To grow strawberries in pots or containers is easy! Strawberries are made to grow in pots and containers on your patio or deck. Being shallow-rooted and quite undemanding, these fruiting favorites are an essential summertime snack that doesn’t need a ton of space to grow!
Whether growing strawberries in your garden or in pots, you want to start with healthy crowns or starter plants and most importantly you want to be working with well-known varieties that work best in your climate.
To do this look to see what cultivars are offered at your local garden centers and at your local seed clubs. A great resource if possible is to obtain runners or even crowns from neighbors, family, or friends that have successful strawberry patches.
Use the tips and strategies in this article to grow strawberries in pots or containers and provide you and your family the best-tasting organic fruit that money can’t buy!
3 Steps Guide to Grow Strawberries In Pots Or Containers
Step 1: Prepare the pot/container to grow strawberries
We begin by preparing our pots or containers. Strawberries are shallow-rooted plants that benefit from more area rather than depth or volume. I try to use 5 gallons squat nursery pots wherever possible for my strawberries but for this article I only have the tall ones available.
First up I always line my pot with newspaper to prevent that soil from leaking out the bottom.
Next, I fill that pot to about 75% full with a quality organic potting mix. Just choose a light airy mixture designed for seedlings or young potted plants.
Before we can start planting we gotta wet that soil down thoroughly to prevent root shock from the transplanting.
It is now time to plant.
Step 2: Planting Time
Grab your strawberry plant in one hand and with the other hand cradle the top of the pot, straddling the crown with your index and middle fingers. Strawberry plants rarely get root bound, so it’ll likely pop right out.
Now note the crown of that plant. Strawberry crowns always grow in one direction. Take note of that as we want to plant the crown with the direction pointing out of the pot. We want that foliage and that’s the fruit to hang off the outside of the pots.
For spacing strawberry plants need to be a certain distance from each other. For standard nursery pot sizes, this works out to be about one plant per 1.5 gallons.
The five-gallon pot that I’m working with fits three plants just perfectly and at this spacing, the pot should last about five years before I need to replace the strawberries.
You’re gonna want four inches between each crown for optimal growth. To continue take the organic potting mix and begin to fill in and around all your strawberry plants.
You can really see the benefit of using a nice light mixture as we work the soil in and around the plants. Add a little bit more soil as you go along, you want to bring that level up to just under the height of those strawberry crowns.
Compress that soil around the plants firmly taking care not to damage the Crown. Speaking of that crowns ensure that they do not get buried during the potting process.
Strawberry crowns are designed to sit above ground and if they get buried that plant could rot. So make sure you take a moment in the end, to uncover those crowns at the base of the plants, as this is quite vital.
Step 3: Mulching and Watering tips to grow strawberries
Your temptation would be to now water but don’t. First we must mulch the pot.
You can mulch your strawberry pots with many different things such as grass clippings, yard trimmings, or even shredded leaves. In this case, I’m using a coarse straw. Mulch the pot at least 1 inch thick.
Mulching is necessary for a successful garden as it helps to moderate extreme soil temperatures, prevents moisture loss, and keeps that top layer of your soil bioactive. But its immediate benefit to us right now is that it allows us to water from above without blasting that soil everywhere.
For the first drowning, I usually use about 1.5 liters of water per gallon of soil. This will set up the plants nicely and it shouldn’t need another watering for at least two weeks.
Strawberry plants are very undemanding and setting them up this way ensures less maintenance on our part and guarantees success for that plant.
It’s simply amazing how much fruit a strawberry plant can actually produce. Even more amazing is how much fruit they can produce while being grown in a container or pot.
If you’re running out of planting room of your garden or if you have some space on your deck or patio and you want to grow something look no further than the unbeatable strawberry.
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