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GROW STRAWBERRIES IN CONTAINERS AND GROW-BAGS
When you grow strawberry plants in containers or grow bags you need to remember that this is not a natural way to grow them. Watering evenly will be your big problem and some containers sold nowadays make that an almost impossible task.
However, with a little extra effort you can easily have a reasonable crop of strawberries which occupies very little space. The key advantage they have over soil grown plants is that they can look extremely attractive and the pots or containers can easily be positioned for maximum sun and protection from wind.
Other pages on strawberries are shown below:
SOIL AND POSITION
WHEN TO BUY?
CARE AND HARVEST
PESTS AND DISEASES
WHICH CONTAINER FOR GROWING STRAWBERRIES?
There are four main types of containers which are commonly used for strawberry growing:
- Grow-Bags will probably give you the best chance of
success because, if not overcrowded, they provide the largest volume of
soil per plant. They will require constant watering but nowhere near as
often as the other methods below. It will also be easier to keep the
soil evenly moist.
- Individual Pots containing one to to three plants
are probably the next easiest option. The pots can be watered by simply
placing them in a tray of water and leaving them to absorb it for half
an hour. This lets the water get to exactly where it is required, the
roots, and not the crown of the plant.
- Strawberry Planters do not provide an ideal
environment for your plants, watering will be required more frequently
and it can be very difficult to ensure that both top and the bottom of
the planter is evenly moist. However, they do look very attractive and
if the effort is put in they will produce a reasonable crop.
- Hanging Baskets are another attractive option but probably represent the most hostile environment for a strawberry plant. The large surface area exposed to the elements causes very fast water loss making evenly watering a problem.
VARIETIES FOR STRAWBERRIES IN CONTAINERS
There are no varieties of strawberry plants which have been bred specifically for growing in containers. However it is best to grow early varieties of strawberries in planters, containers and hanging baskets because they will mature earliest in the year and avoid some of the hottest weather. This will marginally reduce their need for watering. A review of recommended early fruiting varieties can be found here.
HOW TO PLANT STRAWBERRIES IN CONTAINERS
Planting strawberry plants in containers is a simple operation consisting of filling the container with compost, initial watering and planting to the correct depth.
However before you start planting you will need to buy your strawberry plants and you have four options, traditional runners, cold-stored runners, misted tips and pot grown plants. Each of these is discussed in detail with the various advantages and disadvantages on our page which can be found here.
The steps involved in planting strawberries are:
- Fill the container with compost. Grow bags come pre-filled with
compost so no action is required for them. Individual pots and hanging
baskets should be filled near to the top with good quality general
purpose potting compost. There are all sorts of recipes for mixing
different composts but there is no evidence that they perform any better
than normal multi-purpose potting compost. Strawberry planters should be
filled initially only up to the level of the first planting pocket.
- Water the container well and leave it to absorb the water for half
an hour or so.
- Planting a strawberry plant in a container is no different in
principle to planting it in open ground. They important point to note is
that the roots should be covered in compost but the crown of the plant
should not. This is discussed in detail, with pictures, on our planting
page which can be found
- For strawberry planters, as you plant each pocket fill up with more compost to the next pocket, plant again and continue until all the pockets are planted.
CARING FOR STRAWBERRIES IN CONTAINERS
Watering is the most difficult aspect of growing strawberries in containers, they need moist soil but water-logging must be avoided at all costs because it will cause the plant to rot. Watering a little and often is the solution.
Feed the plants with a tomato fertiliser twice a week from May until after all the fruit has been harvested. Remove all old leaves after fruiting has stopped leaving only the leaves near the centre of the plant. During winter move containers and hanging baskets to a protected space in the garden.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT STRAWBERRIES BELOW
|SOIL & POSITION||WHEN TO BUY?|
|PLANTING||CARE & HARVEST|
|PEST & DISEASE||PROPAGATION|