Growing strawberries in containers suits them perfectly because it lifts the fruits off the ground, keeping them away from slugs, mice, and other pests, as well as wet soil that can cause the berries to rot. Replace your strawberries with fresh, young plants every few years.
When to plant: Early spring.
At their best: Summer.
Time to complete: 1 ½ hours.
You will need: Three strawberry plants, large pot, broken clay pot pieces, multipurpose potting mix, slow-release granular fertilizer, bark chips, straw.
Prepare to plant
Take three young, healthy plants and water them thoroughly, an hour before planting. Cover the holes in the base of the large pot with broken clay pieces to prevent soil from blocking them, and then add soil until the pot is two thirds full. Firm down lightly.
Ease plants from small containers
Take the plants out of their pots and check the roots. If they are root bound, and running in tight circles inside the pot, tease them out carefully to help the plants establish quicker.
Plant around edge of pot
Place the three plants around the edges of the pot so that the fruits will dangle over. Fill all around them with soil, add some fertilizer granules and then firm down. Water well, and daily thereafter.
You will have healthier plants in the long run if you sacrifice the first year’s fruits, allowing them to concentrate on root growth. Nip the flowers out as they appear. The following year, apply a tomato fertilizer every week after the flower buds form.
Tips: Protecting the fruits
Strawberry fruits can rot if they come into contact with wet soil. While most grown in a pot will hang over the sides, avoid any problems by placing a straw mulch around the top of the pot to lift fruits away from the soil.