Fragaria ( Lassen Strawberry )

Lassen is a low growing, hardy perennial. This cultivar produces fruit in the spring and again in the fall, where others are only spring-bearing. The berries are medium to large in size and can be eaten fresh or is a good choice for freezing as well. It is very adaptable to warm winter climates such as Southern California and inland valleys. It is susceptible to yellows (a virus) and has moderate resistance to alkaline soils. Strawberries are traditionally started from bareroot plants, planted as soon as soil is workable in the early spring. Plant so that soil just covers the tops of the strawberry roots. Strawberries purchased in containers can be started any time of the year and are planted at the same depth as they were in the container. Fertilize after harvest with 1/2 lb of balanced fertilizer /100 SF. Broadcast when plants are dry, then check to make sure no fertilizer remains on leaves. Do not over-fertilize as it will promote disease. Watering the first year is very important and should be done weekly during the growing season. After the first year, plants will be more tolerant of periods of drought. Do not expect fruit the first season. It is much better to remove all flowers the first growing season, allowing the plant to build strong roots. Flowers on everbearers can be left on after July 1 for a fall crop. Every four or five years, rejuvenate strawberries by cutting back with a string trimmer or mower, removing everything but about 1 inch of crowns. Do this immediately after spring harvest. For best flavor, allow fruit to ripen on the plant. Strawberries make wonderful container plants.