By Shawna Kennedy
Strawberries are a small berry-producing plant commonly grown throughout the United States. Catalogs and garden supply stores sell them as bare root plants. Strawberry plants need at least 6 hours of sun a day and reproduce via long runners. White flowers precede the red fruit. U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 9 covers much of California, Florida and parts of Texas and Oregon, where strawberries are grown.
‘Seascape’ strawberries are day-neutral strawberry, which means it bears fruit no matter the length of day. California commercial strawberry growers often grow ‘Seascape,’ as strawberries grow in that state 12 months out of the year, according to the California Strawberry Advisory Board. Although ‘Seascape’ is an ever-bearing strawberry, harvests are more abundant in late spring. ‘Seascape’ has an excellent flavor, a good conical shape and high production rate. This strawberry is resistant to most diseases except leaf spot.
Florida and California producers are the primary growers of ‘Oso Grande,’ which is ideal for warm climates. This strawberry produces high yields of a large, cone-shaped berry. The ‘Oso Grande’ berry is firm with a good flavor suitable for eating fresh or processing. The plant produces a good number of runners, which will produce new strawberry plants.
‘Chandler’ is the most widely commercially grown strawberry in California, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This strawberry has consistent high yields with a firm berry that ripens in late March and early April.
Breeders developed ‘Sweet Charlie’ specifically for the hot and humid growing conditions found in Florida. It is resistant to anthracnose, a fungal disease common in Florida. This wedged-shaped berry ripens early in the season, from December through February, according to the University of Florida.
The most common commercially grown strawberry in Oregon’s climate is ‘Totem,’ according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These berries are smaller than most commercial berries but have a rich flavor and a texture that makes them suitable for processing.