Not everyone has a plot of land to grow strawberries. The plant can be grown in various containers or pots at home or outdoors. Growing strawberries in several layers of pots in a greenhouse or multi-level greenhouse can save a lot of space in a heated room.
So how to grow strawberries in pots? The traditional technique involves growing strawberries in raised beds (garden strawberries), but this method has many drawbacks, so gardeners regularly look for new ways of cultivating this berry.
Therefore, some farmers grow strawberries in pots. The technique is relatively new, but already quite popular. For farmers who initially decided to grow strawberries in this way, it has many advantages and characteristics that must be familiar.
Can I grow strawberries in pots? The depth of the strawberry root system is small enough to put the culture into pots. On the street, you can grow any favorite variety in a container. The main thing is to choose a container suitable for its size, suitable soil, and a bright enough place.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GROWING METHOD
The method of growing strawberries in pots has become more and more popular recently. It has many advantages compared to growing in raised beds.
This method of growing may be of interest in the following ways: Growing potted plants may be a beautiful and interesting decoration. With them, you can do beautiful vertical gardening with the help of various devices.
You can use pots or structures for this purpose to arrange pyramids, decorate fences or recreational areas. Hanging pots with blooming strawberries can be used as a decoration for the balcony, kitchen, or local area.
Save space. If there is not enough sunny space on-site, strawberry pots can be placed on sunny asphalt areas, on shelves with fences or walls, and on the roof of the garage. The most economical option for multi-story accommodation.
Easy to move. Such a “bed” can be easily moved from one place to another. For example, during the heat of the sun, it is convenient to move the basin to a less hot place. In the cold season, they can be placed indoors, thus extending the time of fruit production.
It is more convenient to pick fruits from strawberry bushes in containers, especially if they are placed on a comfortable level. The berries do not touch the ground and are therefore less prone to spoilage and contamination.
Possibility of creating better conditions. Pots with plants can be put to the desired level of lighting, removed from the street in case of excessive hail or rainfall, moved to a warmer place, and the soil replaced.
There are some disadvantages to the method of growing strawberries in containers: it can incur material costs. This method requires the purchase of suitable containers and accessories.
You will have to carefully choose planting materials with certain characteristics of the variety. Indeed, not every variety is suitable for year-round growing at home or for vertical gardening.
Labor costs. Planting, replanting, and more frequent watering takes time. The soil in containers is drier and more quickly depleted than soil in beds.
Growing strawberries in pots provide a bumper crop of berries and a unique decorative element to the landscape design. The technique has the following advantages compared to other cultivation methods.
The mobility of the structure allows you to move plants from one area of the site to another, or to move pots to a winter shelter to prevent freezing.
The ease of picking berries hanging in pots and claiming them in the hand.
the lack of contact between the berries and the soil prevents their decay and keeps the crop clean and free of sand deposits.
You can grow strawberries in pots of a good variety of continuous growth as long as the pots are moved to room temperature so that they can be harvested all year round.
The opportunity to save available space on small plots of land.
Of course, despite all the above-mentioned advantages, the technology of growing strawberries in pots can not be called ideal, since its implementation requires certain financial costs. There are also difficulties in caring for such landings.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT POT
When deciding on a pot for growing strawberries, you should not rely solely on its aesthetic appearance. In this case, aesthetics and design are completely irrelevant, as most pots will be covered with the leaves and berries of the plant.
You can choose from plain pots, planters, or rectangular plastic containers. You can also make your own pot, using a mayonnaise bucket cut into 5-liter (a suitable capacity is 3-10 liters) water containers as a base. You can decorate your homemade pots by coloring, gluing beads, pebbles, shells.
Coconut fiber planters are not suitable for growing strawberries.
The volume of the planter may vary depending on how many strawberry bushes should be planted in it. In the bottom of the chosen container, drainage holes must be made so that excess water does not accumulate in the soil. The drainage layer of expanded clay or crushed bricks at the bottom of the planting tank also plays an important role in the drainage system.
Since the amount of soil is limited when growing this crop in containers, care should be taken that the soil mixture is nutritious.
In this case, the following components are very suitable – the same proportion of sod soil and humus. For every 5 liters of this mixture, add 2 tablespoons. l Nitrominophos To disinfect and prevent the appearance of rot, water the prepared soil with a solution of potassium permanganate a few days before planting the planting material.
You should prepare the planting material purchased or dug from your own garden in the fall. You need to check each strawberry bush for disease and damage. Choose only sturdy sockets.
Place the planting material in a pot of soil and re-set it in a cool place (basement, underground) for 2 weeks. This induces a dormant state in the plant culture. This process allows the seedlings to rest.
FILL THE CONTAINER WITH SOIL
Strawberries require a lot of nutrients from the soil, and growing in pots requires a small amount of soil, which is quickly consumed by the plant’s roots.
That is why even at the stage of making strawberry pots, attention needs to be paid to the nutritional value of the filler. Therefore, the optimal composition of the soil should include a mixture of turf and humus in the ratio of 1:1.
Adding two tablespoons of nitro-ammonium phosphorus to 5 liters of soil also allows you to add some essential minerals to the soil.
Pour the nutrient soil into a pot above the drainage layer. Increase the nutritional value of the soil regularly by adding mineral fertilizers during the growth of the strawberries.
In pots of nutrient soil, you can plant already planted strawberry seedlings or seeds. The second method of cultivation requires a lot of time and effort. You can sow the seeds indoors from January to February in the soil.
You can prepare strawberry seedlings for potted plants in autumn.
To do this, the beards must be cut off and tightly folded into a cloth bag, and stored in a cool place.
Almost all strawberry varieties are highly hardy, but remember that it is possible to take potted plants outside at night when the temperature does not fall below 0°C (32°F).
Even if there is little frost, the soil in the container will freeze, which will prevent the plant from growing or damage it.
Caring for potted strawberries is very different from caring for garden plants. The shrubs do not need to be weeded or loosened, which greatly facilitates plant maintenance.
At the same time, watering requires special attention. When the soil becomes dry, it must be done regularly. The amount of watering should be moderate, as the closed space of the pot can lead to root rot.
In order to wet the soil, the pots can be placed in a container with water for 2-3 hours. Through the drainage holes, the soil will be saturated with the required amount of water.
Fertilizer plays an important role in the growth of strawberries. Therefore, the soil in the pots needs to be regularly filled with minerals.
As a fertilizer, you can use manure or wood ash. Also, to feed strawberries, you can use compound fertilizer.
The restored strawberry varieties should be fed in early spring, during flowering, and at the end of each fruiting stage. To do this, add fertilizer to the water when watering.
It is interesting to note that many industrial companies grow strawberries in containers. The technique is similar to potted plant cultivation. However, it is characterized by the absence of fertile soil in the containers and the use of expanded clay or special granules as fillers.
All plant nutrients come from moisture, which is a mixture of water and mineral fertilizers. A small amount of water is regularly supplied to the roots of the strawberry using drip irrigation.
This allows you to grow a large number of berries in a short period of time. The lack of soil prevents the berries from being contaminated in the slightest, which is why you can see beautiful, large, and clean fruits on the shelves.
- Sunlight: It is best to place the plant in a well-lit part of the house, preferably on a southern windowsill. During cold periods, when daylight saving time becomes shorter, it is necessary to take additional lighting measures within 12-14 hours of daylight hours. For this purpose, fluorescent lamps are ideal.
- Watering: Care must be taken that the earth does not become dry. It should be watered regularly and heavily. Water for irrigation should be separated at room temperature.
- Room temperature: The optimal temperature range should be 20-22°C (68-71.6°F).
- Fertilization: Fertilization must be carried out during the flowering and ripening of the berries. This procedure is carried out every 14 days. For this purpose, organic matter and mineral fertilizers are used. As a natural fertilizer, a 1:20 solution of fertilizer or ash remover is suitable. It is good to use ready-made compound fertilizers, which can be purchased in stores. During flowering, it is best to use a boric acid solution for foliar grooming.
- Loosen the soil: To improve the flow of water, nutrients, and oxygen to the root system, you need to loosen the soil regularly.
When growing strawberries indoors, it is necessary to carry out manual pollination, if the variety grown is not self-pollinated. Fans can be used for this purpose. Turn it on in the direction of the strawberry planting. The airflow carries pollen from one plant to other specimens. This process can be done manually using a soft bristle brush. It goes from one flower to another. When the warm season comes, the pots can be taken to the yard, the cool porch or the balcony. When outdoors, pollination occurs naturally with the help of wind and insects.
PESTS AND DISEASES
When growing strawberries in pots, some diseases may be encountered. The gray rot is particularly dangerous for this crop. Infection by this fungal infection usually occurs through the soil or planting material.
Therefore, the soil must be disinfected and the seedlings must be adequately inspected before planting. The disease can be detected by the appearance of pale gray flowers and rotting berries.
Another common disease is white or brown leaf spot. White spots appear as reddish blotches with white spots on the leaves, while brown is found by brown spots on the leaves with dry edges.
Strawberries may be damaged by pests when they are outside. Sometimes, damage occurs through the soil.
Consider the main pests.
- nematodes. These small worms are up to 1 mm in size. They feed on plant sap and cause damage.
- Weevils. The worms are about 0.5cm (0.19inch) long and they eat the color of the leaves.
- Drooling weevil. This small insect can be detected by “saliva” that looks like foam.
- Red spider. This small pest can be detected by the presence of the finest spider webs.
If you take action at the first sign of failure, you can save your crop. A bowl of strawberries affected by the pest should be immediately placed separately from other plants and then take steps to eliminate this problem.
Strawberry is suitable for growing in containers. It can be grown in pots, planters, vertical structures as well as in regular pots on windowsills. To do this, you should choose the right variety, the right size of the container, nutritious soil, and provide proper care.
GROWING STRAWBERRIES IN POTS AT HOME IN WINTER
Growing strawberries outdoors in pots can protect the plants even when severe winter frosts arrive.
This can be done by hiding the containers in a cool room with a temperature of -1 to -3°C (30.2-26.6°F). This temperature allows the plants to “hibernate” and wake up safely in the spring with the arrival of heat.
Plant strawberry bushes as follows: The bottom of the pot is lined with a drainage layer of expanded clay or small pebbles.
Then, check the rhizomes of the planting material. If they are too long, shorten them to fit neatly into the pot.
I place the plants in the dug holes, carefully distribute the roots and cover them with soil. The earth is compacted a little. Finally watering. For moisturizing, it is recommended to use a growth stimulant.
However, as mentioned above, continuous-fruiting resprouting varieties can be integrated with berries all year round. For this reason, containers with plants should be placed under indoor conditions in late spring.
The growth and fruiting of strawberries in winter are limited only by the lack of light, therefore, to get a harvest in winter you need to highlight the plants so that the duration of daylight is at least 12 hours. Strawberries should be watered and fed regularly in winter.
It is commonly believed that pots are used for growing indoor flowers and ornamental crops, but they have a much wider scope.
In containers filled with the soil you can successfully grow tomatoes, cucumbers and, of course, strawberries.
The technique of growing strawberries in pots is unique and promising because it allows not only to grow abundant berries but also to decorate the yard, protect the plants from winter frosts and provide them with favorable conditions in summer by moving the structure.
Growing strawberries in this way are not difficult at all if you are careful and remember to fertilize and water regularly.
Recommend you to read “Top 13 FAQ about strawberry plants“