These are red, heart-shaped fruits, belong to the family Rosaceae and are native to the United States and Canada. Strawberries are grown in a mild regions all across the world. Moreover, these are very rich in plant compounds and antioxidants, which may have benefits for blood sugar control and heart health. Strawberries are usually consumed fresh and raw, these berries can also be used in a variety of jellies, desserts, and jams. Botanists do not consider strawberries to be true berries because these are actually groups of small fruits that form from a single flower. If you’re a gardener from Florida, you must be thinking of how to grow strawberries in Florida. Let’s discuss it in detail:
How to Grow Strawberries in Florida?
Strawberries are grown as an annual plant in Florida. The best time to grow strawberries in Florida is early fall (September to October). Early fall is the ideal time to grow strawberries if you plant them in the right and in the right conditions.
Climate conditions for Strawberries growing
Strawberries require sunny locations to grow. They need a maximum of 8 hours of direct sunlight each day to thrive.
You can grow strawberries in containers, rows, and in a raised bed. Moreover, Raised beds are suitable for strawberries growing, just make sure the soil is well-draining, so the roots will get plenty of oxygen. Before planting, add organic matter compost into the soil to improve drainage and fertility which will benefit the plants.
Suitable Strawberries Varieties for Florida Climate
There are many different varieties grown in different regions of the world. Finding the best one for your conditions can be difficult. The most suitable varieties for Florida climates are:
- Oso grande
How to plant strawberries?
Most strawberries are grown from young plants or runners, but some varieties can also be grown from the seed. scatter the seed thinly over the soil surface in a tray or containers and lightly cover with the soil. Make sure the organic compost is firmed and fine prior to sowing. Moreover, you can plant strawberries directly on the raised bed or rows in your garden.
If planting in a garden bed or rows, space strawberry plants 12 to 18 inches apart. For each plant, dig a hole deep and wide enough so that the roots are not pressed or squished. Once the plants are established, they will begin to produce flowers after a few months. Moreover, water them to keep the soil moist. They would not continue ripening once they are harvested. Therefore allows the fruits to fully ripen on the plant.
Strawberries are heavy feeders, they need balanced fertilizers to grow. However, you can use liquid soluble fertilizer when watering or NPK for producing flowers on the plants. Nitrogen helps your plant make new green, leafy growth. On the other hand, Phosphorus helps your plant produce more flowers and fruit, while potassium is a good general health booster for your plant.
Common pests and diseases of strawberries
The main problem in strawberry growing is to deal with the birds, they come and steal the fruits or damage the plants. therefore use a net to escape from these birds. On the other hand, caterpillars, aphids, and spider mites are other pests that affect plant growth. You can use neem oil and other insecticides to deal with the pests. Moreover, powdery mildew pops up on strawberry plants, you can use a copper fungicide to deal with it.
Harvesting of strawberries
The best time to pick the fruits is when three-quarters of the fruits turn red. The first fruit should be ready to pick roughly 90-110 days after planting. Moreover, if you have trouble with rabbits or birds taking berries or fruit, try using netting to protect the plants. Fruits stay fresh for only a few days after harvesting, so eat them soon or add them to your favorite recipes.
Strawberries can be eaten in a number of ways: alone, with cream, and as ingredients in smoothies, desserts, and other cakes. Fruits can be used as fresh or preserved. Moreover, people use strawberries for high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and diabetes.