Growing Strawberries in Containers
Strawberries grow really well in containers, which means you can grow them in your backyard, on your porch, or even on a balcony with the right light conditions!
Head to the Co-op to get your strawberry plants. We currently have Eversweet Everbearing Strawberry plants. These are ideal for Davis as they tolerate temperatures above 100 degrees F. They’ll produce fruit starting in late Spring through later Summer and early Fall. You can plant these between February and late March after the last frost (since they’re in containers, you can easily move them inside in case we get another really cold night).
I started with 18 individual plants or 3 containers of 6 plants. You can start with just 1 container of 6 plants or more than 3 if you have the containers, space, and appetite.
Procure your containers and potting soil. Strawberries like to spread, so a container that is wider and shallower suits strawberries well. There are specific pots made for strawberries, but any large pot with good drainage will do the trick. For soil, you can look for a raised bed potting blend with a lot of organic matter. You can also look for something slightly acidic (pH between 5.5 and 6.5) if you want to get fancy.
When I went to the nursery to get supplies, they had extra large plastic pots (pictured below) that they gave to me. If you don’t need your pots to look all that cute, you may want to inquire about excess pots at your favorite nursery. It’s a nice way to divert some waste and save some money.
Fill your containers with potting soil. I filled my pots about 4/5 of the way up as I want to give strawberries a chance to spread along the surface.
Wiggle your strawberry plants out of their small containers. Gently shake any excess dirt from the roots and replant in the new containers. The nursery recommended I split my 18 plants up into 2 pots. You don’t want to crowd the berries so many sure they have 4-5 inches of space on all sides.
Continue replanting all of your strawberry plants. You can top with rich compost or organic fertilizer after you pot them, but this isn’t necesary.
Water your plants and place them in partial shade in your backyard, on your porch, or on the balcony. My strawberries get full sun for a few hours, but are in shade most of the day. Water berries when the soil dries out or about once a week in between rain. If you leave them in full sun for longer, check soil moisture levels more often as you may need to give them a bit more water. Full sun for at least part of the day will encourage ripe, sweet berries.
Wait for strawberries! You’ll have fruit in 6-8 weeks and throughout the Summer through early Fall. Harvest in the morning, refrigerate immediately, and enjoy the literal fruits of your labor!
Stay tuned for more posts about propagating strawberries and preparing your strawberry container garden for winter.