The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
University of Florida
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
ACREAGE AND VALUE
During the 1960-61 season 8,640,000 pounds of
strawberries from 1,800 acres in Florida was
valued at $2,812,000. Strawberries are grown in
most sections of Florida; major areas are: West
Central Florida (Hillsborough, Hardee and Polk
counties), with 27 percent of the acreage; the
lower east coast, including Dade, Broward, Palm
Beach and Martin County, with 62 percent of the
acreage; and north Florida, primarily Bradford
County, with 11 percent of the acreage.
Commercial acreage declined from 4,000 acres
planted in 1951 to 1,400 acres in 1959. The 1962
planted acreage is estimated at 2,200. This in-
crease is the result of improvement in production
and marketing practices, which will be discussed
Production practices may change rapidly. For
the latest publications and additional information,
contact your county agent. Other publications
1. Extension Circular 193B, Commercial Vege-
table Insect and Disease Control Guide.
2. Experiment Station Bulletin 629, Insects
and Diseases Affecting Strawberries.
3. Extension Circular 225, Commercial Vege-
table Fertilization Guide.
4. U. S. D. A. Farmers Bulletin 2184, Straw-
berry Insects-How to Control Them.
Florida Ninety.-Large, vigorous plant. Heavy
yielder, over a long period, of large, red, pointed
fruit of good shipping quality.
Missionary.-Very old variety only used to
some extent where early harvest is desired, yields
less than Florida 90.
Distances in inches P
Between Per Acre
Beds Between Plants (Thousands)
bed .----.------ 48 to 60 12 by 12 15 to 25
bed --........... 48 to 60 10 by 12 20 to 30
Strawberries are grown on most Florida soils
except the organic soils. Fertilization practices
vary among the different soils and areas. Have
soil test made prior to land preparation and, if
necessary, apply lime to raise pH to 5.5 to 6.5.
If magnesium and pH are low use dolomitic lime-
stone. Apply liming materials at least six weeks
prior to setting and mix in at least six inches
deep. On high pH soils, manganese deficiency may
occur. To correct, spray plants two or more times
at five-day intervals with two pounds of manga-
nese sulfate in 100 gallons of water per acre.
Fertilizer should be applied as follows: Broad-
cast one half of the basic application and disk in
prior to bedding. Apply the other one half in a
single narrow band in the middle of the bed four
to eight inches deep where plastic mulch is to be
used with double-row beds. Do not apply fertilizer
in bands directly under the plants, or on top of
the soil between rows where plastic mulch is used.
Salt burn has occurred in many cases from im-
proper placement of fertilizer. Use rates as recom-
mended in the following table.
Basic Supplemental Applications
Actual lbs./ Actual lbs./Acre of
Acre Each Application Appli-
N-P20-K20 N-P20.-K20 cations
(Irrigated) 108 144 144* 15 0-30** 1 to 2
(Unirrigated) 84 112 112* 15 0-30** 1 to 2
Peat & Muck Strawberries Not Recommended
Marl 80 160 160* 15 0-30** 1 to 2
Rockland 80 160 160* 15 0-30** 1 to 2
*Apply one half and disk in prior to bedding. Apply the other half in
a single narrow band at time of bedding.
**This application only applies with a delay of 2 to 4 weeks after
transplanting before plastic is applied. Band at depth of 2 to 3 inches
and 3 to 4 inches to side of plants.
Anthracnose.-Occurs most often in nursery
beds, causes spotting and girdling of runners and
leaf stems. Most severe with high temperature
and moisture. Spray with three to four pounds of
48-53 percent metallic copper from basic copper
plus spreader sticker or dust with 6 percent cop-
per dust at 20 to 35 pounds per acre and use on
a preventive schedule once a week or more often.
No time limit between last application and har-
Rhizoctonia Bud Rot.-Most prevalent during
cool, humid weather. Favored by fog and heavy
dew. Avoid areas where this disease has been pre-
valent on previous crops particularly where heavy
legume cover crops have been grown. Cut and
allow cover crops to thoroughly dry before turn-
Leaf Spots (common, scorch, blight).-In the
nursery spray with three to four pounds of 48-53
percent metallic copper from basic copper in 100
gallons of water at 75 to 150 gallons per acre
or dust with 6 percent copper dust at 20 to 35
pounds per acre at seven to ten-day intervals.
Use lower rates on small plants.
In fruiting fields, use two pounds of 75 per-
cent zineb in 100 gallons of water, or 20 to 35
pounds of 61/2 percent zineb dust per acre at
seven-day intervals until full bloom, then switch
to three to five pounds of 50 percent captain in
100 gallons of water or 20 to 35 pounds of 6 per-
cent captain dust per acre at seven-day intervals,
throughout fruiting season. The captain treatment
may be used throughout the season. Use the
three-pound rate before bloom and the five-pound
rate following bloom.
Black Root.-This condition occurs on older
plants in the nursery. These plants will produce
new lateral roots and vigorous plants when trans-
planted. Good soil aeration two to three weeks
prior to digging aids in new root initiation.
Sclerotium Rot (Southern blight).-Develops
during hot, wet weather and is most severe in
the nursery during the summer. This fungus
attacks plants at the soil line and invades both the
crown and roots, causing sudden death of plants.
Avoid areas where this disease has been prevalent
on previous crops, particularly where heavy le-
gume cover crops have been grown. Cut and allow
cover crops to thoroughly dry before turning
Fruit Rots.-Use 50 percent captain, as recom-
mended for leaf spots, at seven-day intervals. No
time limitation between last application before
Post-harvest Treatment.-During periods of
high rainfall and temperature when fruit tend to
bruise, rot, and ripen more rapidly, a post harvest
dip with DHA-S (Harven) should be used. Use
one and one-half gallons of 10 percent DHA-S
in 25 gallons of water, and immerse berries or
packed flats for 30 seconds in the solution then
remove and allow to drip dry. Do not rinse. This
treatment will reduce rots to a minimum and also
slow down the ripening of berries.
Several nematodes attack strawberries. Of
these, three are most severe in Florida:
Sting Nematode.-Feeds on roots by sucking
juices from feeder roots, killing them. Grasses,
particularly crabgrass and corn, are hosts and
rapidly multiply this nematode. Sesbania is also
a host for sting and root knot nematodes.
Root Knot Nematode.-Injury from this nema-
tode is usually most obvious in hot, dry weather;
however, some damage during the winter has oc-
curred where strawberries follow crucifers (tur-
nips, mustard, cabbage, etc.). Root knot causes
galls on roots, which interfere with absorption of
water and nutrients.
Bud Nematode.-It inhabits air spaces in leaf
buds and punctures young tissue and sucks out
juices. It injects a toxin which causes leaves to
become crimped, crinkled, or "frenched".
1. Begin with nematode free plants. All these
nematodes may be brought in on plants.
2. Properly prepare land by plowing and fitting
so that all debris is broken down.
3. Fumigation may be used effectively, either
in row or broadcast. Broadcast is best for nursery
fields, and row application is satisfactory for pro-
duction fields. Apply fumigants at depth of 6
Type of Bed Material Amount per Acre
Broadcast or (DD, Telone, Vidden D) 20-40 gal.
Four Row EDB 85% 5- 9 gal.
(Four bands 12" Vorlex 25- 30 gal.
apart) DBCP 50% by volume
(Nemagon, Fumazone) 4 8 gal.
One Row (36") DD, Telone, Vidden D) 8-15 gal.
(One band) EDB 85% 2- 5 gal.
DBCP 50% by volume
(Nemagon, Fumazone) 2 3 gal.
Vorlex 10 gal.
Two Row DD, Telone, Vidden D 10-20 gal.
(48"- 54") Vorlex 12 15 gal.
(Two bands 12" EDB 85% 2%-4%Y gal.
apart) DBCP 50% by volume
(Nemagon, Fumazone) 2 4 gal.
Apply fumigants only when soil moisture is
optimum for transplanting. Wet or cold soils re-
duce the distribution of fumigants and slow the
escape which may cause injury to plants. In dry
soils, fumigant escapes too rapidly and does not
penetrate dry dormant nematodes. Soil surface
must be sealed immediately after application of
fumigant by dragging, rolling, bed pressing, or
light overhead irrigation. When cool or wet
weather, follows fumigation soil may have to be
aerated to allow fumigant to escape. A waiting
period of at least two weeks before planting is
necessary with all the fumigants except DBCP
(Nemagon, Fumazone). Where the same land will
be used and fumigated year after year use the
lower rate listed in the table to reduce soil resi-
dues and to prevent reduction of beneficial soil
Spray- Min. Days
Pest amt./100 gal. Dust to Harvest
Pameras DDT 50%WP, DDT 5% 5
2 Ibs. Malathion 5% 3
Malathion 25% Parathion 1-2% 3
WP, 4 lbs.
WP, 1-11/2 lbs.
Flower Thrips Parathion 15% Parathion 1-2% 3
WP, 1-11/ lbs. Malathion 5% 3
WP, 4 lbs.
Field Cricket DDT 50% WP, DDT 5% 5
Flea Beetles 2 lbs. Parathion 2% 3
Leaf Rollers Parathion 15%
WP, 1-11/2 lbs.
Spider Mites* Kelthane 181/% Kelthane 2% 2
(red spider, WP, 112-2 lbs. Malathion 5% 3
green Malathion 25% Parathion 2% 3
2-spotted WP, 4 lbs.
mite) Parathion 15%
WP, 2 lbs.
Wireworm, Preplant treatment. Apply Aldrin at 4
Cutworms, pounds or chlordane at 5 pounds active
Mole-Crickets, ingredient per acre. Apply evenly to
White grubs, soil surface and disk in. Where wire-
Citrus root weevil worms are not controlled by Aldrin or
Ants. chlordane, use parathion at 2 pounds
or diazinon at 1 to 2 pounds active in-
gredient per acre and apply as above.
A 21/2% toxaphene, or 2% Aldrin or
chlordane bait can be used for cut-
worms and mole-crickets.
Slugs & Snails Apply bait containing 2 to 3% metal-
dehyde and 5% Calcium arsenate along
furrows between beds at 10 to 20
pounds per acre.
*If these materials do not control spider mites satisfactorily, Ethion
25% wettable powder at 2 pounds per 100 gallons of water is suggested.
Wait at least two days before picking.
Black polyethylene plastic mulch for straw-
berry fruit production has proven to be superior
to all other methods of mulching. Advantages are:
More vigorous plant growth; higher yield of
fruit; earlier ripening of fruit; elimination of
most hoeing and cultivation except in the middles;
more constant moisture in the bed; prevention of
leaching of fertilizer; prevention of washing
down of beds; and cleaner fruit with less crack-
ing during wet weather.
runners from this planting are set in a new run-
ner bed in May to July. Transplants for berry
production are taken from this planting.
2. Selected mother plants or runners are moved
from the berry field in March or April to produce
plants as described above.
3. Production fields are cleaned up in May or
June and allowed to produce runners. For economy
of labor and cost of plants, method three has been
quite successful if recommendations listed below
a) Use nematode free soil.
b) Keep production field clean throughout
c) Remove plastic mulch in late May or early
d) Bar off and remove one row of plants.
e) Re-bed and center remaining row of plants.
f) Broadcast 500 to 600 pounds 6-8-8 per acre
at time of re-bedding.
g) Keep weeds controlled.
Proper use of plastic mulch will reduce need
for chemical weed control to a minimum in fruit-
ing fields. However, some weed control is still
necessary in the middle and around plants where
they come through slits in plastic. The greatest
need is in plant production nurseries. The follow-
ing chemical may be used without injury to straw-
Dacthal 12 lbs. actual per acre pre-emergence to weeds
CAUTION: Herbicides should be applied with
proper equipment that has been
calibrated precisely. Only use her-
bicides on a limited area to gain
experience with them before treat-
ing all of your acreage, and be sure
they have label clearance for use
on the crop before using.
Disadvantages are: Special equipment needed
to apply; beds must be precisely formed; more
salt and fertilizer burn if weather is dry, and fer-
tilizer is not placed properly; and used plastic is
difficult to remove from field following use.
Use 1 to 11/2 mil plastic in a width that will com-
pletely cover top and sides of bed. The width must
be determined by height of bed, width across top
and slope of sides. It is best to have plastic slight-
ly wider than necessary for ease of application
and to prevent the plastic from blowing loose.
Apply plastic at time of planting either before
setting, if transplanting by hand, or immediate-
ly following setting if transplanting by machine.
Be sure bed is formed properly and is firm and
very moist. A bed press of proper design to make
a bed with a slight crown in the top of the bed
with a gentle slope on the side is desirable in
sandy soils. Bed height is dependent on soil type,
kind of irrigation used, and drainage.
CAUTION: Slit plastic and pull plants through
immediately after laying to pre-
vent heat burn of plants.
HARVESTING AND HANDLING
Harvest berries every two to three days or
more often, during the early morning to avoid
over-ripe fruit. They must be handled carefully
in picking, grading, packing, and shipping. Grad-
ing and packing are usually done either in the field
as the picker harvests directly into the 12-pint
paperboard tray or the berries are picked in
quart cups and graded at the packing shed into
the 12-pint tray. To successfully pack as berries
are picked, fruit quality must be good and pickers
must be experienced and closely supervised. Ber-
ries should be pre-cooled to at least 40 F. immed-
iately after packing and maintained at 40 F. or
slightly below until consumed.
PROPAGATING RUNNER PLANTS
Several methods used are:
1. Plants are secured from northern nurseries
and set during January or February in Central
Florida or March or April in North Florida; then