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Farm and Garden - Strawberries

Experiments with Strawberries

The Naples Record

18 February 1891

Experiments with Strawberries at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station

Director Collier Names a Few Varieties That Will Give Satisfaction


The results of crossing the Crescent and the Ironclad Strawberries.

Director Collier says, in a bulletin sent out: “To one who contemplates setting a bed of strawberries the knowledge of the perfect flowering and pistillate varieties is necessary, for if the latter are alone planted the results will be a very meager crop or none at all. But the pistillate varieties being the most productive it is usual to plant largely of them, and by setting a perfect flowering variety every third or fourth row they become fertilized sufficiently to yield their full crop.

I advise spring planting, although a fair yield may be had from August set plants. I recommend for a kitchen garden the following varieties: Bomba and Haverland for early, Burts Seedling and Daisy for medium, Crawford and Middlefied for late. These planted in the order named will give each alternate row of pistillate varieties, insuring a perfect pollination. While I consider these varieties the best of the newer kinds for the purpose named, there are several of the older varieties that will give good satisfaction, as Bidwell, Charles Downing, Crescent, Cumberland, and on heavy soil none are better than Sharpless.

A large amount of work has been done in the greenhouse in the way of systematic crossing of varieties. When the pollenized plants are perfected their fruits many gave products so utterly unlike the fruits of either parent that drawings of several were made, one of which is incorporated here with the idea of studying the potency of the pollen of different varieties. In the cut is represented Crescent fertilized with Old Ironclad. The fruits are more of the Ironclad type than Crescent, but the largest fruit flattened much more than is typical of either parent. Crescent fertilized with Lemming White bore large fruits, unlike either parent. Crescent fertilized with Sharpless bore fruits close to Crescent type without any resemblance to Sharpless. Every plant of Crescent without regard to the pollen variety had fruits of wide variation.

Plants of Johnson’s Late fertilized with three different varieties show great resisting qualities, as every fruit is of the type of the female plant. This is in line with the question to be solved, viz.: Can a pistillate plant of vigorous growth and marked characteristics (fertilized with pollen from a weaker growing variety yet potent to transmit its staminate parts) be made to hold its habits and also become perfect flowering. If so, can we not produce strains of strawberries as distinct and as well adapted to the serveral uses for shipping, canning, table, etc., as there have been bred distinct breeds of cattle, etc.?”