Strawberry planters are available at nurseries and by mailorder, but by building your own, you’ll save money and have a high-quality container that’s custom-made for your garden space. Planting strawberries in planters tames their slightly invasive nature and simplifies maintenance tasks.
Planters are available in a variety of designs, from simple boxes and raised beds, to upright pyramid shapes. Visit the following websites for information on how to build your own strawberry planter at home. In no time, you’ll enjoy luscious, pesticide-free strawberries from your own backyard.
Plans for Strawberry Planters
This simple, no tools-required approach is featured on Instructables.com. The planter box is constructed from cinder blocks to make a simple square or rectangular design. The design can easily be expanded to make a larger box.
Originally planned for flowers, this wooden planter looks charming filled with strawberries. Tuck it in front of a window or on a sunny patio.
Try a vertical pyramid planter if you have limited space, such as this one from Runnerduck.com.
A barrel can also make a great planter — check out the plans for this one from MotherEarthNews.com.
If you have more room, build a simple raised bed for your strawberries. Raised beds warm up quickly in the spring and have few weed problems. Visit Sunset.com for detailed plans.
When selecting a container for strawberries, think beyond the obvious. Almost any container can be used, so long as it has adequate drainage. Try clay pots, plastic storage boxes or even metal troughs for watering livestock. Drill holes into containers so water can drain. Just make sure the material of your container is nontoxic, since toxins can leach into the soil and then into the strawberries you eat.
Strawberry plants are inexpensive to buy, take up little space in the garden, and require only minimal maintenance. The first step to growing great strawberries is choosing a variety well-suited to your region. June-bearing strawberries produce flavorful, high-quality fruit in early summer. They are the preferred berry for many gardeners, requiring little care to produce great fruit. The downside to June-bearing types is that they are easily nipped by late-spring frosts. June-bearing varieties aren’t always reliable in areas with harsh winters and late spring storms.
Day-neutral and ever-bearing varieties produce strawberries throughout the growing season. These types produce slightly fewer berries than June-bearing varieties, but they are a good option if you want a steady stream of berries for fresh eating throughout the summer.
Caring for Your Strawberries
Place your strawberry planter in a location that receives at least eight hours of sunlight per day. Fill it with a high-quality potting mix or make your own by mixing equal parts potting mix, loamy garden soil and compost. Plant June-bearing strawberries 12 to 18 inches apart; plant day-neutral and ever-bearing strawberries 5 to 9 inches apart.
Fertilize strawberries with a water-soluble fertilizer, according to package directions, immediately after planting and as blooms appear. Water the strawberries several times per week to keep the soil evenly moist. Although strawberries are perennials, they become less productive as they age. Grow them as annuals if you use small containers. If you have a large planter, remove old, spent plants each fall and replace the strawberries every three to five years.
Growing strawberries is a satisfying gardening venture. With just a little effort on your part, your strawberry patch will produce as much as 1 to 2 quarts of strawberries per plant each season.
If you’re not already convinced that growing your own strawberries is a smart strategy, consider this: strawberries are the third most pesticide-contaminated produce commercially grown in the United States, according to the Environmental Working Group, with some 300 lbs. of pesticides applied annually to one acre of strawberries. Yikes!