Strawberry cultivar injury after two contrasting Minnesota winters

Shengrui Yao, James J. Luby, David K. Wildung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


As part of our hardy strawberry (Fragaria ·ananassa) breeding program, winter hardiness of 15 strawberry cultivars was evaluated in the field after Winter 2005-2006 and a test Winter 2006-2007 with no snow cover at Grand Rapids, MN. After the snow-covered Winter 2005-2006, plant stand (percent leaf coverage for the designated area for each plot) increased for all cultivars in the mulched treatment and some cultivars in the unmulched treatment with slight decreases only for several cultivars in the unmulched treatment. However, after Winter 2006- 2007, the plant stands of all cultivars drastically decreased in both mulched and unmulched treatments. 'Clancy', 'Evangeline', and 'L'Amour' were the three most sensitive cultivars among the 15 cultivars tested. 'Kent', 'MesabiTM', 'Cavendish', and 'Brunswick' were the highest yielding cultivars for both 2006 and 2007 in the mulched treatment. In the unmulched treatment, 'Brunswick', 'MesabiTM ', 'Cavendish', 'Sable', and 'Kent' were the top yielding cultivars after Winter 2006- 2007. During Winter 2005-2006, with 20 to 30 cm snow cover throughout the season, the 5- and 10-cm soil temperatures remained constant at 30 to 31.5 F in both mulched and unmulched treatments. In contrast, during Winter 2006-2007, there were 16 and 24 days (consecutive) in February below 18 F at 5-cm soil depths for mulched and unmulched treatments, respectively, which probably led to the severe winter damage. Although straw mulch afforded the plants some protection, snow cover is critical to the survival of strawberries in northern Minnesota and other areas with similar weather conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-808
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Cold hardiness
  • Fragaria ×ananassa
  • Winter survival


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