Growing strawberries in containers is easy and a lot of fun. Here are some tips to help you ensure successful strawberry container gardening every time.
Learning how to grow strawberries in containers is pretty easy to do, and a popular choice for many people who have limited outdoor space.
Because the plants have a shallow root system, growing strawberries in containers is much easier than other fruits or vegetables as long as you water them properly. Another bonus is that you plants will not be as prone to the many insects and weeds that can happen in traditional flower beds.
The first thing you will want to do when gardening container strawberries is choose the right containers that will fit your needs. We’ve had plenty of success with strawberry pots and strawberry hanging baskets, however just about anything will work.
Some people have found that plastic totes or even your everyday run of the mill flower pots work just fine. Since the plants are less likely to get diseases the farther they are planted away from each other, while you can grow many in one pot, we tend to like to plant no more than two or three per pot, and planting them in single pots is perfectly okay as well.
One of the easiest ways to get started is to grow strawberries in strawberry pots. If you are unsure of what a strawberry grow pot looks like, here is one example of a 3 tier stackable self watering planter:
These containers are typically made from clay, terracotta, or stone and generally have small openings where the strawberries will grow from, sometimes referred to as pockets.
This is a great solution for patio gardening or growing them on a porch or deck, as it does not take up a whole lot of space. Many are also self watering, which can help reduce the amount of effort it takes to grow your strawberries in containers.
Now, at first glance, this method may seem a little confusing, but it’s actually really easy!
There are many different options on the different pots and strawberry planters to buy, but most of them generally require the same setup and care. Most of the products out there are pretty versatile as well – you can use them for growing a number of other things besides berries!
Where is a Good Place to Plant My Strawberries?
You will want to plan to keep your containers in a place that gets a good amount of sunlight, since strawberries love their sunshine!
They do not however like very hot temperatures, so it is best to put them in a place where they will get full morning sun from sunrise to around 11 am and then shade for the hotter parts of the day. Fortunately, since the containers are portable, if you need to move them you will be able to.
What Type of Strawberry Plants Are Best?
Ever-bearing strawberries are the most popular and preferred types of strawberries to use, since they will give you at least two good crops per year, though some may produce fruit more than this, depending on the species and variety you choose.
It is best to use plants and transfer them into pots, though you of course may choose to germinate your own seeds as well, though this may take longer and will likely depend on when you plant them whether you will get a crop this year or next year.
Since the strawberry plants are perennials, most times you will want to plant them in the fall and then they are ready to go by spring and summer.
What is the Best Dirt for Growing Strawberry Plants?
The type of dirt you choose is very important as well, since just straight up potting mix is not going to work as well as you would think! These plants like a sandy soil mixture, so it’s best to mix up a blend of potting soil with either sand or a sandy top soil, and if you wish to use fertilizer you will want to place it in the soil at this time as well.
Be careful not to over fertilize your plants, as this will inhibit their fruit production, not to mention waste fertilizer! It is generally recommended to fertilize just once when transplanting and if needed again soon after the first crop of berries is produced. While some may suggest every 10 days, this is not usually necessary and there is the risk of doing more harm than good.
How to Start Growing Strawberries in Containers
Now that you have an idea of what a strawberry grow pot is, you are ready to learn how to grow strawberries in pots! If you’re unfamiliar with how to plant a strawberry pot, you’ll find these 5 simple steps are easy and fun to do!
Here are the Materials You Will Need to Get Started:
- 1 Strawberry Pot with Pockets/Grooves
- A strawberry plant for the number of pockets you have
- 1 1/2 inch plastic PVC pipe the same height as your pot with holes drilled in it (some pots are self watering or come with this, so if you already have it, you don’t need it. You can also make your own pretty easily)
- Potting Soil Mix
- Watering Can & Water
Handy Tip: If you are using a terracotta pot (one that is not plastic), then here’s a great tip that will help you before you even get started: Soak it in water! Terracotta will absorb all the water in the soil and cause it to dry out really quickly, so doing this will help reduce it from drying out too quickly after you plant.
Step 1: Fill With Dirt:
Using the best possible potting soil for strawberries is recommended, as it will help your plants grow the best. Fill the container with the dirt up to where the first pocket or groove is, you will add more in later.
Step 2: Plant Your Plants:
If possible, starting with strawberry plants which are already growing is the best way to speed up the process of strawberry container gardening. If this is not possible, you can also always begin with roots.
Take each plant that you have and then place your plants in the groove where the first level pocket is and fill the remainder of the pocket up with soil.
Step 3: Insert Watering Pipe:
Some planters will have this built in or are small enough that it won’t be necessary. However, if your planter doesn’t include this and is over a foot tall it is highly recommended for easy and proper watering.
You can make your own easily by using a plastic pvc pipe or old garden hose and drilling holes into it. Insert it in the center of the pot, making it just deep enough that it will stand on its own.
Step 4: Fill in the Remainder of the Soil
Once the watering pipe is secure, fill the pot with the remainder of the soil. Be sure that the roots of the plant are covered entirely. You’re almost done!
Step 5: Water Your Strawberry Plants
You’ll want to make sure you water your plants well, especially the first time. Pour water slowly into the tube, around the top of the strawberry pot, and also in the pockets of the pot.
Additional Tips for Growing Strawberry Plants in Containers and Garden Pots
When you first transplant the plants into containers, you are going to want to make sure you pinch off the flower blossoms and pick any existing berries off. This will help you get a much better yield later and help the plant make the best adjustment to the environment.
While it may seem counter-productive to do this, it actually will ensure better strawberries for many years to come!
Once your plants are in place for the containers, all you will need to do is ensure you water them regularly (soil should always be moist!) and keep out of too hot of temperatures. Before long you’ll have some beautiful and delicious looking berries to enjoy!
Protecting Your Strawberry Plants in The Fall and Winter
When the growing season is over (usually by late fall), you’ll want to make sure you carefully protect your plants over the winter so they’ll grow back next year.
Covering them with a thick bed of straw will typically help protect them from the cold winter frost and snow, or you can always bring them indoors for the winter and they may just keep producing all winter long!
Now that you have our 5 simple steps for growing strawberry plants in a pot and for container gardening, you are ready to get started!
Do you have any tips we might have missed for growing strawberries in containers? Have questions? Share your thoughts about container gardening and planting strawberries in the comments below!