Gaviota Strawberry Cultivar
A short-day strawberry cultivar with extended flowering under cool conditions (Aiko-type); replacement for summer-planted Pajaro and winter-planted Camarosa and Chandler.
- Excellent fruit quality and flavor
- Yields superior to Pajaro (summer planting) and equal or better than Camarosa and Chandler (winter planting)
- Larger fruit, easier harvest, and much lower cull rate than Camarosa
- Robust environmental tolerance, particularly resistant to rain damage, powder mildew, and anthracnose crown rot
Gaviota is characterized by its exceptional fruit quality (especially flavor), large fruit sizes on the order of 26-28 grams per fruit, and a plant form that is open, compact, and erect in comparison with Camarosa and Chandler. Also, fewer small fruit are produced, resulting in a cull rate that is only half that of Camarosa. Gaviota fruit have better rain tolerance than Camarosa.
Commercial appearance ratings for Gaviota fruit are comparable to or better than Chandler and Camarosa. Gaviota fruit is substantially firmer than fruit from Chandler but is slightly less firm than Camarosa. Gaviota’s flavor is less aromatic than Chandler, but has better balance and texture than Camarosa. Fruit color is similar to Camarosa. Overall, Gaviota fruit makes an excellent choice for both fresh and processed products.
Disease and Pest Resistance
Gaviota is relatively resistant to powdery mildew and Anthracnose crown rot, and is tolerant of strawberry viruses typically encountered in California. When treated properly, it has tolerance to two-spotted spidermites equal or greater than Chandler and Camarosa. It is moderately susceptible to common leaf spot, Verticillium wilt, and Phytophthora cactorum crown rot, so quality nursery stock and good site preparation are recommended.
Cold-stored “frigo” plants can be used for summer plantings, and plants can be established in late October or early November using high elevation planting stock. Summer planting trials carried out at the Watsonville Research Facility in 1995 and 1996 show that while Gaviota yields less than Camarosa on a per plant basis, the higher planting density made possible by its more compact form allows for equal or superior yields per acre. This advantage in crates per acre yielded is typically 5% to 10%, with a very pronounced difference in late-season yields. Gaviota yields outperformed Pajaro yields in these tests by an even more substantial margin.
Winter planting trials carried out at Watsonville show similar advantages in per acre yields for Gaviota over Camarosa, particularly for plants that had undergone longer periods of supplemental storage. Gaviota is not adapted to the early fall digging/planting system used in Southern California. It was also noted that the greater rain tolerance and relatively later fruiting period for Gaviota might offer further advantages in unusually wet seasons by avoiding some of the fruit damage that might otherwise occur.
Strawberry producers can obtain Gaviota from commercial nurseries licensed by the University of California. See List of Licensed Nurseries.