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Farm and Garden - Strawberries

The Quality of a Strawberry

The Naples Record

4 June 1890

The quality of a strawberry depends much on the soil in which it is grown, how the plant is manured and the weather under which the fruit ripens. Varieties which are excellent when grown under conditions favoring them are comparatively worthless when these conditions fail. It is generally believed that the strawberry requires high culture and fertilization with stable manure.

“This treatment,” states A. W. Pearson, of Vineland, N. J., “will harm the quality of any variety of strawberries,” he says in Garden and Forest: I have found strawberries do best on any fairly fertile soil and fed with potash and lime, with no nitrogenous manures. If the plant be liberally fed with nitrogen its fruit will be soft, flavorless and prone to decay. If treated with potash and lime it will be sweet and durable. The Wilson Strawberry, grown with potash and lime, and left to become dead ripe, is hard to beat, either for market or for the table; but nitrogenous manure will spoil it. It may increase the size of the berry, but it will be at the expense of sweetness and solidity. There need be no fear that liming the strawberry plant will injure it. Living vegetation is not harmed by the contact of water slaked lime, though it will help decompose dead vegetable matter. I have covered strawberry plants two inches deep with slaked lime and seen the plants grow up through it.

The strawberry blight may be prevented by a free and timely use of lime. All our varieties are more or less liable to harm from this fungus, which manifests itself in small purple or red spots on the leaf. It is well to give the strawberry plants a liberal coat of lime in winter or early spring, and repeated lighter doses of dry lime before and after blossoming until the fruit is about one third grown.