Strawberry Kent: early ripening Canadian variety
Strawberries of the Kent variety, although not included in the State Register of the Russian Federation, have long been successfully grown on the territory of our country. She came to us from overseas, but surprisingly well blended with the weather conditions in most regions. It is famous for both the good taste of the berries and the unpretentiousness of the plant.
Description of the Kent variety, its characteristics
Kent is an early ripening strawberry, unrepaired. The variety was bred in Canada, in the city of Kentville, back in 1973 on the basis of three different varieties that are resistant to the vagaries of the weather and have a good berry flavor. After refinement and lengthy variety trials, the Kent strawberry was registered in Canada in 1981 and began to be actively used by farmers. Almost immediately, she began her journey to various countries in America and Europe. In 1990, the variety appeared in Russia. As it turned out to be undemanding to soil and maintenance, it quickly became popular and was often named among the best early varieties.
Kent strawberries are distinguished by tall bushes on which numerous flower stalks are formed. They are about the same height as the leaves, which are dark green in color. The peduncles do not hold under the weight of the berries and lie on the ground, so mulching the beds in order to preserve the purity of the berries is mandatory. This variety forms a mustache relatively few, but they are quite enough for reproduction. In addition to the mustache, dividing a bush or growing seedlings from seeds is used for this purpose.
Unfortunately, even the berries that have not yet grown to their size are knocking flower stalks to the ground.
The berries ripen early, in the middle lane already at the very beginning of June, the fruiting is extended. They have a large size, the average weight is more than 30 g, at the first harvest - almost 40 g. However, over time, the berries become very shallow, the weight may decrease up to 12-15 g. The shape is heart-shaped or round-conical, the texture is very dense, the surface is glossy. The neck is hardly noticeable, often it is not there at all. When fully ripe, the berries are dark red. The seeds are clearly pronounced: they are of the usual yellow color, but are located superficially. The juice content is high, the pulp is very sweet, with a slight sourish aftertaste, the taste is assessed as very good. The color of the flesh is red, the aroma is strong. Ripe berries are easily separated from the stalk.
The yield of this variety is not a record, but quite high: from one bush, with proper care, you can collect up to 700 g of berries. The positive point is that the variety bears fruit normally in partial shade, while the taste of the berries does not suffer. In a drought, the quality of the berries does not deteriorate, but the yield decreases significantly. Long rains are not terrible for the variety.
The crop can easily be transported over long distances, the berries are well stored. Kent strawberries are considered frost-resistant, but if at temperatures around -10 ... -15 aboutSince there is no snow cover, then without additional shelter, the bushes can freeze slightly. Disease resistance is above average: for example, the variety almost does not suffer from gray rot and powdery mildew, are weakly affected by strawberry mites. The scourge of the variety is verticilliasis; you have to watch closely for the possible appearance of signs of this disease.
Video: Kent strawberries in the garden
In appearance, the berries of Kent strawberries differ little from the berries of many other varieties: their rounded-conical shape, which in many specimens is close to heart-shaped, is characteristic of many strawberry varieties, red and dark red colors, too. The variety is among the large-fruited, which inadvertently adds appetizing to the appearance of the berries. The seeds are not sunken. Not all berries are of the correct shape, which somewhat distorts the picture. In some of them, especially from the first collection, pronounced warty growths appear, as a rule, closer to the neck. They, of course, violate the spectacular presentation of the berries, but, fortunately, they are not very common.
The berries have a traditional shape and color for the culture.
Advantages and disadvantages, features, differences from other varieties
The high popularity of the Kent strawberry variety is due to its following advantages:
- sufficiently high frost resistance;
- good disease resistance;
- undemanding to the composition of the soil;
- the ability to grow in waterlogged areas;
- high shade tolerance;
- drought tolerance;
- early maturity, coupled with extended fruiting;
- very good taste;
- transportability and keeping quality of the crop.
The most important disadvantages are considered:
- fragile peduncles that do not hold berries;
- crumbling berries from collection to collection;
- the possibility of obtaining at the first collection of a certain number of substandard berries;
- susceptibility to verticillosis.
The yield of Kent strawberries is also not sufficient to use the variety as an industrial variety, therefore, many agricultural firms abroad, and simply farmers growing strawberries for sale, after testing the variety, abandoned it in favor of other, more prolific modern varieties. Ordinary summer residents, including in our country, are happy to grow Kent strawberries due to their unpretentiousness and rather good taste of berries.
Among the domestic varieties in the State Register of the Russian Federation, a little more than a dozen are registered, belonging to the category of early maturing. One of the most famous is the Kokinskaya early variety. Its yield is positioned as high, but the size of the berries is 2-3 times smaller than that of Kent. The variety is zoned in the center of the country and in the North-West, that is, like Kent, it is highly frost-resistant. The Zarya variety, which has been grown for almost half a century, is recommended for almost all regions. But, in addition to its high yield, the variety loses to modern counterparts in almost all positions, from the size and taste of berries to poor disease tolerance.
In 2017, an early ripe strawberry variety Viola, recommended only for the Volga-Vyatka region, was registered. It is known about him that the variety shows a good yield, its berries are half as small as those of Kent, but they are very highly appreciated for their taste. High marks in all positions were awarded to the Bereginya variety, intended for the Central region. And if the taste of its berries is comparable to the taste of Kent berries, then the unpretentiousness of the variety, its resistance to all kinds of unfavorable conditions are described as the highest.
Bereginya is one of the most resistant early strawberry varieties
Thus, the Kent strawberry is a very good early-ripening variety, but objectively it begins to become outdated, and against the background of modern analogues it is gradually losing its position.
Kent strawberries are completely versatile in terms of the use of berries. They are good both fresh and in all processing. Berries are suitable for jam, compotes, and jams. They keep well frozen without losing their beneficial properties in the freezer.
Freezing is the most efficient way to preserve strawberries
Growing strawberries Kent
From the point of view of agricultural technology, the Kent variety is not difficult, planting and care are similar to those for the culture as a whole. As a rule, sockets are planted on a new bed as soon as they are ready from the mustache, that is, by the end of summer. At latitudes north of Moscow, this is not the safest time, and the landing is postponed to April - early May. It is also better to divide the bushes in the spring, before flowering. The bushes are planted sparsely, at distances of 50 cm from each other: a denser planting for tall bushes is undesirable.
Regimes of watering and feeding are common. Before setting the berries, the soil is systematically loosened, then it is necessary to mulch it with a clean material such as straw. At the same time, watering is reduced by a third, they are carried out only under the root and not with the coldest water.
In regions with unstable snow cover and severe frosts, strawberries are sheltered for the winter. Serious shelter is not required, it is enough to scatter branches of coniferous trees over the garden bed.
Shelter is required only in regions that are problematic due to snow and frost.
The Kent strawberry is a fairly old variety of Canadian breeding. The similarity of the climate of our countries makes it easy to grow this variety in many regions, but over time, it slowly begins to lose its position, including due to a not very high yield.
A brief description of
Advantages of the variety
There are also more promising varieties, but according to the combination of advantages, the Kent strawberry is currently popular with gardeners:
- great fruit taste
- fruits are transportable, dense
- good education
- excellent frost resistance
- undemanding to soil composition
- good immunity to almost all diseases of berry crops.
Disadvantages of the variety
- fruits become much smaller
- the shape of the berries is not always perfect
- flower stalks tend to the ground.
When grown for home consumption, the main disadvantages are small fruit.
We will find out how gardeners and summer residents say about this strawberry variety.
- Grigory, Nizhny Novgorod: “I have been growing Kent strawberries in my country house for the third year. I like the variety: fruitful, large, sweet berries. In addition, strawberries take root well even in the shade, bears fruit, even if the soil is sandy or infertile. Grooming is necessary, but standard, not overly complicated. The whiskers give little, which makes pruning easier. I recommend this variety - it is ideal for small areas, and since the berries are very beautiful and mature, I think it is also suitable for industrial cultivation. "
- Valentina, Volgograd: “We have a small family business - we grow strawberries for sale. We try to empirically choose the most productive and marketable varieties. Among the favorites is Kent - a fruitful Canadian variety, very transportable, beautiful, hardy. The variety has never failed yet: the bushes regularly bear fruit every year - we remove 600-700 grams from each bush. Care is simple, in winter in our climate you don't need to shelter, but you need to protect from the winds. "
Here you can read gardeners' reviews about the Florence strawberry variety, and see what this berry variety looks like.
So, we examined the features of growing Kent strawberries. As you can see, this variety deserves the attention of gardeners: it is cold and drought resistant, productive, hardy and unpretentious. All these valuable qualities make Kent today one of the most promising varieties for amateur and industrial cultivation.
Diseases and pests
Kent strawberry leaves are almost immune to infections. Diseases can affect the root system of strawberries. Risk factors are soil waterlogging and temperature jumps.
Diseases that occur in the variety:
- gray rot
Verticillosis is a fungal infection that infects plants through the root system. The main sign of verticillosis is the appearance of brown spots due to capillary blockage. The fruits of an infected bush can dry out from the inside, completely mummify.
The affected parts of the plant are removed and burned, the rest are treated with fungicides.
Colorado potato beetle often appears on strawberries. You can easily get rid of its harmful effects by treating the bushes with a solution of laundry soap.
Compliance with the rules of care and timely preventive treatments are considered control measures.