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Growing Strawberries


Growing strawberries is honestly easy. Actually getting a good crop of strawberries is less easy, but these guides on how to grow strawberries will hopefully help.

Since the strawberries hang down from the plant on to the surrounding ground, they are prone to being eaten by pests (such as slugs and ants) or going rotten where the fruit comes into contact with the earth.

Strawberries have shallow root systems, hence are ideally suited to growing in containers. They don't like their roots getting too wet, so need good drainage. Strawberry plants also LOVE sunshine, so the ideal location for them is in a sunnny, well-drained spot where the fruit can mature off the ground!Strawberries

  1. The Traditional Method of Growing Strawberries
  2. How to Grow Strawberries in Planters
  3. How to Grow Strawberries in Grow Bags
  4. Propagating Strawberry Plants

The Traditional Method of Growing Strawberries

The traditional method of growing strawberries is to grow them in mounded rows, ie banking the plants up so that they are higher than the surrounding ground, or digging a trench along either side of the row.

To avoid the problem of pests and rot, the ground either side of the strawberry plants (ie either side of the mound) is covered with straw or plastic to avoid the fruit actually touching the earth. Alternatively, some form of sheeting is used.

We tried this traditional method last year, and managed to harvest about half the crop - the slugs and rot got the other half!

How to Grow Strawberries in Planters

terracotta strawberry pot

Another fairly traditional approach to growing strawberries is using strawberry planters, which avoids the problem of the fruit trailing on the ground completely, and also ensures decent drainage.

The following instruction are for transferring strawberry plants from an over-crowded vegetable plot (such as ours, where they have been growing like weeds!) to a strawberry pot. If you are planting strawberries you have bought in pots, or simply growing them from seed, ignore the first three steps!

Start in the spring.

You will need: a strawberry planter of your choice, potting compost (if possible with fertilizer already added), some gravel, pebbles or hydroponic material, and either strawberry seeds or strawberry plants.

digging up strawberry plant Dig each strawberry plant up carefully so as not to damage the root system. We used a garden fork to loosen the earth around the plant, then lift it out - carefully - as this is less likely to cause damage than using a spade.
root system of strawberry plant Gently tease the earth until the root system is free from clumps and any possible weeds which may have been growing next to the plant!
dunking roots in water before planting Pop the strawberry plants which are to be replanted in a container with a little water to ensure the roots don't dry up while preparing the strawberry planter. But don't leave them there too long, as strawberries really don't like their roots being sodden ...
hydroponic material

Ensure there are drainage holes at the base of the planter.

Put a layer of gravel, pebbles or hydroponic material at the bottom of the planter, approx. 1 inch thick, to help drainage (we use the hydroponic stuff).

filling strawberry planter with compost

Start filling the planter with potting compost until you reach about half-way up the first planting hole. Use compost which is damp, but not wet.

We mix the compost with hydroponic balls to aid the drainage, water retention and ventilation.

spreading roots

Either insert the strawberry plant through the hole and bed firmly into the compost, ensuring the roots are well spread out, or place strawberry seeds in the hole, covering with about 1/2 inch of damp compost.

strawberry poking out of hole Strawberry planters vary in style, but the basic premise is that the root of the plant should be covered by about an inch of compost - or be about an inch inside the planter if the holes are not like balconies as in this example!
planting strawberries in planter

Carry on filling the pot with compost and planting or seeding in the same manner until you reach 2 - 3 inches from the top of the planter.

Firm down the compost in the pot firmly but lightly from time to time.

final layer of strawberries

Finish the planter off with either one or more plants or seeds at the top (seeds need be only 1/2 inch from the top.

Here we have added three plants to the top, ensuring again that their root systems are well spread out.

finished strawberry pot

Finish off with at least one inch of compost, firming it off gently again. Water generously.

Finished!

(The plants may look a little wilted to begin with but will pick up within a few days.)


Tips:

If you have planted seeds, keep the planter in a warm place until the seeds have germinated and the young plants have established themselves, then slowly acclimatise them to living outdoors - unless you want to keep them inside!

Gardeners Friend Strawberry Planter It is a good idea to move the strawberry pot to its final destination BEFORE watering it, as they can get quite heavy!

There are several kits around which provide everything you need for growing strawberries, including seeds, compost, a strawberry planter and instructions, eg the Gardeners Friend Strawberry Planter which is a windowsill strawberry planting kit - perfect for kids and beginners!

How to Grow Strawberries in Grow Bags:

If you are growing strawberries in grow bags, you are best off proping the bag against a wall or other solid structure, ensuring you have first cut drainage holes in the base of the bag, then cut X-shaped holes into the sides. Carefully but firmly bed the plants into the compost, open the top of the bag, and plant a couple more strawberry plants in the top. Water generously, sit back and look forward to a bumper crop.

You could of course, just leave the growbag flat on the ground, and pop the plants into the top. The risk if planting them horizontally is that you will again encounter the problem of rotting - hence the vertical suggestion above!

Propagating Strawberry Plants

Growing strawberries from seed is one possibility, and there are several kits around which provide everything you need to grow your own strawberry plants, including seeds, compost, a strawberry planter and instructions, such as the Gardeners Friend Strawberry Planter.

Alternatively, buy a few plants from a garden center or beg a friend for a couple of their shoots one spring! We bought three established plants a couple of years ago (of which two lived and one died), and within 24 months had well over 30 plants.

Once you have one or two strawberry plants, you can have a whole patch. The plants send out runners or trailers with baby plants in the summer (a bit like Spider Plants). If growing strawberries at ground level, eg in the vegetable patch, you simply bed the little baby plants in, and wait for them to grow a little before cutting the runner from the mother plant. If growing strawberries in a pot or planter, you can either provide smaller pots nearby to do the same thing, or wait for the baby plants to develop small root systems, cut them from the runner and place them in water (if possible with a little liquid fertilizer), then repot them in their own pot or add them to your strawberry planter.

Strawberries

 

 

Container Gardening | Gardening Containers | Growing Potatoes in Tires | Growing Potatoes in Containers | Growing Radish in Containers | Grow Strawberries in Window Boxes | Strawberry Planters | Window Boxes

 

Return from Growing Strawberries to Gardening in Containers



Warning !

Strawberries can produce an allergic reaction in some people. Keep an eye on your child in case he or she develops a skin rash or shows some other common allergic reaction.

Live in an apartment or flat? No problem - you can grow strawberries in window boxes on your windowsill either inside or out! Got a balcony? Grow strawberries in hanging baskets! Read more!

UK Recommended Products

Gardeners Friend Strawberry Planter

The Gardeners Friend Strawberry Planter is the perfect planter to grow strawberries on windowsills - perfect for kids and small spaces!

Strawberry Everest - 6 x 7cm Plugs

The Strawberry Everest produces lovely strawberries and arrives ready to pop into your planter!

US Recommended Products

Porcelain Grow Pot - Strawberry

This very decorative Porcelain Strawberry Grow Pot comes complete with everything you need to grow strawberries successfully indoors.





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