Florida strawberries can be grown in autumn and relished throughout the winter and spring in residential plots.
Currently, the cultivars ‘Camarosa,’ ‘Sweet Sensation®,’ and ‘Festival’ are suggested for Florida residential gardens. All kinds yield fruit that can be eaten fresh or frozen. ‘Camarosa’ is ideal for North Florida, and ‘Festival’ is best for Central Florida.
Strawberries require temps ranging from 50°F to 80°F and less than 14 hours of sunshine to bloom and create fruit. These circumstances can be found in Florida during the autumn, winter, and spring.
Strawberries are grown in Florida from September to early November, and blooming and fruiting last until April or May. Fruit establishment will occur in two or three rounds, which may be disrupted by pauses.
Site & Planting
Strawberries should be grown in a full-sun position with at least 8 hours of continuous sunshine. Strawberries can be planted in layers in elevated gardens or in planting boxes, planters, or other receptacles. Just make sure your gardening area has adequate ventilation.
Before sowing, add two pounds of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium fertilizer per 10 feet of dirt.
Plant with transplants; bareroot transplants are the most prevalent, but plug (container) transplants in plastic containers or planters can also be found at garden stores.
Many producers put strawberries in elevated plots with black plastic covering to keep weeds at bay and dirt away from the fruit. Plant your seedlings through the straw holes. Make certain that the tops of grafts are not covered.
Strawberry plants’ fruit and blossoms will be damaged by temps below 32°F, but the tops and foliage will live to temperatures in the low 20s if they have been accustomed to cold weather.
If a frost occurs, cover the plants with old blankets or a commercial row cover during the afternoon and overnight. Anchor the blankets to prevent them from blowing away from the plants.
Disease & Pests
When producing strawberries, one of the best protection tactics for warding off illnesses and bugs is to use healthy seedlings. Plants should be purchased from respected farms or yard stores.
Fungicides for domestic yard use can prevent the majority of illnesses on foliage, blossoms, and crops. Make sure the package says it can be used on strawberries and follow all of the instructions. To avoid infestation, remove any deceased or infected foliage from the vegetation.
Sulfur treatments can be used to control white mold. Before adding sulfur, make sure the temperature is below 80°F. Otherwise, it will produce blisters on the fruit and vegetation.
Strawberry plant insects vary with the seasons. Caterpillars appear early in the season, followed by aphids and thrips. Spider mites are a tenacious nuisance that can be found in December.
If you grow your strawberries in the same location year after year, nematodes and soilborne illnesses can create issues. Change your sowing locations and avoid putting strawberries in regions that have recently produced tomatoes, okra, or other crops prone to verticillium wilt.
Strawberries are available to pick when three-quarters of the surface of the fruit is crimson. Once the fruit has turned fully crimson, it rots rapidly, so pick it on a frequent basis, typically every two to four days.
Contact your local Extension office or study the pamphlet “Growing Strawberries in the Florida Home Garden” for more information on producing strawberries at home, including maintenance and insect control choices.