Strawberries are sweet and offer several health benefits. Are you interested in growing these fruits, but Your Garden space is small? Or do you not even have a garden? We have a solution for you. Grow your strawberries in pot. Their small size makes them suitable for growing in pots. Growing them in pots comes with other benefits too. They will not be attacked by slugs or any other pests that live in the ground easily.
Varieties of Strawberries that Do Well in Pots
1. June Bearing Strawberry
June bearing strawberry variety bears large fruits. You can harvest the fruits for up to 3 weeks in every growing season. The variety develops fruits around June. That is how it got its name.
2. Day-Neutral Strawberry
Day-neutral strawberries produce small to middle-sized fruits. They continue to bear fruits as long as the temperature does not go below 35 degrees, and does not exceed 85 degrees. For maximum yields, replant your day-neutral strawberries every year.
3. Everbearing Strawberry
Everbearing strawberries produce fruits twice a year. They are the best option for containers since they do not develop several runners.
Instead, they direct their energy to producing fruits.
You can place your plants on a balcony or a rooftop, as they will require minimal space.
Here is a Step by Step Guide on How to Grow Strawberries on Pots
1. Choose a Suitable Pot.
There are several types of pots available. The kind of pot you choose will greatly impact how healthy your plants will grow, and the frequency of watering your plants will need.
You can choose to use plastic pots with drainage holes to prevent water logging.
Terracotta pots are suitable, too, as they are porous and will drain off excess water.
Grow an individual strawberry plant in a pot if it is small in size. If the pot is large, you can plant two seedlings.
Apart from the usual containers, strawberries will also do well in boxes, hanging baskets, and vertical jars.
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2. Add Soil
Use potting soil mixed with peat moss for maximum yields. Add manure to the mixture, and then water it thoroughly.
3. Plant the Strawberries
Start strawberries from seedlings, as they will grow faster. Place the seedlings in the soil, making sure the crown is above the soil surface.
Place the containers in a sunny spot.
Place your plants in an area where they will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. If this is not achievable, place your plants under some plant growing lights, for the same period each day.
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4. Water the Plants
Immediately you plant the seedlings, water them thoroughly using a watering can. Continue watering them frequently in sunny seasons, and reduce the frequency during the cold seasons.
Still, Water your plants adequately, especially during the fruiting stage. Watering them enough at this stage will result in the fruits having a sweet taste. However, do not over-water them.
To know it is the right time for watering, simply dip your finger on the soil mix. Of it feels dry; it’s time to add more water
To achieve maximum production, ensure that the soil does not get dry or soggy. To achieve this, add small amounts of water frequently, instead of adding a lot of water at once.
5. Add Fertilizer
Add a liquid fertilizer to the soil twice a month. Additional fertilizer increases the productivity of strawberries. Use a phosphorous rich liquid fertilizer.
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6. Dealing with Strawberry Runners
Strawberries will produce runners that grow out of the plants horizontally. If you plan to start other strawberry plants, you can keep them. However, if you do not intend to grow other plants from them, get rid of them, as they divert the plant production energy. Use pruning shears to cut them.
7. Mulch the Plants
Add a layer of mulch on the soil surface. The mulch will help conserve moisture and prevent the growth of weeds.
8. Harvesting Strawberries
Harvest the fruits when they turn red. You can pick fruits from a single plant for up to 3 weeks. The fruits are highly perishable. You should consume them a few days after harvesting; otherwise, they will develop mold and mildew, posing severe health risks
If you wish to consume them later, wash and dry them, then place them in a freezer.
9. Replacing Strawberry Plants
Replace your plants every three years.
10. Taking Care of Strawberries in Winter
Strawberries are sun lovers. In areas with extremely cold winters, your plants can easily freeze and die. During such seasons, cover your plants using an insulating material and move them to some shelter
Health Benefits of Strawberries
1. They Improve Digestion
Strawberries have a lot of fiber, which facilitates smooth food digestion, preventing constipation.
2. They Protect the Body from Harmful Ultraviolet Rays.
Strawberries have antioxidants that protect the body from the effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
3. They Prevent the Development of Cardiovascular Diseases.
Strawberries contain polyphenols, which reduces the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases. They also contain anthocyanin, which prevents the occurrence of heart attack
The fruits also have flavonoid quercetin, an anti-inflammatory that prevents atherosclerosis.
4. Prevents Cancer
The fruits contain antioxidants that reduce the possibility of one contracting cancer.
Advantages of Growing Your Strawberries at Home
When you grow your own fruits, you will have the advantage of enjoying fresh fruits right from your balcony or any other space you are growing them.
You can place your plants in various spots in your home, as long as it is sunny enough. If you are new to gardening, growing strawberries can be a good option, since they do not require special care.
Pests and Diseases that May Affect Strawberries
Some of the pests and diseases that may affect strawberries include:
Slugs boreholes under the cap of strawberry leaves. They also leave silvery marks on the foliage of strawberry plants.
Here are some tips to prevent the invasion of slugs on your plants:
- Aim to water your plants deeply, less frequently
- Remove mulch and other materials that may act as hiding places for the slugs
- Use a board or a citrus rind to trap them
2. Strawberry Sap Beetles
These dark beetles with orange spots bore into ripe fruits and eat some of their portion. To prevent them from damaging your fruits, Pick the fruits as soon as they ripen, and Remove fallen fruits from the ground as they attract the beetles.
Tips to Prevent Attack of Other Pests and Diseases
- Buy disease-resistant strawberry seedlings
- Harvest the fruits before they overripe
- Get rid of weeds from the soil as soon as they emerge.
- If other control methods fail to work, apply approved fungicides on your plants. Be careful to follow the usage instructions and safety precautions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Generally, a strawberry plant will take around a year to start developing fruits.
A strawberry plant may fail to produce fruits if it is not receiving adequate water and fertilizer.
If you do not want to start other plants from the runners, cut them. The plant will divert the energy to producing healthier fruits.
Get rid of the runners, apply adequate fertilizers and water to your plants. Still, place your plants in a sunny spot.