As we enter the fall in Northeast Florida, gardening becomes a bit more tolerable. Temperatures drop and many of our fall and winter vegetables get their opportunity to shine in the garden. One of these plants to think about getting into the ground in September and October is the strawberry.
According to the University of Florida EDIS Fact Sheet, “Growing Strawberries in the Florida Home Garden”, planting times for strawberries in Northeast Florida should be between September 15th and October 15th. Look for the three recommended varieties for homeowners: ‘Camarosa’, ‘Sweet Charlie’, and ‘Festival’. These have been shown to produce the best in our area. Use transplants, like the common bareroot type, and plant them in well-drained soil in an area with full sun. Containers or raised beds can be a great option for the home gardener and water as needed to keep the soil moist.
As they grown through the winter, strawberry plants may need some protection from the cold. Cover your plants that have tender leaves, fruit, or flower with frost cloth, blankets, or plastic when temperatures drop below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit, 0 degrees Celsius). Make sure to remove these coverings as temperatures rise during the day to avoid damage.
For more information on growing strawberries in your garden, check out my article here or contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office.