The Best Way to Plant a Strawberry Pot

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The best way to plant a strawberry pot so that your plants are happy and give you loads of berries! The technique involves taking precautions against erosion, the soil drying out, and choosing the best compost. Includes a full video.

When you plant a terracotta strawberry pot you do it with high hopes. Visions of juicy berries spilling from each opening and delighting friends, family, and yourself with homegrown edibles grown in a small space. The trouble is that strawberry pots will often fail you. Compost falls out the sides, the plants look sad, and the berries that do form can be small and dry.

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There are three main challenges to overcome when you plant a strawberry pot: compost, water, and erosion. Each of these needs to be addressed if you want to see a decent harvest from your plants. Both the video and tips below will help you to plant a strawberry pot in the best way possible.

The best way to plant a strawberry pot with tips on choosing plants, erosion, watering, and compost #growstrawberries #containergarden #lovelygreens

The Basics of Planting a Strawberry Pot

The main principles of planting a strawberry pot begin with thinking about what the plants need. They need sunlight, temperate warmth, water, nutrients, soil/compost, and pollination. If just one of these is lacking then your plants will suffer.

  • Plant strawberry pots between late March and April
  • Place them in an area that gets sunshine for 6-10 hours a day
  • Rotate the pots regularly if there are plants suffering for sunlight
  • Situate the pot in an area where bees can get to the flowers
  • Use compost that’s rich and will retain water
  • Plant the plants in a way that reduces erosion from the sides
  • Use a mulch on the top to help keep moisture inside
  • Water daily — even if it’s raining
YouTube video

Although you can find plastic strawberry pots, terracotta is more traditional. One thing that you must be aware of when using terracotta clay pots is that they’re porous and have the ability to wick water. This means that water inside the pot and rain and moisture from outside can move back and forth. That’s why terracotta pots make excellent self-watering pots.

If there’s moisture inside and the pot is bone dry then the clay will suck the moisture out. For that reason, it’s best to soak the pot in water just before you plant it. This is an optional step but one that will help your newly planted strawberries, especially if you live in a dry and warm climate.

The best way to plant a strawberry pot with tips on choosing plants, erosion, watering, and compost
A classic terracotta strawberry pot

Preventing Erosion in Strawberry Pots

A lot of advice for filling up pots begins with filling the bottom with gravel or pot shards. However, a recent study says that adding material to pots to help with drainage is a myth. However, placing a handful of broken pot shards at the bottom of a pot helps keep the compost inside. It helps stop erosion from the bottom.

The best way to plant a strawberry pot with tips on choosing plants, erosion, watering, and compost
Broken pot shards (crocks) help keep the compost from eroding from the bottom hole

Strawberry Plants Grow Well in Containers

Strawberries thrive in pots and are happy even if their roots grow into one another’s space. That means that pretty much any strawberry plant can be potted up in a container, be it a small strawberry pot or a larger Strawberry Pallet Planter.

Even so, I think that smaller plants do better in small pots. That’s why I chose the pretty pink petaled ‘Just Add Cream’ strawberry for mine. It doesn’t seem to grow as large as other varieties and has proved itself great for growing in containers. I’d also choose alpine strawberries to plant up a small strawberry pot. Another good choice is the overbearing variety ‘Mara des Bois’.

The best way to plant a strawberry pot with tips on choosing plants, erosion, watering, and compost
This pink petaled strawberry is a variety called ‘Just Add Cream’

Preventing Erosion from the Pot Openings

The basic design of a strawberry pot has an opening at the top and several openings at the sides. That’s why thinking about erosion when planting a strawberry pot is a very good idea. Even the pots that have lips can still have problems with compost falling out.

What I do is cut a piece of landscaping fabric into a square with a slit on the top. Folded around the plant, it keeps the growing parts tucked into the compost, stops the compost from falling out, and can also help retain moisture.

The best way to plant a strawberry pot with tips on choosing plants, erosion, watering, and compost
A piece of landscaping fabric with a slit will help hold the compost against the plants’ roots
The best way to plant a strawberry pot with tips on choosing plants, erosion, watering, and compost
Make sure to spread the material out when planting

Plant a Strawberry Pot from the Bottom Up

When you plant a strawberry pot, you work from the bottom up. Place the shards at the bottom so that they lightly cover the hole at the bottom. Next, fill the pot up to the first set of holes with pure compost or soil-less potting mix. Push down on it lightly as you go.

When you get to the first set of holes, place the strawberry plants through from the inside. Make sure to spread the material out so that it doesn’t restrict the plant’s roots. Now fill the pot up to the next set of holes, pressing the compost down again as you go. There’s a lot of air in light, fluffy compost and if you don’t press it down, the compost will settle naturally with watering. Your pot will seem emptier if you don’t lightly compact it while planting.

The best way to plant a strawberry pot with tips on choosing plants, erosion, watering, and compost
The black material you see through the holes helps hold potting mix/compost in

Planting the Top of the Strawberry Pot

There’s usually space for one or two strawberry plants at the top of a strawberry pot. After tucking them in, spread a layer of fine gravel or horticultural grit on the top. It will help lock moisture in and will also stop the compost from running all over the place while watering.

Even if it’s raining, you should give your strawberry pot a drink once a day. For that reason, I like to keep my pot in a place that I’m going to notice and remember to water it. It will help you too to think about this once your pot is planted up.

Strawberry plants need a lot of warm sunshine to grow and produce berries. If you’re afraid that a plant on the backside isn’t going to get enough, consider rotating the pot regularly. Better yet, plant that cavity with something that won’t mind indirect light — a lot of greens and lettuces could do well there.

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4 Comments

  1. I love gardening you have given me so many ideas to start my strawberry garden next year thank you. O will need to make a compost too. I love the videos.
    My garden is in pots so I can take them on when the weather gets bad.

  2. Jack Dominique says:

    jACK Great show and informative I enjoy your presentation and the way you show every detail of how you do it ..Keep up the good job

  3. Hi Tanya: I really, really enjoy your blog, it has truly been helpful. I have spoken so much your good information to my daughter. I’m sure she will definitely sign up also.
    Tanya I have one question, my daughter and have been discussing this. There is a lot of chemicals being sprayed in the air, we were wondering is there anyway to protect our plants, especially if we plant organic plants?
    Laura

    1. Hi Laura and lovely to hear from you! So pleased you’re enjoying my site :) Air quality is something that none of us can escape, plants or people alike. On another note, many houseplants can help cleanse the air inside your home. Something you might be interested to research.