by Pat Freistatter
Why grow strawberries in containers?
- It does not require a lot of space.
- Containers can be close to your kitchen
- Bacterial and fungal diseases and damage from slugs are reduced.
- Containers can be moved around to take advantage of warmth and light from the sun.
Note: Strawberries on plants still need to be protected from Insects and birds
What type of strawberry plant grows best in containers?
- Any type of strawberry plant can be used.
- June bearing strawberry plants provide one large crop.
- Day neutral strawberry plants produce fruit throughout summer, except during hot weather.
- Ever-bearing strawberry plants produce 2-3 harvests each summer from early spring to fall.
What type of container can be used?
- Many types of containers can be used: eg. hanging basket, pot, wooden box (must have several drainage holes in the bottom)
- Strawberry plants have a small and shallow root ball so they can be grown in small containers; as small as 25 cm in diameter and 20 cm deep (Note: small containers must be watered more often)
- Light coloured pots keep the plant roots cooler in the heat of the summer.
What type of soil should be used?
- Use loose, loamy potting soil that will hold water, but allow excess water to drain away.
How do you plant the strawberry plant?
- Fill the container with potting soil to within 2.5 cm of the rim
- Put plant in pot and cover the roots, up to the crown (where the leaves emerge), with the soil and water well. Add more potting mix if needed after the soil settles.
- Strawberry plants can spread out about 60 cm – put only 1– 2 plants in a small container.
When should the plant be watered?
- Water strawberries whenever the soil feels dry to about 2.5 cm below the surface.
- Avoid both soggy and dried out soil.
- Daily watering may be needed in periods of hot, dry weather.
- Keep moisture off the leaves to prevent fungal diseases that will damage the fruit.
How should the plant be fertilized and when?
- Strawberries should be fertilized every 3-4 weeks, as soon as the first flowers appear, with a fertilizer high in phosphorus.
How much sun should the plant receive?
- At least 6-8 hours of sun – rotate container every 3-4 days if possible
Fun things to do with strawberries in containers: Create a Strawberry Waterfall
- Stack a few lightweight pots filled with potting mix, starting from largest to smallest.
- Plant strawberries around the edge.
- Take care of your strawberry fountain following the previous directions for containers.