Florence is an extraordinarily tasty strawberry from the UK
Juicy and fragrant strawberries are a welcome guest of any garden. Unfortunately, the fruiting of most varieties does not last long: by the middle of summer, the ripening of the berries ends. But the pleasure can be extended with later varieties. These include, for example, the Florence strawberry bred in the UK. She will pamper your family with delicious fresh berries in July.
Strawberry cultivation history Florence
The Florence strawberry is the result of the work of English breeders at the East Malling Institute experimental station. The history of its breeding includes the crossing of the known species Providence, Gorella, Tioga. The immediate predecessors of Florence are the Dutch Wima-Tarda and Vicoda. A new variety was registered in 1997.
In the original, the strawberry is called Florence, this word is translated into Russian as both Florence and Florence. Therefore, sometimes gardeners mistakenly believe that there are two different varieties with similar names.
Currently, the variety is grown in European countries, on the territory of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus. In principle, this strawberry can be planted indefinitely, since it can be cultivated both in the open field and in greenhouse conditions. You just need to keep in mind that this berry does not tolerate a hot climate.
Description and characteristics of the variety
Florence strawberries are classified as late ripening varieties. However, some Russian gardeners consider it a medium-term strawberry, since there are varieties that ripen even later. Fruiting begins in early July.
Florence strawberries are distinguished by large and beautiful berries
Florence bushes are large and powerful, forming an average number of whiskers. Wide leaves of a dark green color are collected in a rosette. Peduncles are long, but thick, raised above the leaves. Large berries of regular conical or round shape are painted in intense red color. The pulp is relatively firm, very juicy, with a characteristic strawberry aroma. The taste is sweet, but with a pronounced sourness.
The Florence variety is characterized by the following quality indicators:
- high yield - from one bush you can get 0.4-0.5 kg, and sometimes up to 1 kg of berries;
- large berries (average weight 30–35 g, maximum up to 60 g);
- good transportability and long shelf life (5–6 days in a refrigerator without quality loss);
- resistance to unfavorable climatic conditions: even in very humid weather, the sweetness of the berries remains unchanged;
- low susceptibility to diseases of the root system and powdery mildew;
- undemanding to the composition of the soil (it can grow on almost any type of soil);
- long (4–5 years) fruiting cycle.
The variety, of course, is not without its drawbacks:
- tendency to rot and brown spot disease in too humid weather (but on average not more than other varieties);
- exactingness to watering (otherwise there is a decrease in the size and deterioration of the taste of berries);
- lower yields in hot weather - given that Florence ovaries and ripens later than other varieties, this strawberry is more likely to suffer from heat.
Video: the strawberry harvest is ripe Florence
Features of planting and care
Getting large yields depends entirely on the correct planting and care.
The best time for planting strawberry seedlings is the first half of September, although the timing may vary in different regions of Russia. The colder the climate, the sooner the disembarkation needs to be completed. The main thing is to have time to do this a month before the onset of frost. The bushes will have time to take root well and will immediately begin to bloom in the spring. It is also possible to plant in the spring, but then you cannot count on the harvest in the first year. In addition, young seedlings should be covered in case of night frosts. For both spring and autumn planting, it must be remembered that the best rooting of seedlings occurs at a soil temperature of +15 ° C (air temperature + 15 ... + 20 ° C). The soil must be sufficiently moist.
Strawberry seedlings will tolerate planting more easily if they are planted on a cloudy or rainy day.
You need to choose a place for strawberries that is sunny, at least half-shaded. With a lack of light, the berries will be sour. Strawberries develop most successfully on semi-sandy soils and loams. Clay soil is also suitable if large amounts of organic matter are added. Strawberry beds should not be placed in areas with stagnant moisture - this can lead to rotting of the fruit.
Strawberry seedlings must be healthy, with a dry root system.
It is advisable to purchase seedlings with a closed root system. If you take plants with open roots, pay special attention to their condition: seedlings with dried roots will not take root.
Soil preparation should be done 25-30 days before planting strawberries. All weeds are removed from the site, 2-3 buckets of humus or rotted manure are brought in for each square meter and dug up. In acidic soils, it is required to add chalk or dolomite flour. If you plan to land on the beds, they are formed 3-5 days before planting, so that the earth has time to settle.
Planting strawberries consists of the following steps:
- Prepare the holes of such a size that the root system of the plants is located freely (diameter 10–12 cm). Due to the large size of the Florence strawberry bush, the distance between the holes should be at least 40 cm.
- Pour a little (200-300 ml) warm water into each well.
- Place seedlings with straightened roots in the holes, sprinkle with soil and compact with your hands. The growth point (also called the heart) should be at ground level.
When planting strawberries, you need to remember that the heart should be at ground level
- Water the plantings and mulch the soil around the plants with humus or sawdust.
If you have to plant in hot weather, remove the lower leaves, and after planting, cover the plants with non-woven fabric for a week. It is advisable to periodically spray it with water on top.
Video: planting strawberries correctly
Florence strawberries need regular and fairly abundant watering, otherwise the berries become smaller and lose their taste. Moistening the beds in the summer should be about once every two weeks (in hot weather - once a week). It is useful to sprinkle strawberries before flowering, this accelerates the growth of foliage. In October, the last watering is carried out for moisture charging.
As long as there are no flowers and berries on the strawberries, it is good to water it with sprinkling.
When watering Florence strawberries, it is important to observe the golden mean: with a lack of moisture, the quality of the berries deteriorates, and with an excess, the roots can rot.
Any variety of strawberries responds well to feeding, but Florence is especially demanding of them. Without the proper amount of fertilizer, the berries become sour.
- From the second year after planting in early spring, 3-4 kg / m are applied to the soil2 compost or humus, as well as compounds of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (1 tablespoon of nitroammophoska and a glass of wood ash per bucket of water). This promotes plant formation and ovary formation.
- The second top dressing is done after collecting the main part of the crop (at the end of July). You can add a solution of chicken manure (0.6 kg per 10 liters of water) or a solution of two tablespoons of nitrophosphate and a teaspoon of potassium sulfate in a bucket of water (0.4–0.5 liters for each bush).
- In the fall, give the last top dressing from humus or rotted manure or mullein solution (1:10) with the addition of a glass of ash to provide plant nutrition for the winter.
One of the best feed for strawberries is a solution of bird droppings.
The first spring maintenance job for strawberry beds is picking up debris and old mulch with a fan rake. Then weeds are weeded and the soil is loosened between the rows.
Subsequent weeding with loosening should be done regularly after each watering. The working depth in the row spacing is 10–12 cm, and near the bushes itself it is 2–3 cm.
The soil around the bushes should be loosened regularly, especially after watering.
In the spring, the plants are examined, the hearts are freed from soil and debris, and the bare areas of the root system are sprinkled. Remove all dead bushes and replace them with new ones. To protect the berries from touching the ground and rotting, they cover the ground under the bushes with straw, pine needles or a special non-woven covering material.
Traditional straw mulching protects the berries from contact with the soil
To increase yields during the summer season, you need to periodically cut the mustache. You need to remove them before they grow too much. Whiskers and rosettes are not cut off from mother plants. After harvesting, you need to inspect the beds and remove all dried leaves.
For the winter, Florence needs shelter, since its frost resistance is not too high. If in winter the temperature in the region drops below -8 ° C, in the fall you need to prepare the strawberries for the cold weather. To do this, at the end of August, the beds are weeded and old leaves are removed, in September the plants are cut and fed. When the first frosts begin, you can cover the plantings. Use agrofibre or lay a thick layer of straw over the plants.
Pest and disease control
Florence strawberries are resistant to a number of common diseases (powdery mildew, root rot), but can be affected by gray mold and mottling. Preventive treatments can be started immediately after the snow melts.
For the prevention of diseases, it is recommended to add Fitosporin solution (4 l / m2) to the irrigation water.
Table: diseases, prevention and treatment methods
Photo gallery: strawberry diseases
It is undesirable to treat strawberries with copper preparations more than 3 times per season, this increases the copper content in the soil. As a result, the leaves become covered with brown spots and die off.
Florence's sweet strawberries attract a variety of insects. Against sucking and gnawing pests, you can use Karbofos or a decoction of tomato tops (boil 2 kg of tops per 3 liters of water for an hour, add 5 liters of water after cooling).
Slugs can cause significant damage to crops by eating berries and leaves
Especially a lot of trouble is caused by slugs, which spoil both berries and leaves. The fight against them is as follows:
- On the site, you need to lay out moistened pieces of boards or rags, under which slugs are taken during the day. Then they need to be collected and destroyed.
- In the evening, when slugs go out to the beds, they are pollinated with ash, trying to get on the bodies of pests.
- To prevent slugs from reaching the berries, you can mulch the soil under the bushes with spruce needles, lemon balm, and tansy.
- Treat the plantings with granular metal hydride, powdered diatomaceous earth or iron sulfate.
Harvesting and storage rules
Harvesting is carried out 8-10 times as it ripens, usually after two to three days. The berries should be picked in the morning when the dew has melted. It is not recommended to collect in rain or extreme heat. You must pick the strawberries carefully, together with the stalk, and put them in shallow boxes.
Strawberries make extraordinarily tasty liqueurs
Florence strawberries have a significantly longer shelf life (5-6 days) than other varieties (usually 2-3 days). If you have not had time to consume it fresh, you can make jam, preserves, compote or liqueur. Florence berries tolerate freezing very well - after thawing, their taste practically does not change.
Video: Harvesting Florence Strawberries
Florence strawberries will require regular care from the owner - weeding, feeding, watering. But the labor expended will pay off with a bountiful harvest of unusually tasty and aromatic berries.
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Strawberry Florence: a description of a late-ripening variety, gardeners' reviews of growing with photos and videos
- Description of the variety
- a brief description of
- Advantages of the variety
- Disadvantages of the variety
- Growing and care
- Loosening, weed control
- Mustache removal
- Top dressing
- Pest and disease control
- Preparing for winter
- Diseases and pests
- Gardeners reviews