Complete Guide to Grow Strawberries in Pots

Strawberries are a delicious summer fruit that can be easily grown in your own garden or outdoor space.

By using pots as a growing medium, you can enjoy fresh strawberries even if you don’t have a large garden area.

This guide will provide you with all the essential information and tips for successfully growing strawberries in pots, including planting, care, and harvesting techniques.

We will also discuss the benefits and downsides of growing strawberries in pots to help you decide if this method is right for you.

When to Plant Strawberries

Ideally, you want to plant strawberries in late autumn or early winter (May to June) while the plants are dormant.

You can generally purchase bare-rooted strawberries at this time.

How to Plant Strawberries in Pots

Preparing the Soil and Pot

As strawberries are heavy feeders, they will appreciate lots of organic matter such as compost in their soil.

Prepare a potting mix containing compost, and consider adding composted animal manure or blood and bone for extra nutrients.

Choose a sunny location for your strawberries if you want a good harvest.

strawberries in pot | Fruit & Vegetables

Ensure the pot has good drainage and is spacious enough to accommodate the strawberry plant.

Planting Technique

Plant the bare-rooted strawberries, making sure the crown of each plant is just above the soil level. The crown is the swollen base in the centre of the plant.

Once planted, give them a good soaking of water. Add a layer of straw or sugar cane mulch over the soil and around the base of the plants to help retain moisture and protect the ripening fruit from pests.

How to Care for Strawberries in Pots

Watering and Feeding

Strawberries need consistent watering, especially during dry summer days. This is particularly important to remember when growing in pots because the soil tends to dry out more quickly.

If you have a busy schedule, consider setting up an automatic watering system to ensure the plants receive adequate water.

Feed your plants with a fertiliser designed for fruiting plants such as tomatoes. Select a fertiliser high in potassium to encourage fruiting.

Managing Runners

Once established, the plants will send out runners. Remove these by cutting them off near the base of the original plant.

You can use the runners to propagate new plants if desired.

Harvesting Strawberries

Expect the first fruits to appear around November if you plant bare-rooted strawberries in late autumn or early winter.

harvesting strawberries | Fruit & Vegetables

Harvest strawberries when they are almost fully red to avoid over-ripening or damage from pests. Use scissors or garden snips to carefully cut the berries from the plant.

Benefits of Growing Strawberries in Pots

Growing strawberries in pots offers several advantages:

  1. Less pests and diseases: Keeping strawberries off the ground helps reduce the risk of pests and diseases.
  2. Protection from fruit thieves: Potted strawberries are less accessible to slugs, snails, and other fruit thieves.
  3. More efficient drainage: Pots provide better control over soil drainage, which is crucial for healthy strawberry plants.
  4. Easier to harvest: Strawberries in pots are generally easier to access and harvest compared to ground-grown plants.

Downsides of Growing Strawberries in Pots

There is one major downside to growing strawberries in pots:

  1. Soil drying out: The soil in pots tends to dry out more quickly, which can stress the plants and reduce fruit production. In hot weather, you may need to water your strawberry plants multiple times per day. An automatic watering system can help mitigate this issue.

Companion Plants for Strawberries

Consider growing companion plants alongside your potted strawberries to improve their overall health and growth. Some suitable companion plants include:

  1. Bush beans
  2. Borage
  3. Spinach
  4. Lettuce
  5. Silverbeet
  6. Onions
Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.


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