It is impossible not to understand the desire of gardeners to have the very best strawberries on their site in all respects. After all, this berry is distinguished by both usefulness and an irresistible taste, and numerous preparations from it allow you to add zest to any sweet dish or dessert. It is not for nothing that strawberries are called "the queen of all berries", because being a real royal person, it requires constant attention, love and care. Without them, it is difficult to get a full-fledged crop from plants that would satisfy the gardener both in quality and quantity.
Strawberry Marmalade, although it collects the most controversial reviews about itself, really claims to be one of the most "royal" varieties of this beloved berry. In Italy, where this garden strawberry comes from, it is considered one of the most promising varieties, although it is used more for growing in personal plots. In Russia, this variety was automatically ranked as a commercial one, perhaps because of its good transportability. But from here, perhaps, the roots of misunderstanding of its properties and contradictory reviews about it grow. However, first things first.
Description of the Marmalade variety
Strawberry Marmalade obtained in 1989 by crossing two varieties: Holiday and Gorella. The originator is the Consortium of Italian Nurseries (CIV) and its full real name sounds like Marmolada Onebor.
Attention! Having already arrived in Russia, the variety got the name Marmalade, which sounds more euphonious and appetizing for the Russian ear.
Actually, they did not twist against the truth, because in taste and appearance, the berries of this variety really remind everyone of the well-known sweet dessert. And among the people it is even affectionately called gummy.
Strawberry Marmalade is a short-day variety and should only bear fruit once during the season. But the peculiarity of this variety is that starting from the second year of development in favorable conditions (mainly in the southern regions), strawberries are able to give a second wave of harvest at the very end of summer. Thus, the variety can claim the title of semi-renovated.
Strawberry bushes Marmalade, being quite powerful, are rather compact in shape. The leaves are large, dark green, usually not prone to chlorosis. They are raised and spread out to the sides. Inflorescences on long stalks are located above the leaves. The flowering is so abundant that sometimes the foliage is not visible at all behind the flowers.
There are no problems with the reproduction of the variety, the plants develop a lot of whiskers.
Advice! To obtain further powerful bushes during reproduction, it is necessary to select only the first two or three formed rosettes on the mustache.
In terms of ripening, it belongs to medium early varieties of strawberries. The first berries can be expected already in the first half of June, but the main fruiting wave occurs rather in the middle to the second half of June. If you cut off all the leaves immediately after fruiting and regularly feed the bushes, then in the south you can expect a second wave of berries at the very end of summer or in September. Moreover, the berries will be even larger than at the beginning of summer.
The Marmalade strawberry variety is also suitable for off-season cultivation in greenhouse conditions.
The yield is, depending on the agricultural technology used, from 700-800 grams to 1.2 kg per bush, which is very good for a short-day strawberry variety.
Strawberry Marmalade grows well even in the hottest conditions, while being relatively drought tolerant. In conditions when other varieties die from heat and drought, the Marmalade bushes turn green and bear fruit. Moreover, this practically does not affect the taste of the berries, they only become denser and dryish.
But in rainy and cloudy weather, the variety is not able to show itself in all its glory. Berries do not gain enough sugar, and the likelihood of various fungal diseases increases dramatically.
The Marmalade variety is distinguished by good resistance to verticellosis, powdery mildew and diseases of the root system. But strawberries of this variety are sensitive to white and brown spots, gray rot.
Characteristics of berries
This strawberry variety belongs to large-fruited - the average weight of a berry varies from 20 to 30 grams, often reaching 40 grams.
The shape of the berries is rather standard, round, with a conical crown. Large berries often have a scallop at the end. When ripe, the berry turns bright red, starting from the base of the petiole. Therefore, sometimes the tip remains whitish even when the berry is fully ripe.
Since the berries remain homogeneous in the total mass and have a very attractive presentation, the use of this variety for commercial cultivation immediately suggests itself.
Moreover, the taste of berries in favorable conditions remains very balanced in terms of sugar and acid content. The aroma is also well expressed.
But here's what's interesting. At the stage of technical maturity, when the berries are almost completely red in color, they are dense, showy and excellently stored and transported. But their taste has not yet had time to take shape to the end.
Attention! When the berries are fully ripe, their flesh becomes a rich red color, slightly softer than at the stage of technical maturity and sweet, juicy taste.
Even in this state, the berries are well stored and transported, but much worse than the average commercial varieties. Perhaps this is one of the mysteries of the Marmalade strawberry variety, when it evokes such diverse reviews.
The use of berries can be called universal. But this variety is considered one of the best for freezing, drying and making candied fruits.
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
Like any popular strawberry variety, Marmalade has its undeniable advantages:
- Large, showy berries with good taste and aroma;
- The variety has good yields and is not particularly picky about care. He only needs a lot of land area to feed the roots and illuminate many peduncles. Moreover, compensation in the form of additional dressings in the case of Marmalade is unlikely to pass;
- Not afraid of drought and heat, although, of course, it will be better to grow on plantations with drip irrigation;
- Has good transportability of berries.
But the Marmalade variety also has disadvantages, and such that allow some gardeners to resolutely refuse to grow this strawberry.
- In damp, cold and rainy climates, berries do not collect enough sugar and their taste deteriorates sharply.
- Strawberry Marmalade is demanding on the acidity of the soil, grows well only on neutral soils with a pH of 6.5-7.
- The variety is not resistant to a number of diseases.
As already noted, the gardeners' reviews about the Marmalade strawberry variety, the description and photo of which were posted above, are very ambiguous. As many people praise and admire this strawberry variety, so many others express complete disappointment with the taste of the berries, yield and other characteristics.
Nikolay, 37 years old, Stavropol
I have been growing strawberries of the Marmalade variety for quite some time. First, on a personal plot near a house for a family and children. Then I decided to try to drop it off and sell it. I don’t know about others, but I’m completely satisfied with it. Superb tasty berry is so attractive to buyers that sometimes people even line up for it. And to taste it is sweet, juicy, a slight sourness only emphasizes its dignity. In summer, we usually have a terrible heat and not all strawberries can withstand such conditions, even with regular watering. Many promising varieties had to be abandoned, because they could not stand it and fell out, and at best they dried out, and the yield dropped sharply. And the bushes of Marmalade with standard drip irrigation from barrels stand, as if nothing had happened, and delight with one of their views. I did not notice a particular predisposition to diseases, but before planting, I dip each bush in a Fundazole solution and then rinse it in water. In the spring, I carry out preventive treatments with iodine twice before flowering and after and no problems. I plant the bushes quite spaciously, according to the 45x50 scheme, there is a lot of land, so the area allows. I do not overuse top dressing, I usually spend it 2-3 times per season and use mainly organic matter. Sometimes at the end of summer I notice that a second crop is ripening on some bushes - of course, there is not much of it, but the berries are large - and there is enough for the children to eat and there is still a little left to sell. In general, I am very pleased with the variety.
Larisa, 34 years old, Oryol
Last year, I decided to plant a strawberry Marmalade - the seller was praising it very much, they say, both fruitful, and tasty, and not very whimsical. I did not notice anything special about this variety. Yes, the berries ripened quite beautiful, some are even large, but the taste is absolutely none. It is only suitable for jam, there is not even a special aroma. A typical commercial berry, maybe in winter it will also go for strawberries, but in summer you want something tastier.
Pavel, 48 years old, Saransk
I read so many things about this strawberry variety that I wanted to try to grow it myself and understand what it is. In the first year, he cut off all the peduncles, as recommended. In the spring he even covered her with nonwoven fabric during flowering, as he was afraid of return frosts. The first berries appeared already in the tenth of June. The taste is ordinary, nothing special, although there are really quite a lot of peduncles and berries on the bushes. She ripened with me throughout June. Strawberries, like strawberries, look beautiful, but the aroma is weak, and the taste is the most ordinary, there are much more delicious and aromatic varieties. Probably, it can only be some kind of special in the south, but in our country it is better to grow other, more adapted varieties.
Indeed, strawberry Marmalade belongs to that fairly common group of varieties that are able to show their unique qualities only in climatic conditions suitable for them. So, if you live in the south of Russia, feel free to try to grow this variety. Other gardeners are advised to pay attention to strawberry varieties that are more adapted to their weather conditions.