Growing Strawberries In Containers

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Strawberries do not necessarily require a great deal of room to grow, and fortunately for small space gardeners, can be grown in containers. Strawberries are excellent for pots or containers are they require a shallow growing space, as their roots spread outward rather than downward. Strawberries are less prone to disease as the fruit does not lay on the ground, but is held up, reducing the risk of fungus or illness.

photo credits:http://www.greenhousecatalog.com/
photo credits:http://www.greenhousecatalog.com/

With a potted strawberry plant, they can be deeply mulched and moved to a covered area, where they can then re-emerge in the spring. They require full sun, but can be flexible in the container used for their garden. Strawberries are annuals in pots, but are resilient and simple to cultivate. Some people even grow them in hanging baskets! They are not picky on the container type, tolerating a wide variety of pots – clay, wood, plastic, etc. Their tolerance adds to their appeal for the small scale gardener!

Clay pots – these pots will allow for more loss of moisture, so watering is more of a concern for the health of your plants. The clay, when not waterproofed, will only last a few seasons before it disintegrates or is unusable for growing.

Plastic pots – these may be easier for you to carry, due to their weight, but this can also make them prone to being tipped over easily, which would not be beneficial for your plants.

Ceramic pots – these are more durable and solid, but are also of significant weight, which make them less convenient for moving as your growing season changes.

Most importantly, you need a space for several plants, as they do better this way, and the ability to get good moisture movement through the soil. Other than that, your creativity can go to work designing your strawberry container garden!

Cultivation:

As said before, you will need several plants. If you use the clay strawberry pot, you will want a plant for each side spot as well as several for the top. As with other plants, you will want rocks or other larger items at the bottom of the inside of the pot to assist with drainage. Most strawberries prefer compost, and fertilizer (slow release kind is the best for your growing season). You will fill your container as you go, planting at appropriate heights.

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In the tall pot with side spots for strawberries, it is easy to overwater the top plants in an effort to get the lower level plants adequate water. To prevent this, you place a pipe with holes, or cardboard tube, in the middle of the pot as you plant, but use gravel inside the tube rather than soil to allow water to flow more easily to the bottom areas of the pot and the lower level plants.

Your plants enjoy warmer weather, 70 to 85 degrees F. They also love sun, but also can handle partial shade, so you will want to assess the best placement for your container garden to meet these needs. Watch out for too much shade however, as this will give you less desirable fruit!

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