Windowsill harvesting is hot, which makes homegrown edibles more popular than ever, in addition to the range of garden and indoor plants. “We sold a lot of seeds in the past year,” Gé Bentvelsen of ABZ Seeds, a strawberry breeder at the Kop van Noord-Holland, summarizes a successful 2020. "We see the popularity increasing on all continents, as we are almost completely sold out."
At the moment, ABZ Seeds is once again organizing the digi-trials, an alternative to the Dutch Spring Trials. A few customers may come and have a look - and of course, everyone is welcome - but for well-known reasons, mainly foreign customers are dependent on the digital highway. No problem, if it is up to Gé, as with a video call from the greenhouse you can go a long way. "Tasting a strawberry, however, remains difficult."
This year's introduction is the Summer Breeze Cherry Blossom. This is the third variety in the Summer Breeze series, after last year's Summer Breeze Snow, which won the Innovation Award at IPM, and the Summer Breeze Rose, which was introduced the year before. Because the flowers are very similar to those of a real cherry blossom, this name was chosen, although, admittedly, the real cherry blossom is more white than pink. Cherry blossom has semi-double flowers and many fruits. Another characteristic is that it flowers up to a few weeks longer than usual, so that the plant still has petals when the first fruits can be picked.
ABZ Seeds propagates all plants from seed. In addition to the Summer Breeze series, a wide range of other varieties is available: the Delice, the Bellissimo, the large flower series, the hanging basket series, and the early compact series. All "ornamentals", types for at home in the garden or on the windowsill. In the fresh market, a completely different branch of sport, things are different. This market is much larger, established names and varieties are leading the way, and breeding also works differently. Here it comes down to production, to fruit set, to qualities that are pleasing to a greenhouse grower. Nevertheless, ABZ has also marketed a number of varieties for this market, including some novelties such as the Soraya and the Estavana. The latter is named after the Dutch handball player Estavana Polman and she will personally baptize the strawberry this summer.
For more information:
1619 PR Andijk, the Netherlands
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