Fruit and Nut Crops
Apple | Blackberry & Raspberry | Blueberry | Bunch Grape | Chestnuts | Citrus | Fig | Mulberry | Muscadine Grape | Olives | Peach & Nectarine | Pear | Pecans | Persimmon | Plum | Pomegranate | Strawberry
Single crown (stem) strawberry plants are planted in Florida during the fall, from late September to early November. North Florida planting dates are October 1st to November 15th. Flowering and fruit production generally begins in November and continues into April or May. Fruit production over this period is not constant, but occurs in two or three cycles, and can be interrupted by freezing weather. Because the highest quality fruit is produced on relatively young plants with not more than four or five branch crowns, plants are usually tilled under at the end of the fruiting season, and new plants are planted the following fall.
Two pounds (4 cups) of a 10-5-10 or similar garden fertilizer with micronutrients (i.e. zinc, copper, iron, manganese and boron) per 10 feet of row should be incorporated into the bed before planting. It is recommended that one-third to one-half of all the N fertilizer should be provided in a commercially available slow-release form to increase nutrient absorption. Incorporate one-fourth of the fertilizer evenly across the top of the bed with a rake. Apply the remainder of the fertilizer in a narrow band approximately 1 inch deep down the middle of the bed (above the drip line or soaker hose, if they have been placed in the bed).
Drip Irrigation and Plasticulture
Drip irrigation tape or tubing can be laid (emitter side up) in a 2 to 3 inch deep trench down the center of the bed. One to two inches of soil are placed on top of the tubing. Raised beds also make hand harvesting easier. Black polyethylene sheeting (1 to 1.5 mils thick) on 48 to 60 inch (122–152 cm) wide rolls is most often used to cover the raised beds. It provides excellent weed control and keeps the fruit cleaner than if it were lying directly on the soil surface. Colored sheeting other than black can be used, provided it is opaque. Clear sheeting is not recommended because it does not provide adequate weed control.
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