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Strawberry varieties and purchasing plants

Key points

  • UMN researchers have been conducting June-bearing strawberry variety trials in Minnesota since 1982.
  • Before purchasing plants, calculate how many plants you will need based on your plant spacing and field size. Order 5-10% extra in case some plants do not survive past transplanting.
  • Purchase plants from an experienced, reputable nursery.
  • If possible, purchase dormant plants instead of spring-dug plants growing in cells. Spring dug plants must be planted immediately, but dormant plants can be stored cold until planting.
  • Ask for certified virus-free or “virus indexed” plants, to avoid introducing viruses to your strawberry field.

June-bearing varieties

Person harvesting strawberries in a field.
Harvesting strawberries at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, MN

The University of Minnesota has been conducting annual strawberry variety trials since 1982 in Grand Rapids and Morris, Minnesota. Each year the trials compare yields, relative harvest timing, berry weights, stand vigor, and relative winter survival of over 25 varieties.

  • For a longer harvest season, plant several varieties with early, medium, and late harvest timings. 
  • Early-season varieties also bloom earlier, and late-season varieties bloom later.
  • Select varieties that are suited to your local climate. Every site is different, and site characteristics like climate, weather and soil quality impact variety performance. 
  • Consider doing your own on-farm trial to discover which varieties are best for your farm.

Characteristics of June-bearing strawberry varieties

Observed in University of Minnesota trials 1982-2013, yields from 2008-2020
Cultivar Average yield 2008-2019 (lb/acre) Hardiness Fruit size Texture Flavor Number of years included
Early season
Annapolis 9,109 Very good Med Firm Very good 22
Earliglow ND Fair Small Mod firm Excellent 0
Honeoye 12,505 Excellent Med Soft Good 22
Itasca 14,987 Very good Med Mod soft Good 17
Northeaster ND Fair Small-med Mod firm Excellent 0
Sable 12,900 Very good Small-med Soft Excellent 2
Veestar ND Very good Small Soft Excellent 0
Wendy 7,300 Good Med Mod firm Very good 22
Allstar ND Fair Med Firm Very good 0
Brunswick 13,028 Good Med-large Firm Very good 20
Cabot 8,281 Fair Very large Very firm Fair 2
Cavendish 10,834 Very good Large Firm Very good 22
Darselect 12,466 Good Large Mod firm Very good 17
Glooscap 11,050 Excellent Med Mod firm Good 12
Jewel 12,695 Good Large Very firm Excellent 22
Kent 13,259 Very good Med Mod firm Good 18
L'Amour 8,651 Good Med-large Firm Very good 17
Mesabi 15,085 Excellent Med-large Mod firm Very good 17
Mira ND Fair Med-large Firm Fair 0
Redchief ND Fair Med Firm Good 0
Late season
Bounty ND Very good Med Mod firm Very good 0
Clancy 10,088 Fair Med-large Very firm Good 8
Ovation 3,075 Fair Med-large Mod firm Good 4
Sparkle ND Good Med Mod firm Very good 0
Valley Sunset 8,123 Good Large Mod firm Excellent 19
Winona 6,953 Very good Large Mod Firm Good 17

ND = Yield data not available

Day-neutral varieties

Side-by-side bins of strawberries on a grassy area.
Portola strawberries harvested in a day-neutral strawberry variety trial

University of Minnesota researchers conducted trials of day-neutral strawberry varieties on USDA-certified organic land in 2013 and 2014.

The varieties were compared in three different systems:

  • Plastic mulch (white on black plastic) with low tunnels
  • Plastic mulch without low tunnels
  • Plastic mulch covered with straw with no low tunnels.

Read the original study.

Based on this research, recommended varieties for Minnesota:

  • Monterey
  • Evie-II
  • Albion
  • Portola
  • San Andreas
  • Seascape

More information on day-neutral strawberries.

Author: Annie Klodd, Extension educator, fruit and vegetable production

Reviewed in 2021

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