A large garden bed isn't necessary for strawberries. You can grow them even if you don't have a yard. These small perennial fruit plants grow well in a variety of containers, including baskets hanging from porch awnings or balconies. The plants add attractive greenery throughout spring and summer while also producing sweet edible berries for the kitchen. Basket-grown strawberries may not produce as abundantly as those grown in beds, but with proper care you can still reap a sizeable harvest.
Remove the flower buds of newly planted strawberries to encourage healthy foliage growth, which encourages more strawberry production later. Remove June-bearing flowers the first year and allow the plants to flower and set berries in the second year. Remove ever-bearing and day-neutral flowers for the first six weeks after planting for a larger harvest later in the summer.
Check soil moisture in the basket daily, as hanging baskets dry out more quickly than garden beds. Water when the top inch of soil begins to feel dry. Water at the base of the plants until the excess begins to drain from the bottom of the basket.
Fertilise strawberries two weeks after planting the first year and again in August, applying a 10-10-10 analysis fertiliser at the rate recommended on the package for your basket size. Fertilise after harvest each year thereafter, following package application rates.
Cover the basket with a sheet of cheesecloth once the berries begin forming if birds are an issue in your yard. Hanging baskets may be treated as a bird feeder otherwise, which quickly decimates your crop.
Cut off runners as they form. These stems travel over the soil and produce roots, growing into new plants. There isn't room for new plants in a hanging basket so runners must be removed. Dispose of the removed runners or replant them into new plants by cutting them away after they begin to form roots.
Move the baskets to a protected area for winter after the first frost of the year; otherwise the soil will freeze and damage the strawberry crowns and roots. Store them in an unheated garage or enclosed porch.
When choosing strawberry plants, look for varieties that indicate they grow well in container gardens.
Avoid getting fertiliser on the strawberry foliage, as this can cause fertiliser burns and damage.
Tips and warnings
- When choosing strawberry plants, look for varieties that indicate they grow well in container gardens.
- Avoid getting fertiliser on the strawberry foliage, as this can cause fertiliser burns and damage.