It’s time to bed up some earth and plant strawberries! That right! Fall is the proper time to set out strawberry plants for a spring harvest. It is a common misconception that strawberries should be planted in the spring in the home garden. If planted in spring, such poor timing will result in a very reduced delicious strawberry harvest. Plant in the fall to ensure a tasty treat from your garden come spring time.
Strawberries do well on soil beds built to as tall as 10 inches and 20 inches wide. Two rows 12 inches apart can be planted on each bed. The plants should be spaced 12 inches within the row. Prepare your soil in you garden where it receives adequate sunlight, eight hours of direct sunlight is best. Two pounds to 10-5-10 can be mixed into the soil bed for every 10 foot of bed. It is even better to take a soil sample for analysis to know exactly what your garden needs to produce the best strawberry crop possible. Contact your local UF/IFAS extension office for more information on soil analysis.
Once a bed has been formed and you are ready to set plants it is important to have a plan for irrigation. The type of strawberry you plant will help you come up with the correct plan.
For freshly dug bare-root strawberry plants:
- Water with overhead irrigation frequently during the hottest parts of the day (10am-5pm) to ensure the plants to not wither and die. This will need to be done for one to two weeks until the plants are established.
For plug or containerized transplants:
- Very little overhead irrigation will be required as the root system is intact and functioning at the time of planting. Be sure to keep the soil moist for adequate establishment of this kind of strawberry plant.
For more information regarding growing strawberries in Florida visit solutionsforyoulife.ufl.edu or contact your local extension office.