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New varieties of strawberries are bred by breeders every year. Dutch companies have long been the leading suppliers of promising varieties that invariably attract the attention of gardeners. The Florentina strawberry is one of the interesting varieties created in the Netherlands. The taste and appearance of the berries are definitely beyond praise. But this variety also has significant drawbacks.
Florentina is a strawberry variety bred in the Netherlands by breeders of Goossens Flevoplants's. It became part of the Flevo Berry program, the goal of which is to obtain varieties of remontant strawberries that can become analogues and "competitors" of the well-known Russian gardeners Elsanta.
The variety, characterized by its creators as a "remontant for all occasions", was bred in 2011. All the procedures necessary for certification in Russia were completed in 2018. Florentina strawberries are not included in the national State Register of Breeding Achievements.
Description and characteristics of the Florentina strawberry variety
Before planting Florentina strawberries, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons. It has indisputable advantages, but at the same time it is not devoid of serious shortcomings.
The appearance and taste of berries
Ripe Florentina strawberries are quite dark, red-burgundy in color. The berry is rough to the touch due to "convex" seeds. The skin is glossy, thin, but dense. Strawberries are not wrinkled when picked. After the berry is picked, it dries up a little more, which ensures good transportability.
The average weight of berries in the first "wave" of the harvest is about 30 g. In the second, it increases to 40-50 g. By the beginning of autumn, the berries become smaller again, becoming different-sized (15-30 g).
The shape does not change throughout the season - the berries resemble a "swollen" cone, large specimens can be slightly corrugated
The flesh of the Florentina strawberry is bright red, very firm, not particularly juicy. The berries are extremely sweet, with a subtle refreshing sourness and characteristic aroma, a cross between wild strawberries and pineapple. This balanced taste was rated 4.5 out of five by professional tasters.
Flowering period, ripening period and yield
Florentina strawberries belong to the category of early remontant varieties. Its flowering in a temperate climate begins in the last decade of May. Further, the generative buds are laid at intervals of 5-6 weeks, and this process is not affected by temperature fluctuations and the duration of daylight hours. It takes about 15 days for the berries to ripen.
The first crop is harvested in mid-June. Further, Florentina strawberries bear fruit until the end of September. And in conditions in the south of Russia - generally before the first frost.
There are practically no barren flowers on the plants. Therefore, in ideal conditions, according to breeders, an adult Florentina strawberry bush yields 4-5 kg of berries per season. But for amateur gardeners, these are absolutely fantastic figures. Rather, you can count on 1.5-2.5 kg.
Florentina strawberries are classified as neutral daylight. This means that, given the right conditions, the plants are able to bear fruit throughout the year.
Important! The variety can be cultivated at home or in greenhouses.
Florentina strawberries are well suited for industrial cultivation
Florentina strawberries thrive in the 2-30 ºC range. But cold hardiness within - 10 ºС does not allow her to winter on the territory of Russia without careful shelter. Even in the southern subtropical regions, it is recommended to play it safe and protect the plantings from frost.
Disease and pest resistance
The variety cannot boast of at least average immunity. Florentina strawberries are extremely susceptible to fungal diseases, especially various types of spots and rot. Even regular preventive treatments with special drugs do not always help to avoid infection, especially if cool rainy weather favorable to the development of diseases is established for a long time.
Also Florentina enjoys a special "love" from garden pests. If there are several varieties of strawberries in the garden, it is its bushes that are attacked first.
For some unknown reason, the larvae of May beetles have a strong weakness for Florentina.
Pros and cons of the variety
The significant disadvantages of the Florentina strawberry in the eyes of many gardeners "outweigh" its undoubted advantages.
A powerful root system, thanks to which the seedlings quickly adapt to a new place, actively start growing
Propensity to be affected by diseases and pests
Slight foliage for easy harvesting
Susceptibility of berries and root system to rotting in rainy weather
High yields in optimal conditions
Insufficiently high frost resistance for Russia
Possibility of growing berries all year round
Relatively small number of whiskers formed
Keeping quality (up to 5-7 days) and transportability of strawberries
Demanding the quality of the substrate
Attractive appearance and excellent taste of fruits, not lost during heat treatment and freezing
The need to carefully follow the recommendations regarding agricultural technology
The versatility of berries
Important! Florentina strawberries react to any mistakes of the gardener in their care, significant deviations of cultivation conditions from optimal ones, with a decrease in yield, a deterioration in taste and a decrease in fruit size.
Planting and caring for Florentina strawberries
For disembarkation, a flat, open place, well warmed by the sun, is suitable. But during the period of its maximum activity, strawberries should be covered with a light partial shade. Protection from the north is also required. Florentina does not tolerate cold drafts, sharp gusts of wind.
The soil needs nutritious, but relatively light, breathable and permeable. Stagnation of moisture at the roots provokes the development of rot. Loam or sandy loam is best suited. Acid-base balance - neutral, 5.5-6.0.
Important! The root system of Florentina is powerful, therefore, holes about 20 cm deep are dug for planting. 45-50 cm are left between neighboring seedlings, 50-60 cm between rows.
This variety forms a mustache reluctantly, strawberries multiply mainly by dividing the bush. You need to choose an adult (2-3 years old), completely healthy plant, dig it out of the soil, carefully untangle the roots and divide it into parts so that at least one generative bud remains on each.
When dividing a bush, it is important not to damage the "solid" roots
Florentina's susceptibility to fungal diseases requires regular preventive treatments. The first is carried out even before planting, for 15-20 minutes by pickling the roots of the seedlings in a solution of any fungicide. Further, the treatment with copper-containing preparations is repeated at intervals of 1.5-2 weeks. Since strawberries are distinguished by the duration of fruiting, it is necessary to choose means of biological origin so that the berries and the health of those who eat them do not suffer.
To scare away insects, the garden bed with Florentina is surrounded by plantings of garlic, herbs, marigolds, and other plants with a pronounced aroma. Bushes are regularly inspected for pests. Noticing the characteristic symptoms, apply a suitable insecticide.
Important! A very useful agronomic procedure is mulching. Mulch prevents the growth of weeds, the access of pests and pathogens to the plants, the "sintering" of the soil into a hard crust and rapid evaporation of moisture from it.
Florentina is fed with store-bought fertilizers designed specifically for strawberries. Only they, with such a high yield, are able to provide plants with the necessary amount of nutrients.
Four dressings are carried out per season:
- at the very beginning of the active growing season;
- when the first buds appear;
- after the first "wave" of the harvest;
- in the second decade of September.
Strawberry Florentina does not like both overdrying and waterlogging of the soil. Therefore, the frequency of watering varies depending on the weather. On average, once every 4-5 days is enough, the norm for an adult plant is about 3 liters. In the heat, the intervals are reduced to 2-3 days. Any method in which drops of water do not fall on leaves, buds and berries.
Florentina strawberries are ideal for drip irrigation
In preparation for winter, the Florentina strawberry garden is cleaned of plant and other debris. Peat or humus is poured onto the roots of each bush, making "mounds" about 15 cm high. The whole bed is covered with spruce branches, dry grass, and fallen leaves. Low arcs are installed on top, any covering material is pulled on them in 2-3 layers. In winter, as soon as enough snow falls out, they throw the bed on top.
Important! The shelter is removed as soon as the above-zero temperature is established. Otherwise, the root collar can support.
Strawberry Florentina is a variety that is extremely demanding in terms of agricultural technology, cultivation conditions, it is susceptible to diseases. Therefore, it can be recommended exclusively to those gardeners who are ready to devote a lot of time and effort to caring for plants. This variety brings stable and abundant yields only in optimal or close to them conditions. Berries are the main advantage of the Florentina strawberry.
Reviews of strawberry Florentina
Dmitry Sergienko, Perm
The neighbors treated them to Florentina strawberries. I really liked the taste of the berries. But I will not plant at myself - there is simply no time for such careful care, which, based on their experience, is required for this variety.
Maria Pashkevich, Nizhny Novgorod
Strawberry Florentina did not take root for me - after the first bushes degenerated, I did not resume planting. The berries are very tasty both fresh and prepared, but the variety is extremely capricious. This also applies to the quality of the soil, and agricultural technology, and protection from diseases, pests, and shelter for the winter.