Growing Strawberries – Container Gardening

Strawberry Planters: Container Gardening

Strawberries are one of the most beautiful and tastiest container plants. Growing strawberries in a container can be done in any number of conveniently easy ways. Your choice of strawberry plant, container, and area of placement are all important to growing a healthy and strong strawberry harvest.

However, strawberries can be susceptible to disease. Choosing a healthy plant from healthy stock is a key aspect in future growth. Some of the most common strawberry diseases include root knot from nematode activity, gray mold which can form on the fruit itself and injury due to temperature fluctuation. These should be fairly obvious when viewed and should be avoided if possible. Healthy plants and seeds will produce healthy fruit bearing plants later on.

Choose clean soil, organic fungicides, pest control and fertilizers for sustainment of healthy, organic growth. Some of these can include any neem-based product, cinnamon sprinkled throughout the soil prior to planting to control fungal growth and diseases, hay or straw mulches for temperature and moisture control and kelp for a natural layer of organic fertilizer.

Choosing correct strawberry planters is also important. Strawberries need room to grow in loose, well drained soil which will not compact. Choose a container which will provide space for plant growth and or aeration needs throughout the season. The typical strawberry container is urn-shaped with protruding ledges located on all sides. Depending upon size, 6-8 plants can comfortably fit into most standard strawberry planters.

Strawberry planters are usually made from plastic, ceramic or terracotta. Often less expensive and lighter in weight than ceramic or terracotta, plastic containers offer easy transferability between spaces during seasonal changes while affording the same amount of growth area. However, plastic does not offer the same temperature control as the terracotta or ceramic. Terracotta pots offer more stability and are preferred among those who desire a more natural look to their strawberry planting. Ceramic also offers a more stable foundation than plastic while affording good temperature control and provides for less moisture loss as the terracotta tends to be more porous. Choosing your type of container will depend upon your personal needs and tastes but all are reliable for strawberry planting.

Begin by choosing the proper plant for your region. While many varieties exist, there are three types in which they all are categorized and they are day neutral, June bearing and everbearing or ever-bearing.

June bearing provides fruit mostly during the month of June in large batches. Day neutral strawberries will bear fruit generally between June and September while the ever-bearing variety will produce twice in a year during the spring and fall seasons. Choice should depend upon the weather patterns and temperatures in your area.

Begin in early spring by filling the bottom of your container with drainage rock. As you reach each ledge, add soil, kelp fertilizer and a sprinkling of cinnamon powder. Rinse roots and apply loosely into the cavity leading the roots into the core of the pot. Layer more soil into the center of the pot and repeat these steps until all ledges are filled. At the top of the strawberry planter, add cinnamon and kelp, and apply two to three plants if desired.

Apply straw mulch to each ledge and around the center plants. Place the pot in a spot which provides 4-6 hours of sunlight a day, turning the pot every other day to ensure proper and even sunlight application.

Fertilize with kelp tea once every two weeks to ensure the soil remains fresh with nutrients and water as needed making sure all moisture is evenly dispersed to each plant. Enjoy your strawberry harvest.