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Rahmlow, H. J. (ed.) / Wisconsin horticulture
Vol. XXX (September 1939/July-August 1940)

Wisconsin horticulture, vol. 30, no. 9: May, 1940,   pp. [241]-272


Page 250

 
WISCONSIN  HORTICULTURE 
               In The Berry Patch 
REMOVE FLOWER STALKS HOEING AND CULTIVATING VERY RAPID F R E E Z I N G 
    FROM STRAWBERRY                    STRAWBERRIES                NECESSARY
FOR HIGH 
           PT AMTq                                                   OUALITY
IN FROZEN 
R EMOVING the flower stalks 
    of n e w I y set strawberry 
plants helps the plants to become 
well established and prevents a 
drain on their vitality. By allow- 
ing newly set plants to bloom 
and even produce a few berries, 
is a severe drain. Furthermore, 
during the dry summer months 
removing the stalks helps the 
plants overcome drought condi- 
tions and it also increases the 
formation of new runners. 
  Experiments have shown that 
removing blossoms increases the 
vigor of plants in both roots and 
shoots and reduces damage from 
summer drought. 
  In Kentucky, experiments indi- 
cated that removing the flower- 
ing stems the first year resulted 
in a 32% increase in the number 
of runners. In the same state a 
test with Premier showed that 
98%o of the plants grew when the 
blossoms were removed at plant- 
ing in contrast to 83% growing 
when the blossoms were not re- 
moved. 
  Removing blossoms is an es- 
pecially good practice for varie- 
ties like Premier which do not 
always make a large number of 
runners, so in hoeing the plants 
in May it is well to pick off any 
blossom stems when they are ob- 
served. Varieties like Senator 
Dunlap which have an exciessive 
plant forming habit do not re- 
quire as much attention as most 
other varieties. 
  Blossoms of everbearing varie- 
ties should be removed for from 
two to two and one-half months 
following planting, and should 
then be allowed to develop and 
produce fruit. It takes about one 
month from blossom to ripe ber- 
ries. 
N EWLY set strawberries 
     should be hoed and culti- 
cated frequently during the sum- 
mer to prevent the surface of the 
soil from becoming crusted and 
to kill all weeds. 
  It has been found that an acre 
of strawberry plants producing 
4,000 quarts of fruit drew from 
the soil almost 3 tons of water 
in the berries alone. Many times 
this amount is also lost by trans- 
piration from the leaves of the 
plants, and evaporation from the 
soil. Therefore, conserving soil 
moisture is very important for 
strawberries. 
  As the season advances, culti- 
vation should be shallow and not 
close to the original plants. Deep 
cultivation may kill many roots 
and thereby damage plants. It is 
well known that a majority of the 
roots of the strawberry are with- 
in the first four inches of the 
soil. 
  In an Indiana experiment, the 
number of horse cultivations giv- 
en a strawberry field was direct- 
ly proportional to the yield. By 
cultivating 8 times, the yield was 
60 twenty-four quart crates, and 
by cultivating 14 times the yield 
was 299 twenty-four quart crates. 
The number of hand hoeings 
showed a similar increase in 
yield. 
  Cultivation, as soon as runner 
formation starts and the runners 
are well developed, should be only 
deep enough to stir up the sur- 
face crust and kill weeds. 
  Hubby-I just can't get over 
that crazy - looking  hat you 
bought for Easter, and so expen- 
sive. 
  Wifey-But, dear, I won't be 
wearing it more than a couple of 
weeks. 
            FRUITS 
 E XTENSIVE tests have been 
     made to find which variety 
 of strawberries and other fruits 
 are best when frozen for cold 
 storage lockers. Some of these 
 tests have been conflicting. We 
 are of the opinion that we can 
 take out of the cold storage lock- 
 er just about what we put into it. 
 In other words, strawberries of 
 good quality will still be good 
 quality after being frozen if they 
 are frozen properly. 
 The important factor seems to 
 be the speed of freezing. In this 
 connection we have a letter from 
 Mr. Rex Eberdt, President of the 
 Warrens Fruit Growers Associa- 
 tion. He writes as follows: 
   "I have made a considerable 
 amount of inquiries since receiv- 
 ing your letter relative to frozen 
 foods and I find the following: 
 Vegetables have to be blanched 
 at the proper temperature and 
 for the proper length of time to 
 freeze well and maintain color 
 and texture and this has not been 
 practiced properly in most of our 
 local locker plants. 
    Quick Freezing Necessary 
    "Regarding fruits, we have 
found very definitely that the lack 
of speed in freezing has caused 
the lack in quality. Fruit that is 
frozen under a heavy air draft 
spread out on a screen at a tem- 
perature of 10 or 150 below zero 
Fahrenheit can be thawed out 
slowly at low temperatures and 
have 99% of the qualities and 
appearance of a fresh strawberry 
just picked. Whereas, slow freez- 
ing in still air and in sealed con- 
*tainers in efforts to hurry the 
thawing process on tend to harm 
the flavor, texture, and appear- 
ance of a strawberry. 
250 
May, 1940 


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