How to Winterize Potted Strawberry Plants
Among all the fruits, strawberries are one of those that can be easily grown. Having a potted strawberry plant winterized will keep the happy plant year in and year out.
The popular reddish-orange pots used to grow strawberries are mostly made of terra cotta. The common terra cotta pots and those which are specifically made for strawberries will work perfectly. Terra cotta is highly porous, this characteristic gives a better soil drainage, this is why it is the preferred. You can purchase the strawberry pots either at local garden stores, or you get them online on websites like Amazon.com. Other container gardeners will prefer to use wire hanging baskets lined with moss or coconut fiber.
Strawberries are perennials plants: they experience dormancy in the winter and yield fruits again every spring.
They may require little preparation to enable them survive the winter season. Your potted strawberry plants can have the same productivity as those planted in the natural ground. The required amount of winterizing depends on the planting zone you are situated.
Every planting zone is conducive for you to grow your strawberry plants for at least the first few months in the year. If you want to be sure of the zone where you are situated, please visit PlantMaps.com to be sure. Those who reside in zones 2-7 have harsh winter temperatures that will require winterization for their potted strawberries. Those who reside in zone 8 or higher can relax, as there will be no extra attention required.
Winterizing strawberry pots in cold climes is done by leaving the pots in a cellar or cool garage, and also by taking the plants out of the pot to plant them inside plastic pots and further planting those pots in the natural ground up to the top rim level of the pot. Only the plant will be visible, but it should be covered with a loose layer of straw.
For warmer climates that usually don’t experience long periods of temperatures lower than zero degrees, the plants can be placed below a deck or could be placed on a covered porch to protect from winter precipitation. If you experience a long period temperatures less than zero degrees, you should bring them into your cellar or garage.
Those who reside in warm climates should just remove unwanted runners that may be on the plants, in order to enhance the healthier growth of the strawberry plant, and they should also water them at a lower watering frequency. It is noteworthy that the naturally ideal climate for the commercial production of berries is the warm climate.
That’s about all there is to winterizing your potted strawberry plants. Honest. Strawberries make a great container crop for the following reasons. They…
1. Have shallow root systems
2. Are low-maintenance plants
3. Produce small fruits that don’t require a lot of room
4. Have a vine-like quality that allows them to grow and produce outside the container
5. Naturally propagate runners that can be rooted quickly and easily into more pots
Ever-bearing strawberries (those which produce berries in the spring and late summer) are usually the best for growing in pots. Some of the more popular varieties of ever-bearing berries are Calypso, Alpine, Arapahoe and Alexandria.
When buying your plants, make sure you purchase plants with nice green foliage, few if any runners and plants whose root crowns are firm but fleshy feeling. Plants can be purchased at your local home and garden centers, or from fellow gardeners in your area who have plants to spare. Any of these reputable seed and plant catalogs are also excellent sources for quality plants that come with limited guarantees: Henry Fields, Gurney, Jung, Burpee, Park Seeds and Harris Seeds.
Growing strawberry plants in pots is a fun, economical, easy and delicious way to introduce yourself or your children to gardening and healthy eating.
Photo: credit to Flickr/anemone54