How To Plant Hanging Strawberry Baskets
Strawberries are a staple of the garden. Due to space some things need to be planted in containers or baskets.
Because of it's shallow root system and need for good drainage, Strawberries make an excellent candidate. Not only that, they're beautiful to look at...
That is... If you can keep the kids from eating all of them!
Which Strawberries to Plant
When it comes to strawberries there are two groups: Determinate and Indeterminate.
- Spends most of the season expanding it's root system & foliage.
- Produces Strawberries only once. Usually in late June.
- Produces a continual harvest
Planting in Coco Lined Baskets
There's all kinds of baskets and containers out there so there's no need to be picky. The one thing that is a must however is that the basket is well drained. Strawberries have a very shallow root system so they need to be kept moist but not to the point where they are standing in water and become saturated.
I like using Coco lined baskets for mine. Mainly because they drain well, look nice and are cheap. They usually last a good few years too depending on how aggressive the root system is of the plant they house.
- Fill the bottom of the basket with potting mix.
- Evenly space transplants in the basket. 3-4 Ozarka plants fit comfortably in a 10 inch basket.
- Hold the transplants upright while filling the basket with the remaining soil.
- Cover the soil with a layer of compost but do not cover the crown of the plant.
- Watter thoroughly.
Did you know
- Strawberries contain antioxidants
- Strawberry have seeds on the outside
- Strawberries help prevent cancer
- Strawberries were used medicinally by the Romans
Soil & pH Requirements
When it comes to container planting, strawberries thrive in good potting mix. If you're making your own mix it's essential to incorporate organic mater such as compost into the mix. The more organic material, the better. Strawberry plants also love sandy mediums. Peat Moss can also help with drainage. If using an unfertilized soil, add fertilizer a week or two before planting.
5.5 - 6.5 is the ideal pH level range for strawberries. What matters most is that the pH levels remain relatively consistent so a pH test kit may be required to periodically monitor and adjust levels as needed.
Soil Mix Recipe
Organic Matter (compost)
Prune After Planting
When looking at the transplants at the nursery did you ever say, "I want that one, it already has strawberries on it?" Well you won't like this tip then; but you'll reap the rewards in the long run.
After planting the transplants, prune off all the buds and strawberries that have already grown. The reason for this is that you want the plant to spend it's initial energy acclimating to it's new environment and developing its root system. This will yield a better quality harvest in the future.
When And How To Fertilize
Before you fertilize, check the bag the potting soil came in. If it says something like "Feeds plants up to 2-3 months.", then it already has fertilizer in it so wait a few months.
When feeding time does come around I use a 5-10-5 fertilizer. You can use granules, stakes or liquid fertilizers like Miracle-Gro. I like to use either granulated or stakes because they last longer. I'm lazy, so anything that lasts longer means more lazy time for me!
Finding A Spot To Hang Your Basket
Strawberries require about six hours of direct sunlight per day. I hang ours on the side of the grape arbor. With the apricot trees nearby this usually translated to about 8 hours in the summer time. They make nice decorative pieces around porch areas; just make sure they are getting all the sun they need there.
A Word About Compost
Any time I plant something I like to put a layer of compost over the soil. Not only does it provide a barrier against the sun; but, as it degrades, it replenishes the soil. Most compost contains manure. While it is an excellent source of nutrients once composted, in it's raw form it can do more harm than good. For this reason make sure you use real compost and not half composted material.
Good compost has a fresh and earthy scent to it. If it smells like anything else, let it compost more.
When To Water
Strawberries contain 90% water. For this reason, figuring out when to water isn't too tricky. The rule I use is to not let the soil dry out. As long as it's damp, your fine. In Coco baskets with good drainage, keeping them moist is a top priority. For me, in Texas, this translated to giving it a good watering once a day.