How do you usually pick strawberries? Probably, separate berries, sending them directly to your mouth, or handfuls, cups, occasionally, small buckets or saucepans. But there are varieties that differ in such sizes and yields that they can be quite easily collected in boxes and barrels. For example, according to the originator, picking Darselect strawberries, you can collect up to 25 kg of berries in one hour of work. Just imagine such a huge number of berries - truly this variety of garden strawberries, justifying its name, seems even to a sophisticated gardener as a real gift from breeders.
But not everything is as simple as it seems at first glance. It takes a lot of work to achieve this kind of yield and productivity. However, for gardeners who have been growing strawberries for several years, this fact is not news at all. Strawberries are a berry that requires vigilant care and a lot of effort, but how nice it is to enjoy the delicious and aromatic fruits of your labors after harvesting.
History of origin
The Darselect strawberry originates from France. In 1998, breeders at Societe Civile Darbonne crossed between two leading European strawberry varieties Elsanta and Parker. As a result, the Darselect strawberry variety was obtained, according to the description, photo and reviews of which it can be said that it not only inherited the advantages of the parental couple, but also acquired its unique characteristics, such as a bright aroma and respectable size.
In less than 20 years that have passed since its inception, Darselect strawberries have managed to gain respect and popularity throughout Europe and are one of the main strawberry varieties grown in France on an industrial basis.
Description of the variety
It should be noted right away that the Darselect variety belongs to the most common group of short-day strawberries. That is, fruiting occurs once a season, and fruit buds are able to successfully form only under daylight conditions not exceeding 12 hours. Usually this process occurs at the very end of summer - early autumn, when the air becomes cooler and more humid.
The Darselect strawberry has a fairly powerful root system. The bushes themselves are large and tall, the leaves are dark green in color with practically no hairs. Despite the powerful bushes and roots, it does not do well without water. To get a really good harvest with a large berry size, watering must be abundant and regular. With a sufficient level of watering, it copes well even with 40 degree heat. Does not fade or fall out from extreme heat.
Attention! The breeding factor is at an average level, which is very convenient. Since the bushes, on the one hand, provide a sufficient number of whiskers for reproduction, and, on the other hand, one should not be afraid of thickened plantings.
Darselect strawberries can be classified as early varieties in terms of ripening, since their berries ripen around mid-June. This variety has one of the shortest periods of time between the flowering of the bushes and the ripening of the berries. It only lasts for about a month. Accordingly, flowering usually occurs in the middle - in the second half of May, when night frosts are still possible in many regions of Russia.
This can adversely affect the flowers and the subsequent harvest, therefore, in these cases, it is necessary to provide for the protection of flowering strawberry bushes with non-woven materials on the arcs.
You can pick ripening berries from the bushes within 10-15 days, starting from the 10th of June. In terms of fruiting times, Darselect is several days ahead of its parent variety, Elsantu.
As already mentioned, in terms of harvesting speed, the Darselect strawberry variety occupies a leading position, mainly due to the large size of the berries and the soft stalk. The strawberry yield for short-day varieties also remains at a height - about 800 grams of berries can be harvested from one bush, even with an average level of care. Subject to good agricultural practices, the yield can be 1 kg of berries from a bush or even more.
The sensitivity of Darselect strawberries to major diseases is at the level of the main European varieties. It is quite resistant to verticellosis, although it is sensitive to brown spot and powdery mildew.
As for winter hardiness, since the Darselect variety was zoned for the conditions of France, without shelter it can only withstand frosts down to -16 ° C. Thus, in most Russian regions, where there is no permanent snow cover in winter, it must be covered with straw, leaves, spruce branches or non-woven material.
Characteristics of berries
As you know, the most important thing in strawberries is berries. And in this regard, it is even difficult to believe that strawberries of the Darselect variety are usually classified as commercial varieties - their berries are so tasty and fragrant.
- The strawberry variety Darselect can be safely attributed to large-fruited. Indeed, with an average weight of one berry of 20-30 grams, specimens weighing up to 50 grams are quite often come across. Moreover, both the mass of individual berries and the yield value directly depend on the frequency and regularity of dressings.
- The shape of the berries during the season can change from conical-oval to round, heart-shaped at the end of fruiting. In some cases, at the end of the season, strangely shaped berries with a comb surface may appear. These deformations can be the result of low temperatures or high humidity during flowering, which can cause poor pollination.
- The color of Darselect strawberries is red with an orange tint. When fully ripe, the skin may shine.
- The pulp has a lighter red tint. It is dense, elastic, without wateriness. Although not crunchy like some modern commercial varieties such as Albion.
- After picking, the berries are well stored, do not darken and do not flow. They tolerate transportation well even over long distances.
- Well, the taste of Darselect strawberries is distinguished by sophistication and versatility. It contains enough sugar, but at the same time there is a subtle sourness. According to the tasters, he pulls 5 points on a five-point scale. The berries are also characterized by the unique aroma of real wild strawberries.
Since the strawberry bushes Darselect are distinguished by enviable power, it makes no sense to plant 1 sq. meter more than four bushes. It is advisable to maintain 35-40 cm between seedlings, while the row spacing can be up to 90 cm.
The main feature of the Darselect variety can be considered its great need for moisture. If there is not enough moisture, the seedlings will simply die. In arid conditions, the formation of cavities inside the berries is possible. In hot regions, it makes sense to grow Darselect strawberries only on drip irrigation, especially on industrial plantations.
Withstands the heat well, subject to abundant watering, but the ripening period can stretch for another week.
In the southern regions, it is possible to use a shading net or planting bushes in partial shade.
Productivity may not be very high in the first year of planting until a full root system is developed.
Important! There are even recommendations for removing flowers in the first year of life, in order to get a full harvest the next.
Instead, you can use regular leaf-feeding and abundant watering.
Strawberry Darselect does not like calcareous soils, because of this, chlorosis can occur on the leaves. But this strawberry variety responds very well to feeding and you can restore the color of the leaves after just a few sprays.
After the 3rd year of cultivation, the yield will decrease, therefore it is recommended to replace the plantations for 4-5 years of growth. But for farmers it is quite possible to leave it for the second or third year without losing its shape, size and yield.
Reviews of gardeners and summer residents
It is understandable that a commercial strawberry variety can receive positive reviews from farmers, but what is surprising is that ordinary gardeners and gardeners are also happy to grow Darselect strawberries on their backyards.
Sergey, 35 years old, Volgograd
Darselect heard about strawberries from a friend - a farmer, who shared planting material with me. To be honest, I didn't even expect strawberries to be so delicious. A real delicacy! Of course, it requires a lot of care - in the first year I was tired of watering it every day, so for the second season I brought the drip tape from the barrel. Now I barely have time to fill it - this strawberry consumes so much water. For the winter I just wrap it with straw, and the bushes survive the winter quite well. But when the harvest time comes, the whole family is going to admire the miracle berry.
Valentina, 52 years old, Izhevsk
I have tried many varieties of strawberries in my life and I cannot say that I am very enthusiastic about many modern varieties. Many seem to be some kind of rubber. But then I wrote out a couple of Darselect bushes and changed my mind. Indeed, very tasty strawberries, and at the same time so large, smooth, beautiful. True, in our area it requires shelter for the winter. But, thank God, recently so many covering materials have appeared on sale, very different, that there are no problems with this either.
Ekaterina, 28 years old, Yeisk
I wanted to plant strawberries on my plot for children for a long time, but I could not choose the right variety. The husband brought several different varieties, including Darselect. Berries appear early, already in the tenths of June. The size of the berries is impressive, they are as smooth as pick. Well, the taste and aroma are just real strawberries from childhood. I am very satisfied and now I recommend this variety to everyone.
Despite some difficulties in growing strawberries, Darselect amazes not only sophisticated farmers, but also delights ordinary gardeners. Indeed, not every industrial variety can boast of a real dessert taste and the tempting aroma of homemade strawberries.