Best strawberries in Southern California

I am curious if others in Southern California have experimented with growing strawberry varieties not recommended for our area. I was always struck that zone recommendations online often say not to grow strawberries in zones greater than 7, but the majority of the nation’s strawberries are grown in coastal California.

I tried several varieties. Not enough time to be totally sure but so far my favorite for flavor is Earliglow. Very sweet, very aromatic. I am planning on growing more of that. I am surprised it is never recommended here and I wonder what else would do well here?

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Try Albion strawberry.

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if you can grow eariglow, you can grow just about any of the commercial varieties there. i just ordered some archer from indiana berry. I’ve read good reviews on this one. its just been released last year. big berries and red all the way thru. flavor supposed to be great.

I just wanted to update this post with some experiments I did on strawberry cultivars’ adaptability to inland southern Calfornia. I am interested in the heirloom/classic soft-fruited cultivars. The nurseries tend to sell what the commercial growers make and those are often rock hard. So we are on our own a bit if we are interested in the soft-fruited varieties and exploring local adaptation.

Belrubi was surprisingly good. Despite root aphids, it is highly productive in April, soft and flavorful. It might be my best-performing short-day cultivar.

Marshall, not surprisingly, is both good and productive. It was once the dominant commercial cultivar in California (I believe about 90 years ago). I only have 2 plants right now. I love that it is as soft as alpines.

Sparkle did not do well here at all. When it did fruit, the flavor was poor. Its range appears to be more northern climates only.

Charlotte was good the first year but seemed watery off-season. I do not have many plants of it left but unless it surprises me later, I probably wont grow it.

Earliglow was a lot smaller and less productive this year. I am not sure if that was from water disruption in the later summer. The flavor is great but it is not yet a proven winner on year to year productivity.

I am hoping to try some new varieties in the coming year. Has anyone else tried some of the more rare varieties in this area? It looks like Baker Creek is offering a lot of heirloom options now and it will be interesting to see how they do here.

Conclusion:
The classic French cultivar, Belrubi, appears to be suitable for southern California conditions. It ripens in April and May.

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James I just ordered some Earliglow and some Mara De Bois based on very positive reviews on other strawberry threads.

I’m currently trialing:
Sequoia, Albion, Seascape, Quinault and some alpine varieties.