It's that time again to talk about strawberries in garden planters. Growing berries in containers can be a great alternative for those with little garden space and those who want to keep the plants from taking over the yard. The root systems on most berries are very hardy and love to take off and take over. The key to a successful berry container is good drainage and large enough pot size that will accommodate plant growth.
While plants will vary with soil type, the basic planting is the same for berries growing in a planter versus planted directly into the soil. Fill the container about half full of planting soil mix. Loosen the starts roots from the nursery container and place the plant in the pot leaving about 2" around the roots balls of each individual plant. Make sure it comes near the top of the pot and is not buried. The, fill the pot with remaining soil. When completely filled, water thoroughly and gently.
Caring for the berries in a planter pot or strawberry jar is easy. Plant in early spring while still dormate and place in the sun. The pots need plenty of water each week and depening on amount of wind is blowing. Wind tends to dry out garden planters faster. Fertilize monthly with a product that is made for berries and follow instructions carefully.
Lightly prune each year and always during dormancy. Remove the old dead branches and anything that may look diseased. Protect the plants with a layer of mulch in winter and they should survive. You can always move the planter pot to a garage or greenhouse.
There are 2 main types of berries. June-bearing and ever-bearing, that obviously bloom and fruit at different times.
June-bearing begins blooming in early spring and as the days get longer, flowering decreases and the plants top bearing fruit. flowering in ever-bearing strawberries can produce fruit over a long period of time. In cooler climates this means a consistent crop of fruit. Flavor and sweetness depend on the actual variety you choose so discuss this with a person at your favorite nursery.