Growing strawberries in pots

Here is an awesome video on how to turn a Laundry basket into a Strawberry Planter.

Laundry has never been so lovely. Trailing greenery and blossoming buds are not the things that you’d expect to see protruding from a basket for dirty clothes. Even so, this instructional video from the “Garden Answer” proves that an inexpensive laundry basket from a local discount store can serve as an attractive strawberry planter. The colorful topper consists of monardas, gold dust, and other stunning plants; it helps to create a decorative yet functional addition to your back yard. Evidently, strawberry season begins when you get your inventive juices flowing!

The first step is to cut a small hole in the bottom of the laundry basket for proper drainage. The basket itself can be any color, and the lining is just a simple burlap sack. You can find a sack at a local nursery or craft store. After the burlap has been placed inside the basket like a garbage bag with flaps hanging over the top, you can pour soil into the container. You should then cut off the burlap flaps so that the sack is even with the top of the basket.

Since the strawberry plants must fit into the openings on the side of the basket, you have to cut through the burlap that is situated behind the holes and allow the roots to reach the soil. Don’t use all the holes; space the plants so that they have plenty of room to grow. If the plants that you pick to go on top are designed to hang over the side, then don’t put strawberry plants in the very top rows of holes. Your finished project will need to be placed in the direct sunlight so that the strawberry plants will flourish. Be sure to choose plants that can handle the rays.

This beautiful strawberry planter will brighten your garden while requiring very little of your time and money. It is easy to maintain and will stay pretty as long as you keep the plants neatly trimmed. Let a basic household commodity along with a few small shrubs transform your yard into an alluring terrace! Great Project Garden Answer!

Plants used in this Project

Strawberries

Monardas

Gold Dust

Petunias

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When most people think of container gardening, flowers are the first things that come to mind. Container gardening is becoming increasingly popular as an easy and inexpensive way to brighten up your space. In addition to flowers, this year try something different: strawberries in containers.

Strawberries are one of the easiest plants to grow in containers. With strawberries, you get a plant with pretty foliage, flowers, and yummy fruit to snack on!

Different Types of Strawberries

There are three main categories of strawberries: June-bearing, Everbearing, and Day-neutral.

June-bearing strawberries produce a large, concentrated crop once a year during late spring or early summer (usually in June). They send out a lot of runners that can quickly become a tangle of vines. This category is better suited for a garden bed.

Everbearing strawberries’ fruiting season stretches from early spring until fall. They send out fewer runners and will not produce as much as the June-bearing types. Although it will produce fewer berries, it’s enough for snacking and tastes better than any store-bought berries. This category does well in containers.

Day-neutral is a newer variety of everbearing strawberries. They produce more consistently throughout the growing season. Day-neutral strawberries prefer cooler temperatures and will not bear fruit in hot weather. If you live in an area with hot summers, skip this category.

When shopping for strawberries, the varieties will not always specify which category the strawberries will fall under. Ask the garden center associate to aid you in the category identification.

Type of Pots

When selecting a container for strawberries, pick a pot that will be large enough: at least 8-12 inches wide. Strawberries have a spreading growing habit and shallow roots. A wide, shallow container is a good choice. Most importantly, the container must have good drainage. Also, select a pot that is light colored; this will help keep the plant’s roots cool in the summer.

How to Plant Strawberries in Containers

Strawberries prefer a loose, loamy soil with a pH between 5.3 and 6.5 (acidic). Select an area that receives 6-8 hours of sun per day. You can plant strawberries in the early spring or in the fall (if you live in a warm area). They need to be spaced at least 2 ft apart, so only plant 1 or 2 plants per container. Fill the container with a potting mix and make a small mound in the middle. Spread the roots out over the mound. Cover the roots and up to the crown with additional mix and water well.

Caring for Strawberries in Containers

Containers require frequent waterings, but only water when the soil is dry to the touch. You may have to water daily during hot weather; containers dry out faster than soil in the ground. Feed your strawberries every 3-4 weeks with a liquid fertilizer.

You can overwinter strawberries. They will produce better the following year if they are allowed to go dormant during the winter. If you live in an area that gets extremely cold, move your strawberry containers into an unheated garage or basement in the winter. Water the container only when the soil becomes dry. In milder winter climates, mulch up around the container and leave it until spring.

Strawberries are short-lived perennials. Even with the most dedicated care, you will have to replace the plants about every 3 years. No worries, enjoy them for a season. If you are able to get them to grow again for an additional summer, it will be well worth the effort.

Berrylicious Living Strawberry Wreath

Growing Strawberries in Hanging Containers / Grow Bags

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How to grow them…and eat them! (Can you tell how much we love strawberries?)

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Strawberries are one of the first natural tasty treats of summer. There’s nothing quite like a plump and juicy strawberry, whether you eat them plain, bake a pie, add them to shortcake or turn them into jelly.

Unfortunately, grocery store prices can be a bit high, so why not grow your own?

Strawberries can easily be grown in garden rows or beds, but the best news is that they are also great for container gardening. They can even be grown indoors as long as they get six or more hours of sunlight a day. However, full sun is best in order to harvest bountiful crop.

Although there are many varieties of strawberries, there are three types – ever bearing, June bearing and day neutral. Ever bearing produce two crops a summer, one on the spring and one in later summer or fall. June bearing produces a large crop once a year, usually in June. Day neutral can produce fruit continuously throughout the June to September growing season.

Hanging Pots for Strawberries

It is important to choose the right pot when planting strawberries in containers. Fortunately, there are several good options. Some growers use hanging grow bags made from plastic. These bags usually come in green and have holes cut them. The holes provide the “pocket” for the strawberry plants.

Hanging baskets work well for growing strawberries. Another good container option is the strawberry jar, also known as a strawberry pot. These are usually made from terra cotta, but plastic versions do exist.

Using Strawberry Pots

Strawberry pots resemble an urn that has holes up and down its sides. They are designed to hold a few (one to four) plants at the top. Ideally, the side pockets provide a place for the strawberry runners to root, but if you don’t want for the main plants to develop runners, you can start out by planting a strawberry plant in every hole.

Planting Strawberry Pots

Strawberry plants do best with good soil drainage. You can add organic matter such as compost to help improve drainage and add nutrients.

When planting, make sure the soil is free of weeds that can easily overtake strawberry plants. Try to incorporate at least three percent organic matter such as compost, manure or peat. The ideal pH for the soil is between six and seven.

Although strawberries will grow in several types of soil, a sandy loam is best. A trip to your local garden and hardware store should yield both the strawberry jar and the correct mix of potting soil.

When planting a terra cotta strawberry jar, it is a good idea to soak the jar in water for an hour or more before starting. This keeps the clay of the pot from robbing the strawberry plants of water.

Are you interested in learning more about growing strawberries?

Check out these helpful resources:
Growing Strawberries
Strawberry Pots
Mother Earth News has tips on the best varieties of strawberries to grow in your area.

strawberries

Strawberries are always a popular plant for the home garden because they are delicious and easy to grow in our Pacific Northwest climate. Plus, they can be grown easily in small spaces and in containers. This information sheet provides you with basic advice on planting, care and pruning.

Choosing YOUR Plants

Choose your varieties according to harvest time, location, and use. Within each class of strawberries below there are multiple varieties with varying sizes and flavors. For more detailed information on any specific variety, please refer to individual plant signs or consult one of our nursery professionals.

There are 3 classes of Strawberries:
• JUNE-BEARING (summerbearing) varieties produce one large crop in June.
• DAY-NEUTRAL varieties fruit continuously throughout the summer and into fall.
• EVERBEARING (two-cropping) varieties produce one crop in June and another in early fall.

Where will you be planting your strawberries?

DAY-NEUTRAL and EVERBEARING strawberries produce few runners, making them ideal if you would like your plants to remain somewhat neatly in their areas. They are great for borders, garden beds, and hanging planters. If you have a large space or would like your strawberries to spread more rapidly, choose JUNE-BEARING types.

Note: Strawberries are self-fertile so only one variety is necessary for successful yields.

Soil & PLANT Preparation

Choose a location with well-drained soil that receives full sun. Prepare the site by incorporating new organic matter using a planting amendment such as compost or soil-building conditioner. The goal is to have soil that is composed of about 25% new organic matter and 75% existing soil. You can add an all-purpose or small-fruit fertilizer at planting time, following the directions on the package.

When planting in containers, always choose a high-quality potting soil. Containers filled with garden soil will not drain well and the soil will be too heavy for your strawberry plants’ liking.

Prepare strawberry plants by removing them from pots and gently massaging the roots to separate them slightly, then plant.

NOTE: Bare-root plants should be soaked in water for about an hour before planting them so the crown remains just above the soil (crowns planted below the soil are subject to fungal disease).

Planting IN THE GARDEN

There are two highly successful planting systems to choose from.
• The Hill System
• The Matted Row System

The HILL SYSTEM generally is the best system for DAY-NEUTRAL and EVERBEARING strawberries because they produce relatively few runners. After preparing the soil, make mounded rows about 6-9 inches tall and 1-2 feet apart. Plant the strawberry starts 12-15 inches apart in the top of the mounded rows. Maintenance consists of simply removing all the runners that grow between the rows before they root. The idea is that by removing the “baby” plants (runners) the mother plant can focus on making bigger and better fruit.

The MATTED ROW SYSTEM is generally best for JUNE-BEARING strawberries because they produce ample runners. Plant the strawberry starts 1 foot apart in rows 3-4 feet apart. Then allow many of the runners to spread and fill in the rows. Don’t let the runners grow in too densely. The plants need as much sun and air in contact with the foliage as possible. Pruning out excess runners and foliage will likely be necessary.

planting in containers

Strawberry plants do very well in all types of containers: plastic, wood, ceramic, or terra cotta. Whichever container you choose, be sure it has drainage holes. Strawberries do not like wet feet.

Simply fill the container with high-quality potting soil and an all-purpose or small-fruit fertilizer, following package directions. Plant one strawberry plant for every 10-12 inches of pot diameter. Strawberries have a spreading habit and shallow roots, so an extremely deep container is not necessary, but choose containers at least 6-8 inches tall. If you prefer a fuller look in your container right away, plant more densely but divide the plants after one year so they don’t become overcrowded and underperform.

Strawberry care

WATER deeply and thoroughly on a regular schedule throughout the dry summer months. Drip watering or a soaker hose is preferable to overhead watering and helps avoid fruit molding and other diseases. For containers, water when the surface of the soil begins to dry out. Strawberries definitely don’t like sitting in wet, soggy soil but don’t want to dry out either!

FERTILIZE when planting and then annually in April with an all-purpose or small-fruit fertilizer, following the directions on the package.

REPLANT with new strawberry plants after 4-5 years because by then your plants will likely have diminished yields. It’s best to wait for a few years before planting in the same location due to pests and diseases that can build up in the soil. For CONTAINERS, wash the container with a diluted bleach solution and use new soil when replanting to avoid pests and diseases.

And now for the best part! Enjoy your delicious, homegrown strawberries. Once you’ve grown your own it will be hard to go back to store-bought strawberries ever again!

Have questions or are interested in learning more about the varieties we carry? Ask us on social media using #heyswansons.

More than a year ago, I decided I want to plant strawberries. Buying them was not a problem, there are a lot of strawberry plants available in garden stores or even groceries and supermarkets in our area specially on the start of spring. So I got a tray with six plants. We didn’t also have a garden lot in our old apartment so I planted them in 2 pots, 3 plants each. They are June-bearing variety so they produced only from summer to fall. Being a newbie to strawberry planting, I was a bit disappointed as they bore not so many fruits but gave out a lot of runners the first time! I thought they would die out during the cold winter so I just left them on their pots on their location. I was surprised though to see the next spring that the they survived, being snowed in a pot and all! Learning a bit more about growing strawberries, I was able to get more fruits last year and from the original 6 plants we now have at least 4 dozens of them.

Soil and Planting

They thrive best on soil that drains well. As much as possible use new soil and not recycled or used before for other plants to avoid fungal infection. After buying your new strawberry plants or replanting old ones, loosen up the roots before you plant them. Do not worry about having to be extra careful, they are more hardy than you think. They are shallow rooted and need surface space more than depth. Plant them about 5-6 inches apart and along the edge of the container or basket so that the fruits can hang outside as they can get blemished and rot when in contact with the wet soil.

When planting strawberry plants, make sure that you do not bury the crown or it would rot. It should be that the roots are covered but the crown is just above the soil. Plant strawberries on early spring. But in my experience you can plant them anytime but place the new plants under a shade until they have formed stronger root system.

Water and Sunlight

Strawberry plants like a lot of sunlight. So place them where they can get at least 6-8 hours of direct sun. Water regularly and if possible in the morning, in my case I needed to water them daily specially at summer. Being in containers, they are more prone to drying out than the ones planted on a garden bed, and they do not like that, or else they will give you small, dry fruits! But they do not like to sit in water as well so proper drainage is important. Usually I water until the excess runs through the drainage. Mulching also helps to keep the soil moist.

Fertilizer and Protection

Fertilize strawberry with a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) diluted in water during the growth period every two weeks. Then switch to a high potash liquid fertilizer when they start to flower. Note that too much fertilizer will result to too much leaf production instead of flower stalks.

If you placed your containers on the ground, watch out for slugs as they too love strawberries. Hanging strawberries can be picked by birds. These are only example of some problem that you might encounter. There are others like pests and diseases, so best to watch your strawberry plants closely.

Special Care Tips

To have higher quantities of fruits it is advised, June bearing strawberries, to remove all buds on its first year and for Ever-bearing and Day Neutral variety, the early summer batch of buds. Most strawberries produces runners, it looks like a long stem that will have baby plant at the tip and will develop roots of its own. It is also recommended to clip most runners for the mother plant to produce more fruits but you can leave 2-3 runners each plant. Place the runner on the soil nearby and leave it attached the mother plant until they are big enough to be dug up and replanted. After 2 years the container or basket could be overcrowded, it is better to thin them out and re-pot to new soil.

Update!!! (May 11, 2014)

Did you know that you can use your spent coffee grounds as organic strawberry fertilizer? I read it in some comments about plant fertilizers and this is the first time I tried it with my strawberries and they seem to like it. It is a good way to repel snails and slugs too they say! I haven’t check that one though since I have my strawberries now hanging on my self-made Strawberry Planters to avoid this. What I usually do is just mix the used coffee grounds with soil around each plant! This photo below are (some of) my strawberries, all were fertilized with coffee grounds. Look how healthy they are and they have lots of flowers!

Want to grow so many strawberries in so little space? Try one of these vertical DIY ideas for growing strawberries!

The fresh and juicy strawberries are one of the best fruits you can grow in containers

Also Read: How to Grow Strawberries

1. Vertical Strawberry Tube Planter

Ordinary PVC pipes are used for growing tons of strawberry plants in a small space, unbelievable. When you lack an appropriate garden space or yard, a vertical gardening idea like this can be tried. All you need for this DIY idea is a few PVC pipes, a drilling machine, and of course, some gardening essentials. Just keep in mind that vertical units require careful watering, so the last thing you would want is for them to dry out. The tutorial is available here!

2. Vertical Pyramid Planter

Go vertical, if you lack enough room to plant. A strawberry tower planter gives you the additional planting and growing space you need to showcase your love for this much-loved fruit. It’s an unusual and functional DIY garden project you can try. See the step by step DIY article here!

3. Hanging Basket

Growing strawberries in hanging baskets is possible and easy enough. An average-sized basket can fit a few strawberry plants. So, all you have to do is fill it up with the right rich potting soil and water regularly. That’s it! Check out the DIY tutorial .

Also Read: The Right Time to Plant Strawberries

4. Strawberry Pallet Planter

A strawberry pallet planter is a clever idea to grow plants like strawberries that spread through runners; it also improves the productivity of this fruit. Pallets are cheap and sturdy; you can use them to create a raised bed like structure. Must see the tutorial post here!

5. Hanging Strawberry Planters

Growing strawberries up in the air in hanging containers is a simple and easy way to grow a lot of plants in a little to no space. Choose some big tin cans as a planter, also some cool color paint. This perfect idea of recycling used TIN CANS can be found here.

6. Strawberry Tower

A strawberry tower with an in-built reservoir is an excellent and unique way to grow juicy and fresh strawberries when you’re short of space. Easy to maintain, it is made of an array of plastic pots stacked up one on top of each other in the form of a tower. Also, the inbuilt reservoir makes watering a lot easier. This fantastic step by step DIY idea is curated from A Piece of Rainbow.

7. Strawberry Gutter Garden

Strawberries are super easy fruits to grow in gutters; it also saves them from diseases like crown rot and fruit rot. Also, this you can grow so many plants. See the step by step DIY idea with pictures here.

8. Stepped Strawberry Ladder

Not only the strawberries but you can also grow vegetables and herbs following this smart idea. You will need some help with the assembly process, though, as this is one of those DIY ideas for growing strawberries that need considerable effort. Once the structure is complete, fill up the planter boxes with the correct potting soil, seedlings and then watch them grow. The step by step article is available here.

Also Read: Vertical Garden Ideas for Small Gardens

9. A Strawberry Jar

A strawberry jar is a fun way to plant strawberries. After all, what is more, appealing than a nicely painted jar brimming with lush, green suckers and deep red berries. The one thing that makes these jars unique is that they have holes on their sides in addition to the top. This facilitates easy watering and proper care. To increase variety, plant another ornamental or edible plant, such as thyme or cilantro along with the strawberries, if you like. to learn more this DIY idea.

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