Unless you have a physical barrier, you can't "use half of it" for strawberries because by this time next year, they will occupy ALL of it by spreading via runners (baby plants at the end of stalks that set down roots).
That said, typical recommendation is 12" apart so you should be able to plant 24 -- perfect since most strawberry bundles come in bundles of 25.
I'm not sure about correct time to plant in FL but I suspect now is good. Let's see if someone else knows for sure.
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