Evaluation of Selected Raspberry and Strawberry Cultivars in Southern Idaho

in HortTechnology

The growth, yield, and berry weight of nine June-bearing strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) cultivars (`Allstar', `Cavendish', `Honeoye', `Jewel', `Kent', `Mesabi', `Mira', `Northeaster', and `Winona') and six floricane fruiting (summerbearing) raspberry (Rubus idaeus) cultivars (`Algonquin', `K-81-6', `Lauren', `Nova', `Qualicum', and `Reveille') grown in southern Idaho were compared. `Cavendish', `Mesabi,' and `Winona' established quickly and maintained their spring vigor. Strawberry cultivars grew well during the summer but some cultivars had low spring vigor ratings. The most reliable yielding cultivars were `Cavendish' and `Mesabi' in spite of spring frosts, which damaged blossoms. `Mesabi' yielded best during a season where plants suffered spring freeze injury. Only `Mesabi' yielded above 6 tons/acre (2001). Spring freezing and relatively low yields are limiting factors in strawberry production in southern Idaho. Berry weight averaged 5.5 to 8.8 g in the second year of the study and may be too small for consumer acceptance and other commercial competition. `Cavendish' and `Mesabi' fruited earliest and `Honeoye' and `Winona' were latest. Raspberry shoot and cane growth was strong in all years. Over the course of the study, highest yielding in 2001 was `Nova' (7.65 tons/acre) and in 2002 `K-81-6' (10.4 tons/acre). In the second year of harvest (2002), all cultivars produced greater than the projected commercial production requirement of 3 tons/acre. Raspberry bloom occurred after the spring frosts. Berry weight was largest in `K-81-6' (3.3 and 2.5 g in 2001 and 2002, respectively) and smallest in `Algonquin' (1.8 and 1.5 g in 2001 and 2002, respectively). Early fruiting cultivars were `Nova' and `Reveille'.

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