Spring rush and lazy days of summer yield to days of diminishing daylight. We wanted to get one more crop in the garden. Our pick for cool season cultivation? Strawberries!
Strawberries are a cool season annual in North Florida, flowering best in 50-80F. They prefer well-drained slightly acidic soil and 8+ hours of direct sunlight. If well-drained soils are not available, mound the soil creating a 7”-9” deep raised beds to keep roots dry.
‘Fronteras’ arrived Tuesday, bare root with leaves and had good root-to-shoot balance. Let’s head into the garden and plant some strawberries!
The growing media (70%/30% by volume) mixture of pre-moistened peat moss (or coconut coir) and coarse perlite. Spread roots out, cover with media. Plant crown (located at base of stems) should be at soil surface. Cover roots completely with media. We put two plants in opposite corners of each pot. Runners (stolon with daughter plants) were installed in the same container. Taking advantage of growing space and irrigation, the ground pot is planted as well.
If planting in-ground, allow 12” between rows and 12”-18” inches between plants.
Specific to strawberries, lightly water leaves several times a day. Fine feeder roots may have been lost in transport so water is taken up by stoma, small openings on leaf surfaces. For the first week to two weeks post-planting, water the leaves every few hours, between 10 am and 5 pm.
98% of plants looked pitiful one day post-planting.
Stay tuned! Until next time – Happy Gardening!
AskIFAS for a litany of strawberry topics. Click HERE for the UF website link.
Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert