Sonata is a mid-late season June bearer of a fruit with exceptionally good ﬂavor qualities. Besides of the good taste, the strong point of Sonata is the abundantly setting of uniform fruits which are easy to pick. That makes Sonata in many cases an excellent alternative to Elsanta.
Sonata is suitable for the colder climate zone in Western Europe, chieﬂy north of the Alps. In early forcing cultures in a glasshouse Sonata is usually grown in spring by planting fresh plants in winter. As Sonata rarely produces deformed fruits, it is very suitable for this culture. Sonata is being used in nearly all outdoor cropping systems.
Flowering and harvest period
The quality of the ﬂowers of Sonata is exceptionally good from the beginning of the season on. Since Sonata produces a great deal of pollen, the percentage of deformed fruit is very low. The ﬂowering period and the harvest are at almost the same time as Elsanta’s. As a rule, Sonata’s harvest is better distributed. The inﬂorescences usually remain below the leaves. The optimal moment for picking is when the fruits have an orange red color. After picking the fruits will continue coloring, ending up in a bright red color.
Sonata produces juicy strawberries with a sweet taste and a clear strawberry aroma. Its robust, uniform fruit has a conical shape and a bright red color, light red on the inside. The pretty crown and the lovely shine, which are retained even after storage, are typical. The average fruit weight is higher than Elsanta’s. The fruit is ﬁrm, but sometimes a bit sensitive to damage due to pressure. This might show up at high temperatures, but can kept under control by an adequate picking frequency. Sonata strawberries are quite resistant to rain and do not split readily.
In general Sonata’s yield is comparable to Elsanta, or slightly better. The numbers of fruits of ﬁrst quality is clearly higher. Sonata is easy to pick as the fruit readily breaks off from the inﬂorescences. Because the labour for sorting the fruits is very limited too, saving on harvesting costs are high in comparison to Elsanta. Early forcing of Sonata hardly causes any loss in yield and quality.
Pest and disease susceptibility
Sonata is susceptible to the following diseases:
– Crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum)
– Root rot (Rhizoctonia)
Sonata is rather insensitive to mildew (Sphaerotheca mac.). Propagators of Sonata plants must pay special attention to Crown rot. Apart from controlling also preventive measures have to be carried out carefully. Because of the short rhizome of Sonata also the planting requires attention. Growth will be hampered when planted too deep.