D.W. Simpson, A.B. Whitehouse, A.W. Johnson, K.J. McLeary , A.J. Passey
Programmed cropping with short-day cultivars, also known as the 60-day system, is common in the United Kingdom and other countries in northern Europe. Three types of plants are used: graded cold-stored runners (Frigo plants), waiting bed plants or tray plants. The crop is produced approximately 60 days after planting and the system can be used in either soil or substrate. The cultivars most widely used in this system are ‘Elsanta’ and ‘Sonata’, which both perform well, but most other European short day cultivars are poorly adapted. At East Malling Research (EMR) we have studied the inheritance of traits associated with good performance in the 60-day system and focussed on developing cultivars that are well adapted. Two recent releases, ‘Elegance’ and ‘Vibrant’ have been specifically bred for the 60-day system and perform well from all three plant types. ‘Elegance’ is adapted for open field or tunnel production and the 60-day yield potential is higher than ‘Elsanta’ from plants of the equivalent size and type. ‘Elegance’ is also very productive as a mature plant (maincrop), and at EMR has produced higher yields and larger berries than ‘Elsanta’ in five trials in different years. The fruit of ‘Elegance’ is very attractive, with large, firm, berries of uniform conical shape, glossy skin and a bright, orange/red colour. Brix levels and sensory flavour scores have been similar to ‘Elsanta’. ‘Vibrant’ has an earlier season than ‘Elegance’ and is approximately seven days before ‘Elsanta’ in the maincrop season. It is suitable for tunnel production in soil or substrate and in trials at EMR the average 60-day yield has exceeded ‘Elsanta’. If ‘Vibrant’ plants are forced into production early, they will flower again and produce a second crop later in the summer. The yield of this second crop varies between years, depending on the weather conditions. The berries of ‘Vibrant’ are firm with a very uniform conical shape and strong red colour. Sensory flavour scores and Brix levels have been similar to ‘Elsanta’.
Simpson, D.W., Whitehouse, A.B., Johnson, A.W., McLeary , K.J. and Passey, A.J. (2014). 'ELEGANCE' AND 'VIBRANT', TWO NEW STRAWBERRY CULTIVARS FOR PROGRAMMED CROPPING IN NORTHERN EUROPE. Acta Hortic. 1049, 259-261
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1049.32
Fragaria × ananassa, breeding, 60-day system, Frigo plants

Acta Horticulturae