Traditional technology involves growing strawberries (garden strawberries) in the beds, however, this method has a number of disadvantages, so gardeners are regularly looking for new methods of cultivating this berry. For example, some farmers practice growing strawberries in pots. The technology is relatively new, but already quite popular. It has a number of advantages and features that must be familiarized with farmers who first decided to grow strawberries in this way.
Growing strawberries in pots, you can get a good harvest of berries and a unique decorative element of landscape design. In comparison with other cultivation methods, this technology has several advantages:
- the mobility of the structure allows you to move plants from one zone of the site to another, or transfer the pots to a shelter for the winter to prevent freezing;
- the convenience of picking berries, which are hanging from the pot and begging for hand;
- the lack of contact of berries with the soil prevents their rotting and leaves the crop clean, without sandy deposits;
- growing in pots of strawberries of remontant varieties of continuous fruiting allows you to get a harvest all year round, provided that the pots are moved to room conditions;
- the opportunity to save free space on small plots of land.
Of course, with all the advantages described, the technology of growing strawberries in pots cannot be called ideal, since its implementation requires some financial costs. Caring for such plantings also has certain difficulties.
The best varieties for the pot
For growing in a pot, it is better to use remontant varieties, which will repeatedly bloom and form fruits during the season. This will increase the yield of the crop and provide high decorative planting qualities.
Important! Repaired varieties of long daylight hours bear fruit 2 times per season, varieties of continuous fruiting, regardless of the duration of the light period, bear fruit with a cycle of 6 weeks.
When choosing a strawberry variety for growing in a pot, you should pay attention to the ability to form a mustache. There are special varieties that, at the genetic level, are deprived of this ability, which means that the plants will devote all their strength to the ripening of berries. That is why such varieties should be preferred.
Having decided to grow strawberries in a pot, you need to give preference to the remontant varieties "Bolero", "Home Dessert". The well-known variety of continuous fruiting "Queen Elizabeth II" is also suitable for growing in a limited amount of soil. The variety "Finland" is distinguished by its high decorativeness. It belongs to the ampelous, curly varieties. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that the berries are formed throughout the entire vegetative period both on the bush itself and on its mustache. Moreover, the formation and ripening of berries occurs simultaneously. A photo of such a strawberry in a pot can be seen in the photo below.
More details about ampelous strawberries can be found in the video:
How to choose the right pot
When deciding to choose a pot for growing strawberries, you should not rely only on its aesthetic appearance. Beauty and design in this case do not matter at all, since most of the pot will be covered with foliage and berries of plants. You can choose from regular flower pots, planters, or oblong plastic containers. You can also make a pot yourself, using mayonnaise buckets, cut 5-liter water containers as a base. You can decorate homemade pots by staining, gluing beads, pebbles, shells.
Important! Coconut fiber pots are not suitable for growing strawberries.
The volume of the pot may be different, depending on how many strawberry bushes are supposed to be planted in it. At the bottom of the selected container, it is necessary to make drainage holes that will not allow excess moisture to accumulate in the soil. An important role in the drainage system is also played by the drainage layer of expanded clay or broken brick at the bottom of the planting tank.
Filling the container with soil
Strawberries are demanding on the nutrient content of the soil, and growing in pots requires a limited amount of soil, which is quickly depleted by the plant roots. That is why, even at the stage of creating a strawberry pot, you need to take care of the nutritional value of the filler. So, the optimal composition of the soil should include a mixture of turf and humus, in a 1: 1 ratio. A couple of spoons of nitroammophoska for 5 liters of soil will also allow you to add some necessary minerals to the soil.
Nutrient soil is poured into the pot over the drainage layer. In the process of growing strawberries, the nutritional value of the soil is periodically increased by applying mineral fertilizers.
Already grown strawberry seedlings or seeds can be planted in pots with nutrient soil. The second cultivation method takes a lot of time and care. You can sow seeds in the soil indoors in January - February.
Important! Strawberry seedlings for planting in pots can be prepared in the fall.
To do this, the mustache must be cut off and tightly folded into a rag bag, and then stored in a cool place.
Almost all strawberry varieties have a high level of resistance to cold, however, it should be borne in mind that the pots can be taken outside at night temperatures of at least 00C. With even a slight frost, the soil in the container can freeze, which will stop the growth of plants or harm them.
Caring for potted strawberries is significantly different from caring for garden plants. Bushes do not need to be weeded or loosened, which greatly facilitates planting maintenance. At the same time, watering requires special attention. It must be carried out regularly as the soil dries out. The amount of water when watering should be moderate, as the closed space of the pot can contribute to root rot.
Advice! To moisten the soil, the pots can be placed in a container filled with water for 2-3 hours. Through the drainage holes, the soil will saturate the required amount of moisture.
Fertilizers play an important role in the process of growing strawberries. So, the soil in pots periodically needs to be saturated with minerals. As a fertilizer, you can use an infusion of manure or wood ash. Also, for feeding strawberries, you can use the complex fertilizer "Kemira Lux". Repaired strawberries should be fed in early spring, during flowering and at the end of each fruiting stage. For this, fertilizers are added to the water during irrigation.
It is interesting to know that many industrial enterprises grow strawberries in containers. This technology is similar to the cultivation of potted plants. However, its peculiarity lies in the fact that there is no fertile soil in the containers, and expanded clay or special granules are used as a filler. All plant nutrients are obtained from moisture, which is a mixture of water and mineral fertilizers. Moisture is supplied to the roots of strawberries regularly in small quantities using drip irrigation. This allows you to grow berries in a short time in large quantities. The absence of soil prevents even the slightest contamination of the berries, which is why you can see beautiful, large, clean fruits on store shelves.
Vertical beds using pots
The technology of creating vertical beds using pots allows you to grow a significant amount of berries on small land plots. To do this, you need to create a stand with a height of up to 1.5 m. You can use a board as a material. It is convenient to use self-tapping screws to fix strawberries in flower pots or oblong plastic containers. Also for growing berries on stands, pipes with holes can be vertically fastened.
Examples of other ways to grow strawberries vertically are shown in the video:
The stand can be replaced by metal or wooden supports, the wall of the building on the south side.
Ideas for creating decorative ridges
You can decorate absolutely any area with "strawberry" pots. Such a flower bed will be a unique design highlight of the existing backyard landscape. Compositions with the use of several pots of different diameters look the most interesting. They can be stacked on top of each other to create a beautiful high bed.
On sale you can find flower pots of various irregular shapes, which can also be a "springboard" for growing strawberries and a unique design element. An example of such a composition can be seen in the photo:
Planting strawberries in pots allows you to enjoy berries and decorate your garden or, for example, a veranda. In a hanging planter, strawberries of ampelous varieties look great, the berries of which are abundantly formed on hanging shoots. Renovation strawberries can be hung in pots in the greenhouse. Suspended structures will not interfere with other crops and will delight you with a good harvest of delicious berries.
It is convenient to attach pots with strawberries to the windowsill of the building from the outside. This will make the outdoor decor unique, and at the same time feast on berries without leaving your home.
Thus, the way of placing and combining strawberry pots is limited only by the gardener's imagination. Mobile structures can be moved from one place on the site to another, following the sun. This will allow the plants to receive the maximum amount of sunlight and heat, which means that the berries will set in large quantities and ripen quickly.
Growing strawberries outdoors in pots allows you to preserve plants even with the arrival of severe winter frosts. This can be done by hiding containers in a cool room with temperatures from -1 to -30C. This temperature makes the plants go into hibernation and wake up safely in the spring with the arrival of heat.
However, as mentioned above, remontant varieties of continuous fruiting can delight with berries all year round. To do this, in late spring, containers with plantings should be placed in room conditions. The growth and fruiting of strawberries in winter is limited only by a lack of light, therefore, to obtain a harvest in winter, you need to illuminate the plants so that the duration of daylight hours is at least 12 hours. Watering and feeding strawberries in winter should be done regularly.
A unique video about potted strawberry cultivation in a year-round mode can be seen here:
It is generally accepted that pots are intended for growing indoor flowers and ornamental crops, however, their scope is much wider. In a container with a limited amount of soil, you can successfully grow tomatoes, cucumbers and, of course, strawberries. The technology for growing strawberries in pots is unique and promising, because it allows not only to grow a rich harvest of 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 is not at all difficult if you take care and remember about regular feeding and watering.