Growing tips for strawberry plants are very useful if you want to start your own strawberry farm or just enjoy eating fresh strawberries. You may have heard about the fact that it takes two years before a new plant will produce its first fruit. However, there are many other factors which influence the time when a plant produces its fruits. So, let’s see what are the most important things to consider while planting strawberries in a pot.
The best way to grow strawberries in a pot is to use organic soil mix. Organic soil mix is made up of ingredients such as composted manure, perlite and vermiculite. These three components work together with each other so well that they make it possible for the roots of the plants to thrive even under adverse conditions like drought or high temperatures. Organic soil mix is not only good for growing strawberries but also for other plants too.
You need to choose the right type of container for growing strawberries in a pot. There are different types of containers available in the market. Some of them are:
1) Plastic Pot
A plastic pot is suitable for growing strawberries in because it does not absorb any water easily and therefore does not become damaged easily during rain or snow storms.
2) Wooden Pot
Wooden pot is the traditional choice when it comes to growing strawberries.
However, be careful that you choose a wooden pot that has been specifically designed for growing plants. Some types of wood are not suitable for this purpose since they tend to absorb water easily.
3) Terra Cotta Pot
Many people believe that terra cotta pots act as a good wick and help to distribute moisture evenly around the roots of the plant.
So, now that you have chosen the right type of container, it’s time to fill it up with soil. It is best to use a good quality potting mix because if the soil has nutrients and air, the plants will grow faster and healthier. Check on your specific type of strawberry plant since some do not like “heavy” soil. Also remember, the bigger the container, the more difficult it is to cultivate because it retains water longer.
There are many ways in which you can arrange the strawberry plants in your container. One of them is to place the plants about 18 inches apart from each other. After that, fill up the container with soil and once again arrange the strawberry plants. Keep doing this until you reach the top of the container. After that, water the plants well.
The best way of watering your plants is to do it early in the morning or in the evening. During these times, the sun is not shining directly on the container and therefore it will not damage the soil. Water the container thoroughly until you see some drips coming out from the bottom. After that, make a “dam” of sorts by placing a bucket or tray underneath to catch the drips.
When it comes to sunlight, strawberry plants prefer partial shade rather than full sun. They need only 4 hours of direct sun light everyday. During summer when the sun is at its peak, make sure the container is in the shade during the day.
Always keep a careful watch on the moisture content of the soil. If it dries out too fast, you can water it but don’t over water or the roots will rot.
Once the strawberries start to appear, space the plants about 2 feet apart. Then you can harvest and enjoy!
It is very important that you choose a good location in which to place your container. It must have at least 6 hours of sun light everyday so it is best to place it in the backyard or if that’s not possible, on the roof or balcony of your apartment.
In the event that you do not have a yard or balcony, we will provide some guidelines to help you choose the next best spot.
The first thing that you must consider is the type of soil that you have in your yard. In order to grow strawberries, you need to have a soil mixture that has equal parts of sand, loam and clay. If you are unsure as to what your soil type is, there are several ways in which you can find out.
The simplest way is to take a handful of soil and add a little water to it. Then, rub your hands together as if they are covered in glue. If the soil has different types in it, it will remain separated. If the soil has only one uniform consistency when it is wet, then you have a good chance of growing strawberries in it.
If you do not have soil with the right consistency, there are two other alternatives that you can try. The first one is to buy some “potting soil” at your local nursery or garden center. The second one is to buy some sand, loam and clay and make your own soil mixture.
If you decide to go the route of making your own soil mixture, here is the recipe:
Mix together 2 parts sand, 1 part loam and 1 part clay. Also make sure that there are no weeds or grass growing inside the soil. If there are, you will have to throw it out and get new soil mixture.
It is also important that you choose a good container in which to grow your strawberries. Contrary to popular belief, the “Ball” containers that you often see for sale at nurseries are not necessarily the best. You will do just as well (if not better) with an old kitchen bucket or a wooden box. This is because the main thing that strawberry plants need is good air circulation.
The next step is to place a few inches of your soil mixture in the bottom of your container. Then, you will need to place several holes in the bottom for drainage. Cover these holes up with screens in order to keep insects and other small creatures from getting inside your pot.
Next, you will place a few inches of cinder (volcanic) rocks in the bottom of your container. This is going to help with drainage and also provide a little extra “shelter” for the plants. On top of this, you will place a few inches of your soil mixture.
Finally, you are ready to plant your strawberry starter plants. Be sure to leave several inches between each plant (about feet) and rows that are about 2 feet apart.
Once your strawberries have grown past the seedling stage, you will need to mulch around the plants with straw or leaves to keep the soil moist and protect the roots.
You may also want to consider installing a drip irrigation system around your plants. This will allow you to make sure that they always have water available to them.
Strawberries are ready to pick when they pop off of the stem when lightly squeezed. Be sure to only remove the berries that are ripe, because if you leave the green ones on the plant it will redirect the energy that it would have used to grow the green berry into producing another one.
Sources & references used in this article:
Development and fruit yield of strawberry plants as affected by crown diameter and plantlet growing period by C Cocco, JL Andriolo, L Erpen, FL Cardoso… – Pesquisa …, 2010 – SciELO Brasil
Natural occurrence of Azospirillum brasilense in strawberry plants by RO Pedraza, J Motok, ML Tortora, SM Salazar… – Plant and soil, 2007 – Springer
Recent advances in strawberry plug transplant technology by EF Durner, EB Poling, JL Maas – HortTechnology, 2002 – journals.ashs.org
The production of strawberry plants from callus cultures by OP Jones, BJ Waller, MG Beech – Plant cell, tissue and organ culture, 1988 – Springer
… and the patterns of amplified fragment length polymorphism and methylation sensitive amplified polymorphism in strawberry plants recovered from cryopreservation by YJ Hao, CX You, XX Deng – CryoLetters, 2002 – ingentaconnect.com
Strawberry production in soilless culture systems by F Takeda – International Symposium on Growing Media and …, 1997 – actahort.org
Growth and morphogenesis of encapsulated strawberry shoot tips under mixed LEDs by CD Hung, CH Hong, HB Jung, SK Kim, N Van Ket… – Scientia …, 2015 – Elsevier
Effects of sucrose preculture on cryopreservation by droplet-vitrification of strawberry cultivars and morphological stability of cryopreserved plants by I Pinker, A Halmagyi, K Olbricht – CryoLetters, 2009 – ingentaconnect.com