Chapter 16. Strawberry Production
Botany and Planting
Strawberry—Fragaria ×ananassa, Rosaceae.
Table 1. Planting information for strawberries.
Florida Brilliance. Released in 2017. Highest early yield of all varieties; large fruit size; uniform conic to broad-conic shape; very firm with excellent shelf life; externally very glossy red; light red internally; moderately resistant to rain damage; balanced flavor. The plant is robust but not overly vigorous; is upright with long stems, allowing ease of harvest; and does not require high N applications as ‘Florida Radiance’ and Florida Medallion™ ‘FL 16.30-128’ do. Fruit can develop weak skin during hot periods in mid-late season, and both N rates and irrigation volumes should be reduced to counteract this possible problem. Recommended planting dates in central Florida are Oct. 5–15. Resistant to anthracnose fruit rot and Colletotrichum crown rot; moderately susceptible to angular leaf spot; moderately susceptible to Botrytis fruit rot; moderately resistant to powdery mildew and charcoal rot; susceptible to Phytophthora root rot.
Sweet Sensation® Florida127. Released in 2013. Large fruit size; moderately uniform conic to broad-conic fruit; bright-red with lighter color than other cultivars. During cool weather a longer interval between harvests compared to other cultivars is usually necessary to allow optimum color development. Exceptional flavor throughout season; 1.0 to 1.5 degree Brix higher and slightly lower acidity than ‘Florida Brilliance’; susceptible to rain damage. The plant is vigorous, which may be an advantage in north Florida but in central Florida will require reduced nutrient applications early in the season and/or later planting dates to maintain a small plant size. Recommended planting dates in central Florida are Oct. 15–25. Resistant to anthracnose fruit rot and Colletotrichum crown rot; moderately resistant to charcoal rot (caused by Macrophomina phaseolina); moderately susceptible to angular leaf spot; susceptible to Botrytis fruit rot and powdery mildew (caused by Podosphaera aphanis); highly susceptible to Phytophthora root rot. Ridomil and phosphite applications are highly recommended.
Florida Medallion™ ‘FL 16.30-128’. Released in 2020. Medium size; extremely uniform, conic fruit with glossy appearance; glossy-red external color and medium-red internal color; moderately acidic and high brix similar to Sweet Sensation® ‘Florida127’; moderately firm with good shipping quality. Low to medium plant vigor with upright canopy; N rates higher than for ‘Florida Brilliance’ will be required for optimum plant growth. Recommended planting dates in central Florida are Oct. 1–10 due to a compact plant and low runner production. Moderately susceptible to Colletotrichum crown rot and angular leaf spot; susceptible to Botrytis fruit rot and powdery mildew; highly susceptible to Phytophthora root rot and charcoal rot.
Florida Beauty. Released in 2016. Medium fruit size, excellent conic shape and even red color; exceptional flavor throughout season, second only to Sweet Sensation® ‘Florida127’; excellent resistance to rain damage. This cultivar is day-neutral and has very early onset of flowering; it is recommended to trim blooms immediately after establishment and a second time when trimming leaves, a practice that produces larger fruit size and quality throughout the entire season. In central Florida, early and total yields are similar to ‘Florida Radiance’. Recommended planting dates in central Florida are Sept. 25–Oct. 5. Even earlier planting dates may help to produce a vigorous plant in north Florida. In all regions, high early-season N rates and narrow plant spacing (12” between plants) are recommended because the plant is not as vigorous as ‘Florida Brilliance’ or Sweet Sensation®. Susceptible to anthracnose fruit rot and Colletotrichum crown rot; susceptible to Botrytis fruit rot and powdery mildew; moderately resistant to Phytophthora root rot.
Florida Pearl™ ‘FL 16.78-109’. Released in 2020. This is the first white-fruited strawberry, or “pineberry,” released by UF/IFAS. It is the result of hybridization between descendants of Japanese white strawberries, the source of its unique color, and red Florida strawberries, the source of its yield, disease resistance and other commercial production qualities. It has a pure white internal color and a white external base color with red seeds and a pink blush when ripe. It has a distinctive low-acid flavor and often has aromatic notes similar to pineapple or apricot. Fruit are uniform and conic, have moderate gloss, and are less firm than red varieties. Fertilization rates should be similar to ‘Florida Brilliance’. Recommended planting dates in central Florida are Oct. 10–20. It has moderate resistance to most diseases.
The following tables list registered pesticides that should be integrated with other pest management methods. Additional information on integrated management methods can be requested from UF/IFAS Extension horticulture or agriculture agents. A list of local UF/IFAS Extension offices is available at https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/find-your-local-office/.
Table 2. Herbicides approved for managing weeds in strawberry. Contact: Nathan S. Boyd, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.
Table 3. Selected insecticides approved for managing insect pests of strawberry. Contact: Sriyanka Lahiri, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.
Table 4. Strawberry fungicides ordered by disease and then FRAC group according to their mode of action. Contact: Natalia A. Peres, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.
Table 5. Nonfumigant nematicides for strawberry in Florida. Contact: Johan Desaeger, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.
Table 6. Fumigant nematicides for strawberry in Florida. Contact: Johan Desaeger, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.