Tips for Growing Strawberries in Containers

Growing strawberries in containers is a great way to have berries if you live in urban areas with little space. Strawberries just need sun, plenty of moisture and nutrients to produce fresh sweet berries. Even if you have a large garden with space, consider growing strawberries in containers.

All kinds of containers can be used for growing strawberries. The strawberry plant is easily adapted to smaller spaces. Planters make rotating the strawberry plants easier and eliminate your strawberry patch going wild. 

Types of Strawberry Containers

Five gallon buckets make economical strawberry containers. If you don’t have Five gallon buckets on hand you can find them at department and home improvement stores for an affordable price. You can also locate free buckets from restaurants and bakeries. Just check around in your area.

Five gallon buckets can also be made into an inexpensive strawberry tower. You can make a strawberry tower on your own with materials you may have on hand. Your containers can be self watering or you can set them up to be watered manually.

The University of California’s master gardener’s page shows how to make this bucket planter.

Growing strawberries in containers will save growing space and the strawberry buckets can be moved around to take advantage of the sun. You can grow 20 to 25 plants in a five gallon bucket and the buckets can be stacked for even more space saving.

Most plastic containers including plastic buckets are not UV resistant and will brake down after awhile from being exposed to sun light. Spray painting the out side of your containers will prolong their life.

Strawberry Towers are another way to increase space for growing strawberries. Towers for strawberries can be made out of pvc tubing or wooden slats.

You can order the plans to make the one below from chesapeakecrafts.com

Tips for Preparing Strawberry Containers

Strawberry container planting is different than planting in a garden. Here are a few tips to help make your plantings successful.

1. Ever-bearing strawberry varieties are better for containers. They bear fruit the first season in mid summer and give a good harvest in the fall right up until frost.

2. Use potting soil rather than garden soil in containers. This helps promote good drainage and nutrient movement through out the container. Soil and compost mixtures will pack down over time. You need fluffy soil to distribute water and food to all the plants in your container.

3. Use new potting soil each season rather than reusing old mix. Put the old potting soil from previous seasons into your garden and flower beds. Old potting soil will carry diseases from last years crop.

4. Mix a good vegetable and flower fertilizer through out the potting mix before planting to make sure each plant will receive enough nutrients right from the start. Fertilize every two weeks. Water and nutrients are necessary to keep your strawberries blooming and producing fruit.

5. Keep the runners trimmed off the new plants early in the season. This will promote growth and more berries in the fall. Keep the fruit picked, as the berries start to mature pick every few days.

6. Store unwashed fruit in the fridge until ready to eat. Wash fruit just before eating. I like to put the berries in freezer bags after each picking. By the end of the summer I have lots of berries to use in jams and other recipes through out the winter months.

Your strawberry yield with vary by growing strawberries in containers but you can grow more plants in a smaller area. Give it a try!


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