Growing strawberries in strawberry pots is one of the easiest and prettiest ways to grow fruit in containers.
If your garden is a balcony, sunroom, roof, or deck, then you may feel like you can't grow fruit in your small space. It's true that you won't be able to grow full-sized apple trees or have a grape arbor, but there are many fruits that you can grow in containers.
You can buy strawberry pots at most garden supply centers and nurseries. These attractive pots can be used for planting many different types of plants, but they were specially designed to be a great way to grow strawberries.
A strawberry pot is a tall, urn-shaped planter with many openings on the sides. The unique design allows you to plant many strawberry plants in just one container, because you can plant several in the top and one in every side opening.
There are many benefits to growing strawberries in strawberry pots. When you grow strawberries in the ground, diseases from the dirt can damage or destroy your plants. When you use potting soil, you know that you're putting your strawberry plants into dirt that is disease and insect-free. Strawberry plants are also finicky about their drainage, and don't like to have soggy roots. The vertical design of strawberry pots helps make sure that your plants have good drainage. Finally, strawberries that are hanging out of pockets, instead of lying on the ground, are less susceptible to rot, so you'll be able to eat more of your berries.
To plant your one-container strawberry garden, you'll need your strawberry pot, plus soil and day-neutral or everbearing strawberry plants. Fill your pot in sections. Start by filling the bottom of the pot with soil, adding strawberry plants first to the lowest openings. Add more plants and more soil as you fill the pot.
After you fill your pot with soil and plants, put it in a sunny spot and water it when the soil starts to dry out. If you want to grow your strawberries as annuals, let the flowers grow into strawberries right away. If you want your pot to last several years, then pinch off the flowers until mid-June, to encourage good root growth, before you start growing berries. Whichever method you choose, prune off the runner plants as soon as they appear, so that your strawberry plants will concentrate on developing roots and growing fruit.
The biggest problem many people have with growing strawberries in strawberry pots is that birds and squirrels like their strawberries just as much as they do, and aren't so picky about waiting until the fruit is ripe. If the birds get to those beautiful, almost-ripe strawberries before you do, cover the planter with netting. After all, you didn't grow strawberries just so you could share them with the locals!