don't have a 150 day growing season. So, if I did not start them under the big grow light in February, there is no way I could grow them.
The Sarian plants are still producing runners like mad, but no flowers. The Seascape runners are taking off, and some are producing flowers and runners. I am really impressed with them so far. All of the varieties that I am growing are supposed to be superior to the traditional commercial variety. Again, time will tell.

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