Most of California’s strawberry production (about 60%) occurs in the Salinas/Watsonville area and the Santa Maria Valley- the place Darensberries calls home. About 40% of total fruit production comes from Ventura County and the south coast regions. The San Joaquin Valley only makes up 1% of total California production.
What is surprising to most people is that strawberry growers plant transplants rather than seeds. The transplants come from either the low-elevation nurseries of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys or the high-elevation nurseries in Northern California.
Different growing regions plant at different times. Plants kept in cold storage for a period of time after being harvested form the nurseries are called “frigo plants”. These plants are planted in the Central Valley in the summer so they will bear fruit in the spring. Frigo plants are also planted in Ventura County and the Santa Maria Valley in the spring or summer. These plants will be ready to harvest in the fall. Both of these planting dates are considered summer plantings. Most of the strawberries in California are planted from fresh-dug transplants in the fall (September to mid-November). These plants will be harvested the following year peaking in May. This planting schedule is called a “winter” or “fall” planting. Click here for more info.