Growing strawberries in pots is a great way to save some space, but there are a few tricks for making this successful.
How to plant strawberries in pots
- Prepare your pot with 30 percent sand and 70 percent top soil or potting soil. Strawberries love sand, and this is still true when growing them in planters.
- Plant your bare roots so the roots are just under the soil, and the crowns with the stems are just above the surface.
- Water the newly planted strawberries, and then check the soil every couple of days for soil dampness. Strawberries growing in planters typically use more water than strawberries growing in a garden bed.
Common problems for Strawberries growing in pots
- Overcrowding- space your strawberry plants at least 12 inches apart. Overcrowding can lead to a large competition for nutrients, sunlight, and water. It's best to give your strawberries some room.
- Not using the right kind of soil. Strawberries need soil that is sandy (about 30% sand) to help with drainage.
- No drainage hole in planter. Before you plant your strawberries, check your planter for a drainage hole. If it doesn't have one, you either need to drill a hole in it or find a different planter.
- Watering confusion. Strawberries don't need a lot of water, but plants grown in planters typically require more watering than they would in a garden bed. When in doubt, check with your finger. At about one inch in, it should feel moist. If it doesn't, time to water!
- Birds eating the fruit. This is an issue whether your strawberries are planted in a planter or garden bed. What I've found helps is to paint some rocks to look like strawberries and place them by your young plants. The birds will try eating these and find they are inedible. When your strawberries are finally fruiting, those same birds didn't want to go near the berries.
FAQ for growing strawberries in containers
Strawberries like to have room for spreading out. Usually strawberries grow best in the ground where they have plenty of room for their roots and runners to spread.
That being said, if you have a planter or container that is big enough, you should still have success.
The best thing is to use some potting soil mixed with a little bit of sand.
We really like the moisture control potting soil from Miracle-Gro. It has crystals that will absorb excess water to help keep you from overwatering your strawberries. These same crystals release water when the soil gets dry!