Magazine article Sunset

Until There's a Perfect Strawberry, Try 'Seascape.'

Magazine article Sunset

Until There's a Perfect Strawberry, Try 'Seascape.'

Article excerpt

This everbearing variety produces big crops of tasty fruit

Just as Jason and the Argonauts searched for the Golden Fleece, plant breeders have been striving to find the perfect everbearing strawberry - one that produces lots of great-tasting fruit over a long season. While their quest continues, a new variety called 'Seascape' demonstrates how far they've come.

Developed by breeders from the University of California at Davis, 'Seascape' is one of the most productive everbearing varieties yet. In Sunset's test garden, a bed of 'Seascape' yielded good crops of large berries with excellent flavor. Each cluster produces one extra-large berry (called the king berry).

Because 'Seascape' doesn't need much chill to set fruit, it's especially promising for mild-winter parts of the West. In cooler locations, 'Seascape' will probably flower so early that frost will kill its blooms and eliminate the early harvest. Later flowering and harvests won't be affected. If you garden in a cool region with a warm micro-climate, however, you'll probably have ripe strawberries before the first California strawberries show up at the supermarket. While 'Seascape' bears over a long season, fruiting is concentrated in late spring.

'Seascape' has good disease resistance but is somewhat susceptible to leaf spot.

PLANTING TIPS

Nurseries and garden centers sell 'Seascape' as bare-root plants. Plant right away in good garden loam. Strawberries don't like salty soil or water; if your native soil is alkaline, plant them in imported topsoil. …

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