Strawberries are one of the most delectable fruits out there. The plump fruit calls to mind lovely summer days and laid-back weekends. The sweet, tangy and juicy fruit is truly a best-seller in fruit markets and groceries, and while it may be fun shopping for this yummy fruit, it is definitely more fun growing them by yourself and enjoying it freshly-picked from your garden. If you have no garden, worry not. Strawberries are grown in containers, so you can actually have your strawberry field right in your kitchen counter! Here are a few tips on how to grow strawberries in a container.
- Get the stuff you need. Don't just start without first preparing your implements. To create your mini strawberry field, you will need a strawberry pot, soilless potting mix, granulated organic fertilizer, pea gravel, cardboard tubing or a 2-inch pipe (PVC), and of course, strawberry plants. You can find all of these in your local gardening or hardware store, so you won't have a difficult time looking for them.
- Get the perfect pot. Your strawberry pot should be at least 24 inches in height. It should have a wide mouth, so your strawberry plant won't feel cramped. Make sure your pot has 6 to 8 pockets on the sides. They should be pockets with cupped lips, so there is less spilling of soil and water. Pick your strawberry plant and make sure you get the variety that will provide you with a harvest throughout the summer. Tri Star is one of the most robust varieties, so maybe you can start with this.
- Premoisten your soil. Before packing it into the pot, you should moisten the soil first. Pour your soil into a container and add a bit of water into it. This process prevents air bubbles and keeps the soil in place when you first water the pot. This would also be a good time to add granulated organic fertilizer into your soil. Stir this until the fertilizer is distributed well. Make sure that the soil you choose is top quality. Watch out for those that come premixed with synthetic fertilizers or other components.
- Install a gravel column. The gravel column will aid in making the water flow freely into the pot. You should be able to install this in the middle of the pot. Add two inches to the height of your pot and cut out the same length to your tube. You may either use a PVC pipe for this or cardboard tubing. Place it vertically at the center, and fill it with pea gravel, leaving about an inch space from the top of the pot.
- Fill in with soil. Now that you have your tube firmly at the center of the pot, start adding potting mix to the pot. When you reach the first pocket, plant the first strawberry plant. Make sure that you loosen the roots gently first and angle the roots downward into the pocket. Cover the roots with potting mix. Pat the plant firmly in place. Continue doing this until your fill up all pockets. Make sure you leave 2 inches between the soil and the rim of the pot.
- Do the finishing touches. Plant more plants at the top. Plant about three more strawberry plants at the top of the soil. Make sure you don't crowd the plants too much. When you're done, remove the tube in the middle of the pot. Wiggle the tube gingerly back and forth until it becomes dislodged. This provides you with a channel through which your water can flow. Make sure to keep your strawberry blooms healthy by watering frequently, but be careful not to flood it. Add fertilizer to the soil. Watch out for bugs and keep the plant healthy. When the berries are plump, red and tender, they are now ready for harvesting.
Now that you know how to grow strawberries on your own, you can enjoy its juicy succulence anytime you want. Now you can feel like its summer all the time.