Strawberries are very attractive garden plants, bearing one of the most popular fruits, but they have a habit of wandering all over the garden and taking over planting space. A good way to prevent this from happening is to plant strawberries in a container. Traditional strawberry jars are good looking and functional, but tend to be on the expensive side. A homemade strawberry planter can have the same effect on your garden at a fraction of the cost.
Purchase a 5-gallon bucket or get one free from a local restaurant. Many commercially packaged foods come in these buckets and most restaurants are happy to give them to local customers free of charge. Mark around the perimeter of the bucket 6 inches down from the edge, in six equally-distant locations. Use a hot knife or drill to create holes in the bucket at these points, with each hole being 3 inches across.
Create another series of holes nine inches below the first set. Offset the placement of this new row so that the new holes are not directly below the first row, but rather between them. Drill a row of small holes around the outside of the bucket right above the bottom, for drainage.
Fill the bucket with a mixture of potting soil and compost until it is level with the bottom of the lower row of holes. Insert the roots of a strawberry plant into each hole and continue filling the bucket until the roots are covered. Make sure that the crowns of each plant are not covered in soil. Firm down the soil and water.
Continue adding soil and compost mix until it reaches the bottom edge of the upper row of holes, and plant strawberries in these holes the same way. Firm down the soil and water. Add more soil and compost mix until the level reaches an inch below the rim. Plant four strawberry plants in the top of the bucket. Water again.
Place the planter in a sunny location. Cut off runners as they appear, or root into small planters for planting somewhere else. In the fall when all the strawberries have been harvested, you can move the planter into a garage, shed or other protected location until next spring.