Using strawberry pots to produce homegrown, succulent strawberries offers many advantages.
These strawberry planters are attractive, portable and functional.
And they’re available in many shapes and sizes.
Sometimes called strawberry jars, they are often made of clay or ceramic pottery, but strawberry pots made of plastic or wood are also available.
They come in many different shapes and sizes with a common theme of having holes, or pockets, around the sides where individual strawberry plants are planted.
Most pots also have sufficient space on the top to accommodate a few more strawberry plants.
Strawberry pots offer many advantages for the home gardener, particularly for those who don’t even have a garden or a yard.
As long as you have a location for your strawberry pot that receives lots of sun, you can grow strawberries. A patio, a deck – even an apartment balcony that’s oriented toward the sun will work great.
Using pots to grow your plants will also save you from the labor of preparing garden soil for strawberries, and will offer some protection against soil-borne insects and fungal diseases.
When selecting strawberry plants for your pots, keep in mind that strawberry crops grown in pots are usually a 1-year deal. So everbearing strawberry varieties are usually selected because they will produce fruit the first year.
It is possible to overwinter strawberry plants in pots, but it might be more trouble than it’s worth. Strawberries grown in containers are more susceptible to freeze damage than plants grown in the ground, so unless you live in a location with very mild winters, you’ll have to take your containers inside frequently to protect them.
Don’t fill your pots with garden soil. Use potting soil instead. You’ll avoid many pest problems that way, and you’ll be sure that you’re not planting weed seeds along with your strawberry plants.
Use a potting soil that has fertilizer already incorporated, or mix in a balanced slow-release fertilizer. Follow the fertilizer label to determine how much to mix in.
If need be, you can also use a water-soluble fertilizer later if your plants need a boost. You’ll just mix the water-soluble fertilizer with your irrigation water.
Before putting potting soil in the pot, make certain that there are drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. If it’s a pot that was made for growing plants, there almost certainly will be drainage holes. But if not, you’ll need to drill some.
When you’re ready to plant your strawberries, moisten your potting mix first. It shouldn’t be waterlogged, but it should be thoroughly dampened.
Add potting mix up to the first level of planting holes (tamp it down some to eliminate settling as much as possible). Set your plants in the holes and carefully pour in enough potting soil to fill the pot up to the next layer of holes. Tamp the soil down, set your plants, and so on until you’ve reached the top of the pot.
Depending upon the size of the container, you can probably plant another 2 or 3 plants on the top surface. Don’t crowd the top, though. Leave as much open space as planted space.
One of the disadvantages to growing strawberries in pots is that they tend to dry out much faster than strawberries in the ground. So you’ll have to water frequently.
And because of the width of most strawberry pots, it can sometimes be difficult to get sufficient water to the outer portions of the pot where most of the strawberry roots will be growing.
One solution to that problem is to drill some holes in a piece of PVC pipe, cap one end of it, and place it in the center of the pot, capped end down, before adding the potting soil. When you water, you’ll pour the water into the PVC tube, and the holes in the pipe will help to distribute the water more evenly.
Another solution is to use a piece of cardboard tubing (such as from a paper towel roll) filled with gravel as a watering conduit instead of a PVC pipe. If you have a drip irrigation set-up, you could also place an emitter at each plant to assure that every plant receives sufficient water.
With any luck, your strawberry pots should be quite productive, producing lots of luscious and lovely strawberries.
Be alert, though. Humans aren’t the only creatures who adore strawberries. The neighborhood birds will be eying your berries as well!