Why You Should Grow Strawberry Plants in Pots
Strawberry plants are of the easiest and popular fruit plants to grow at home, and it is little wonder considering how delicious and versatile strawberries are. Growing strawberries does have some pitfalls and planting them into the ground in the garden or on allotments can often end in disaster. This is because strawberry plants aren’t very robust and will need support as they grow.
When done correctly, it can be incredibly satisfying to admire your strawberry plant, bearing lots of fruit and looking wonderful at the same time. Often though, this takes a good deal of expertise, and consistently producing strawberries is difficult – even if you’re a professional.
But growing strawberries in containers or pots is a much easier affair and adopting this method can have some truly awesome results.
Strawberry Plants – Everything You Need to Know
Before we get into the ins and outs of pot-growing your strawberry plants, here is a bit of information about the strawberry plant to whet your appetite. The strawberry was first mentioned by the Romans and it was a popular treat during the ancient Roman period. It was then enjoyed for centuries without ever being farmed or purpose grown.
Instead, strawberries would be picked from woodlands where they grew abundantly. Charles V of France was especially fond of the strawberry and in the late 1300s collected wild strawberry plants to grow in his palace garden. During the medieval period, it was believed that strawberries cured depression because people were so joyful to eat them, and they were often prescribed to treat low moods.
Cardinal Wolsey, the famous Tudor cardinal who built Hampton Court Palace, is credited with creating the popular British dessert of strawberries and cream. From that point on, the strawberry was bred and grown privately to fulfil the increasing demand – until we reach the present day where we have many different varieties of strawberries, all with different attributes.
Strawberries have been bred specially for size, hardiness, disease resistance and taste among many other things. It would be very interesting to see what a Tudor strawberry tasted like compared to the strawberries we know and love today.
Why Growing Strawberries in Containers and Pots is Best
The biggest problem with growing strawberries in the ground is that the plants can be fragile and small changes in their growing environment can cause poor crops. Growing strawberries in pots or containers allows the gardener to control the strawberry plant’s growing environment and as a result, growing strawberries in this way often provides more consistent strawberry crops.
There are five key areas that give the practice of growing strawberries in pots an advantage over growing strawberries in the ground.
When growing strawberries outdoors, they are exposed to the weather, which is sometimes good as strawberries love lots of rainfall, but it is also sometimes disastrous as strawberries don’t hold up well in high wind conditions. Traditionally strawberries are native to woodland areas which offer protection and windbreaks, something the strawberry plant relies on for good health.
This isn’t just about having good fertile soil, and by and large you can rectify poor soil conditions outdoors to match conditions you want for your strawberries. Here we are really concerned about frost, as strawberries don’t flower as well if they have been in frosty ground. This lack of flowering of course leads to a lack of fruit and avoiding the ground freezing can be absolutely impossible.
Planting your strawberries in pots or containers allows you to move them around, and even put your strawberry plants inside during episodes of extreme cold. Pots and containers are also less likely to freeze than ground soil also.
Gardens naturally get different amounts of sunlight as the year unfolds and the seasons change. When growing strawberries in the ground they are in a fixed position and subject only to the sunlight they can get from their place. Growing in containers or pots allows you to position your strawberries in the optimal growing area as the seasons change.
This is where there is the least difference between pot growing and ground growing. But there are some small differences that could have lasting impact on your strawberries. Drainage is the big problem area for strawberries and if you have planted strawberries in an area with poor drainage you can expect plenty of growing issues.
Planting in pots and containers avoids drainage problems altogether and you can even add drip trays to grow strawberries indoors during poor weather spells.
By far the biggest problem you will have is pests. Being frank, strawberries are delicious, and they aren’t just delicious to us. All manner of pests find the fruit delicious and others find the actual plant delicious. This is very difficult to guard against when growing in the ground and slug and snail patrol isn’t ever a pleasant chore.
Growing in pots and containers allows you to grow your strawberries away from pests and out of harm’s way.
5 Great Containers to Grow Strawberry Plants In
By now you must be convinced that strawberries are great when grown in containers, but you might be wondering what type of container is best for strawberry production. There are multiple different ways you can grow strawberries and finding the one that works for you might be a bit of trial and error.
For example, you may have optimal garden conditions and want to use a grow bag to ensure that your strawberries don’t suffer from frost and cold related issues. Or you may want to grow your strawberries in hanging baskets or window boxes to keep the fruit high up and away from common pests. Lastly, it might be that traditional pots or strawberry specific pots that allow good drainage are best for you – it really is a matter of trying out each thing and finding which produces the best strawberries for you.