So pretty much each year I try to grow strawberries and fail miserably. Last year I got a stacking container. One super hot day later and all the strawberries had withered up and died overnight. No amount of watering or shade really got them back to life and I gradually threw each one away as the hope for a comeback dwindled. Lesson from last year? Strawberries enjoy cooler weather, so if you're having a 100+ degree day, water them before you leave for work and put them in a spot that will get some afternoon shade. If you are growing them in containers, this should be easy.
This Year's Renewed Attempts
On to this year: to the right of my front fence I planted a line of strawberry plants. Mostly Eversweet (which is an everbearing) and two Loran (also everbearing). Picked them up at Lowe's for $2.50 each. Most strawberries sold around here for home gardeners are Everbearing, meaning they bear smaller fruit throughout the season. I'm guessing a trip to a nursery would have more variety but I'm just trying to keep a plant alive long enough to bear fruit so I don't care what type they are. The other type, June bearing, means all the fruit comes at once in one big harvest, and these tend to be the biggest berries. There's also a type called Day Neutral...which as far as I can tell does exactly the same thing as Everbearing.
Then, I'm also doing a strawberry container pot! I've heard you need one that's at least 18'', so I got a larger one. Most places only sell a small pot that's about 8'' high and far cheaper, so it took me some time to find the taller one. I finally ended up sending out an APB to family that I was looking for one and my sister found a cheap one and picked it up for me. So if you want one, get the word out to friends to search early! I got mine well after the season ended. Last year after getting it I researched how to use this tall pot and there's all sorts of layering with rocks in between each level of plants and some pole in the center with holes to distribute the water, but I'm far too lazy for that. So I guess if my container plants die, I'll try it the hard way next year. I just stuffed the plants in the holes and filled the pot with potting soil. Nothing special. But in here I have the same two varieties as in the bed and also Ozark.
Prepping the Strawberry Bed
|Fabric, plants, and mounds.|
Now...to sit back and wait on how my experiment does. In order to get the plants growing you're supposed to pluck off all blooms until July 1 the first year for Everbearing types so that the plant tries harder to grow. After that, you can let them turn to full berries for the rest of the summer and enjoy. The next year you can just eat all the berries, no need to pinch off the early buds. Also, don't over fertilize because it leads to the plants growing too many leaves and not enough blooms. I'll post updates throughout the season on how they're doing!