The Q&A Archives: Hollow strawberries

Question: I remember my father's strawberry bed produced large, solid fruit. My fruits are large, but they're hollow in the center. What causes this? Bertha Chides Pleasantville, NJ

Answer: Hollow fruit is a function of genetics, says Philip Ahrens, owner of Ahrens Nursery in Huntington, Indiana. The hollowing only occurs on the primary berry of certain varieties. The secondary berries rarely get the hollowing. Some large fruited varieties that resist hollowing are All Star and Scott, he adds. Hollowing doesn't harm the fruit unless you have a susceptible variety and apply too much nitrogen fertilizer. The berries can split open, inviting insect and disease attacks. An adequate amount of fertilizer would be supplied by adding three to four bushels of composted manure per 100 square feet of strawberries in the spring before planting or one pound of 10 10 10 fertilizer during the growing season.

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