Sparkle is a strawberry variety that has superb flavor and sweetness, short shelf life, and small- to medium-sized berries. The short shelf life means that they are unsuitable for most marketing, but once they make it to the hands of the eater there’s little worry that any will be left around long enough to go bad.
Plants flower in April. Our first tend to ripen around the middle of May and they are usually done by early-to-mid June. We generally pick daily during the peak of production. We’ve found that protection from racoons is critical; a few low-strung lines of portable electric wire fence has worked for us.
The plants are rather difficult to manage because they runner aggressively, but produce plenty of material for expanded plantings. The biggest berries are produced on plants that are well spaced, a result that we’ve found is more easily achieved by establishing a new planting than by thinning an old one, which tends to fill itself in again quickly.