It is clear that in the modern world with an endless variety of varieties of any plants, sometimes you can get confused not only for a beginner, but even for a professional. But such a confusion that occurs with the Maxim strawberry variety is difficult to imagine even for a person who is sophisticated in gardening. What they say about this variety and how they call it. In European and American sources of information about him, you can also find very little. At least, he is not as popular in foreign sources as Clery, Honey, Elsanta and others. The only thing that all gardeners and literary sources agree on is the truly gigantic size of the berries of this variety. It is necessary to understand the situation a little and understand what kind of strawberry it is and what it can be confused with.
History of occurrence or fireworks of rumors
The full name of this variety in Latin sounds like this - Fragaria ananassa Gigantella Maximum and is translated literally as Garden Strawberry Maxi.
Although this is not entirely correct and is either an involuntary distortion of the Latin name, or a special commercial trick of some unscrupulous sellers who are able to pass off strawberry seedlings of the same variety as two different ones.
Many sources mention the Dutch origin of this strawberry variety. But as for his age, some discrepancies are already beginning. In most sources, the creation of the Gigantella Maxi variety is dated to the beginning of the 21st century. On the other hand, many gardeners remember that back in the 80s of the last century, Gigantella strawberries were sometimes found among the planting material and already at that time amazed with their huge size of berries, the weight of which reached 100 grams or even more.
It should also be noted that some sources indicate that there are several varieties of Gigantella strawberries, and Maxi is only one of them - the most famous.
Attention! There is also a version that Gigantella and Chamora Tarusi were derived from the same source, or are practically clones of each other, at least in many of their characteristics.
In any case, regardless of its origin, the Gigantella Maxi variety has its own stable characteristics, which make it relatively easy to identify the berries of this variety and distinguish them from many others. It is the description of the Gigantella Maxim or Maxi variety, how to call it more correctly, together with its photo and reviews about it, will be presented later in the article.
Description and characteristics of the variety
It is worth paying attention to Gigantella Maxi strawberries, if only because, in terms of ripening, it belongs to the mid-late varieties. This means that under normal open field conditions, the first berries can be enjoyed from the end of June, and in some regions, even from the beginning of July. There are few varieties of such a late fruiting period.
Gigantella Maxi is a common short-day variety, its berries appear only once per season, but the fruiting period is quite extended and can last until August.
If you want to speed up the fruiting of this variety, you can grow it in a greenhouse, or at least build a temporary shelter on the arches for the bushes.
The name of this strawberry variety speaks for itself; not only berries, but also bushes are giant in it. They reach a height of 40-50 cm, and the diameter of the bush can reach 70 cm. The leaves are also quite large in size, have a wrinkled surface, slightly corrugated, matte, of a uniform light green color. The roots of this strawberry are also striking in their thickness - they are noticeably different from other large-fruited varieties by eye.
Peduncles are distinguished by their special strength and strength, in thickness they can reach the diameter of a pencil. One bush is capable of carrying up to 30 peduncles, each of which contains about 6-8 flowers.
A lot of whiskers are formed, so there are no problems with the reproduction of this variety.
As with ordinary strawberries, the first harvest can be carried out as early as the next season after planting in the fall. The yield of this variety can approach a record, but only if all agricultural techniques are followed. For example, in greenhouses, about 3 kg of berries are harvested from one bush in one season.
In ordinary areas outdoors, about 1 kg of strawberries or more can be harvested from one bush, depending on the care. Indeed, the variety is very picky about care and growing conditions, but this will be discussed in more detail below.
The big advantage of this variety is that it can grow in one place for 6-8 years. True, according to gardeners' reviews, it often turns out that over the years the berries become smaller and the yield drops, so it is still advisable to rejuvenate the plantings every 3-4 years, as is customary to do in relation to other traditional varieties.
A positive feature of this strawberry variety is that the fruits manage to accumulate sugar content even in rainy and cloudy weather, although they tend to be affected by gray rot under these conditions.
The Gigantella Maxi variety is relatively resistant to major diseases, but only if it is grown in a place suitable for its claims. Quite frost-hardy, although in areas with severe winters it is better to cover it for the winter.
Berries and their characteristics
It was the Gigantella strawberries that became the main subject of controversy among gardeners.
- Few can deny their large size, which reaches 8-10 cm in diameter, and thus the berries may well resemble medium-sized apples. The weight of the berries is 100-110 grams. But these are only the very first fruits on the bushes in the season. The rest of the berries are somewhat inferior to the first ones in size and weight, although they cannot be called small either. Their weight is on average 40-60 grams.
- Many opponents of this variety are unhappy with the shape of the berries - they consider it ugly. Indeed, the shape of Gigantella Maxi is peculiar - somewhat reminiscent of an accordion, with a ridge at the top and often compressed on both sides.
- When fully ripe, the berries acquire a rich dark red hue, which colors the fruit from the stalk to the tips. Due to this property, unripe berries will stand out with a whitish top. The skin of the berries is rather rough, without gloss and shine.
- The pulp of the berries is characterized by both juiciness and density, so Gigantella Maxi strawberries will easily endure long-term transportation. Due to insufficient watering, cavities may be observed inside the berries, and the berries themselves may become less juicy.
- Taste characteristics of the berries are rated as very good, they have a dessert, pineapple flavor. Strawberry Gigantella Maxi is versatile in use. Berries are good to eat fresh, they perfectly retain their shape and size when frozen.
Features of planting and care
Strawberry Gigantella Maxi will feel especially good in a sunny and warm place, with mandatory protection from wind and drafts. Despite its love for warmth, this variety also does not like intense heat. Berries can get burned. In any case, Gigantella Maxi needs regular watering, especially in hot weather. The best solution would be a drip irrigation device in conjunction with mulching the beds.
Regular feeding is required. At the beginning of the season, mainly nitrogen fertilizers can be used, but with the appearance of the first peduncles, it is better to switch to phosphorus-potassium fertilizing. However, the best option would be to use organic matter in all its types, first of all, vermicompost.
Due to the huge size of all parts of the plant, special attention should be paid to the placement of the bushes. Since Gigantella Maxi strawberries need a lot of space for growth, the distance between the bushes should not be less than 50-60 cm, and it is better if there are all 70 cm.You can leave 80-90 cm between rows.Thickening of bushes is one of the main reasons for unsatisfactory yields when growing this variety of strawberries.
The Gigantella Maxi strawberry is also demanding on the soil. It is best to plant it in the ground, after preliminary cultivation of green manure legumes on it. It is in this case that she will be able to show her true properties.
Finally, mustache removal is an important procedure. If you need to propagate this variety, transplant the young rosettes directly to the seedling bed, but separate them from the mother bushes as soon as possible, otherwise there will be no good harvest.
Reviews of summer residents and gardeners
The reviews of those who came across this variety are rather contradictory - it is clear that the berry is capricious and requires very careful care. But there are also personal preferences and biases, and it is rather difficult to argue with them, and it is not necessary to argue with them.
Olga, 39 years old, Samara
I have been growing the Gigantella Maxi strawberry variety for many years and this variety is recorded in my favorites. Of course, in order to get a decent harvest, one should work hard, but he is able to repay with such berries that other strawberries never dreamed of. I often read in reviews that people abandoned this variety because in one year they were disappointed in the berries. Why, it comes into full force only in the second, or even the third year after planting. And it can give good yields in one area for up to 8 years. Therefore, you need to be patient and wait. I think a big plus is that even in a rainy summer, the berries ripen tasty and sweet. And so that they are not damaged by gray rot, you need to plant bushes less often, collect berries every day and immediately remove all diseased berries.
Roman, 41 years old, Bryansk
I planted a Gigantella strawberry, since some acquaintances praised it very much. I barely waited for its fruiting, I already thought that they would never ripen. To be honest, I was a little disappointed. The berries did not attract me at all with their appearance - some ugly, rough, even trying them is somehow unpleasant. Yes, they can surprise everyone with their size, but what if they are not at all appetizing. Although, when I cut a few pieces with a knife and tried it, they taste like nothing. Now I don't know what to do with it. I'll probably leave a couple of bushes for the collection, but I definitely won't breed it.
Elena, 55 years old, Volgodonsk
On our site, the Gigantella Maxima strawberry has been growing for about 30 years and although I had to reduce its plantation somewhat in order to be able to try other varieties, I am not going to part with it. I don't even want to talk about its weight and yield once again - the smallest grows the size of a walnut. And how customers appreciate it! Those who try it once already come specially for it. And my seedlings of this variety are one of the first to diverge. And for grandchildren it is a real holiday when the first berries ripen and we have been collecting it for almost a month and a half.
Even if the Gigantella Maxi strawberry seemed too capricious to care for, take a closer look at it. After all, she has practically no competitors in terms of ripening and yield. Therefore, if you want to extend the season of strawberry consumption not only at the expense of remontant varieties, try planting Gigantella Maxi and then only decide whether it suits you or not.