Two New Strawberry Varieties Revealed
If you’ve been eating fresh local strawberries in the past five months, it’s partially due to summer-planted varieties. Strawberry breeder Glenn Cole and his colleagues at the UC Davis strawberry breeding program are releasing two new varieties to hit this window next year called Finn and Mojo.
Cole… “These things are planted from the end of May to early July, and it's to address having strawberries coming off in the market from September through January. Which traditionally with fall planted strawberries, everything starts coming off in January and it gets done in September. So it's to fill that part of the market. As we were talking to growers, they love Portola, but they were having problems with getting buyers to buy them anymore because it didn't taste very good.”
Portola is an existing variety grown by many farmers to hit this desirable harvest window. Finn and Mojo aim to be as productive as Portola, but with better fruit quality.
Cole.... “We wanted to maintain the yields that Portola has because that's what's so popular with all the growers, but we wanted to improve the flavor and the sweetness. And so both these varieties have one to one and a half percent higher sugar content than Portola. And they're firmer fruit, which also plays into the whole post-harvest fruit quality aspect of the market.”
Cole says limited volumes of these new varieties will be available to plant this summer.