Expert gardeners frequently suggest that newcomers to the world of container gardening start their gardening adventure with strawberries. As shallow-rooted plants that thrive in rich soil, strawberries provide you with an ideal plant to grow in a variety of containers, according to Bill Marken, co-author of “Container Gardening for Dummies.” Rather than invest extra time and effort in constructing wooden containers, consider growing your strawberries in free-standing galvanized tubs. Not only does the galvanization process ensure long life for your strawberry containers, but the metal material lends a laid-back but tidy appearance to your landscaping.
Flip your galvanized tubs upside-down on the ground. Drill ¼-inch drainage holes across the bottom of each tub. Space the holes evenly to ensure even drainage, drilling approximately three to five holes per square foot. Place the tubs in an area that receives at least five hours of sun each day.
Spread a 1-inch layer of small stones or loosely-spaced gravel across the bottom of each tub to provide better drainage. Fill the galvanized tubs with approximately 2 inches of the top edges with equal amounts of compost and plain topsoil. Mix the soil and compost together thoroughly with your hands to ensure an even blend of nutrients for the strawberry roots.
Loosen the roots of young strawberry starter plants. Dig a hole large enough to contain the entire set of roots. Insert the roots completely into the planting holes in the soil of the galvanized tubs. Spread the roots out across the base of the hole to promote adequate root growth. Pack the soil around the roots gently, making sure it covers the roots and the bottom half of the plant’s crown (the narrow part of the plant where all the roots join together at the stem). Place the plants 18 inches apart in long containers. Minimize crowding by avoiding putting more than one strawberry plant in narrow tubs that measure less than 30 inches long.
Water your strawberry plants immediately after planting them. Deliver a gentle but steady stream of water to the entire area of soil surrounding each strawberry plant, soaking them completely.
Things You Will Need
- Galvanized tubs
- Drill with 1/4-inch bit
- Plain topsoil
- Purchase or borrow galvanized tubs, depending upon your gardening budget. Look for new tubs at your local farm supply stores and garden centers. Talk to family and friends--especially those who may use them for watering livestock--to see if any of them have old galvanized tubs that they no longer need. Avoid using tubs that measure less than 2 feet tall to ensure that you provide your strawberry roots with plenty of room for adequate growth.