Florida Strawberries

Strawberries require very specific conditions in order to flower and produce fruit. They grow best when temperatures are between 50°F–80°F and require less than 14 hours of daylight. In Florida, these conditions occur throughout the fall, winter, and spring. Strawberries in Florida are planted between September and early November. They are ready to harvest beginning in December, and will continue to flower and fruit through April or May.

For planting, it is best to use transplants. Transplants are inserted into holes in black plastic mulch. Typically, the strawberries are covered with black plastic mulch to keep the garden bed free of weeds and to keep soil off of the berries. In four to six weeks, the strawberries are ready to be harvested. Strawberries should only be harvested when they are three-quarters red on their surface.

Every year in the spring, the Florida Strawberry Festival welcomes visitors from throughout the Sunshine State and the world. The large festival is located in a charming town called Plant City. It exhibits agriculture, commerce, industry, livestock, fine arts, horticulture, and crafts throughout the booths of many vendors. The festival is perfect to enjoy eating ripe, luscious strawberries alongside the local berry farmers that have worked hard to bring to them to market. More than 10,000 acres of strawberries are planted annually in Plant City in preparation for this festival. The state of Florida accounts for approximately 13% of the production of strawberries nationwide.

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