Strawberry Hanging Basket
As the old saying goes "necessity is the mother of invention" and I recently had a big strawberry necessity on my hands. I found myself in quite the quandary this spring when I had to relocate a large strawberry patch in the One Acre Garden. Fortunately strawberries are versatile. They make a unique and useful ground cover and the trailing habit lends itself well for containers. I've been tucking plants into every available spot because I can't bring myself to sacrifice a single berry.
Having used up all my ground space I had to venture up with my strawberries, which resulted in a basket of berries hanging right outside my door.
- 4 to 5 strawberry plants
- 12-inch hanging basket
- Coco liner
- Potting soil
- Slow-release fertilizer
Line the wire basket with a coco liner. These will be available wherever you can purchase wire baskets or through online retailers. The coco liner holds the soil in place, while allowing water to drain through.
Fill the basket half-full with potting soil and use potting soil, not garden soil. Not only will the basket be lighter, but potting soil drains better than garden soil.
Work a slow release, all-purpose fertilizer into the soil. Follow the package instructions.
Plant your strawberries and back fill with soil. Leave about 1 inch of space between the soil line and the lip of the basket. This will keep water from spilling over the sides.
Water well and hang the basket in a place that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight.
Growing Strawberries in Containers
You can plant strawberries in spring as soon as weather permits, or in the fall. If a spring frost is predicted protect the flowers with a layer of wheat straw, pine needles or a frost blanket. Plant strawberries high with the base of the bud union at soil level and the soil just covering the roots. The soil should be well-drained, humus rich with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
Strawberries planted in spring will begin to ripen 60 to 70 days after planting. Fall-planted strawberries begin producing in late spring or early summer. Wait to pick until they are uniformly red. Once off the vine they will continue to turn red, but stop sweetening. Pinch them from their stems; don't pull. They should come off easily if they are fully ripe.