Common Florida Row Crops
Requirements for Healthy Production of Strawberries, Blueberries, Peppers, & Tomatoes in Florida
One of the advantages of choosing to purchase farms for sale in Florida for row crop farming is there are a number of crops to choose from that can be grown all year-round. Some of the commonly grown crops in Florida are strawberries, blueberries, peppers, and tomatoes. The conditions required for each of these crops is specific to whichever is chosen. Based on your site selection, many of the conditions needed for healthy crop production can be found already existent on the property. Below, we’ve provided a guideline of some of the important conditions needed for healthy production of these crops.
Florida is ideal for strawberry farming because all the conditions needed for healthy strawberry growth exist practically all year-round. Sandy loam or light clay soils like the ones found in Hillsborough county are ideal soils for growing strawberries. These types of soils are great for strawberry farming because of their good soil and surface drainage, which is needed to avoid root rot, a common disease that can ruin crops. Although these soils do not retain a large amount of water, they are still able to hold nutrients that are needed to support healthy growth. Strawberry plants also require a daily minimum of 8 hours of direct sunlight with temperatures ranging between 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Blueberries flourish in sandy, well-drained soils like the soil found in Central Florida. While blueberries prefer a specific type of soil to grow in, what is more important is that the soil be acidic. The soil pH level for strong blueberry production should be anywhere between 4.0 and 4.5. Because this level of acidity is not commonly found in Florida soil, this can be achieved by growing the crops in a mulch bed made up of acidic organic matter such as pine bark. For a healthy production, blueberry bushes also require a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day, and enough irrigation to keep roots moisturized.
Florida’s long, warm seasons are perfect for growing all varieties of peppers. Like strawberries and blueberries, peppers also prefer moisture retentive, well-drained soil. This crop requires at least 8 hours of direct sunlight a day with temperatures reaching no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Maturing peppers are very sensitive to sunlight. Too much exposure can cause the maturing peppers to develop sunscald, which are small translucent or tan colored spots on the skin of the fruit. To protect your crops from sunscald, providing them with shade during peak hours of the day is highly recommended.
This warm-weathered crop is very much like peppers. Tomatoes thrive in mild temperatures, and prefer well-drained, moisture retentive, neutral to slightly acidic loamy soil. For the most suitable soil conditions, pH levels should range between 6.2 and 7.0. Like peppers, the right amount of sun is crucial for healthy and strong tomatoes. The recommended daily requirement for sunlight for this crop is at least 8 hours of direct exposure, with ideal temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The site selection of your property will determine the success or failure of your row crop farming endeavors. Ensure success by enlisting the help of one of our CBC Saunders Real Estate agents to guide you in choosing the right Florida farm for sale.