by Monica Resinger of "Creative Home and Gardening"
Strawberry pots are the pots that are shaped like an urn and have 'pockets' up and down the sides. They are made especially for growing strawberries and are easy and convenient. You can also grow herbs, flowers or other plants in them. Plants that have a hanging habit put the pockets of strawberry pots to good use. Strawberries do have a hanging habit and don't mind being cramped.
If planting with other plants than strawberries, be sure to check their growing requirements before planting to be sure they are compatible. You'll need to group plants that require about the same amount of sun, water, type of soil and amount of fertilizer.
The pots are made of different materials, some plastic, some terra cotta, and some ceramic. Each material has its' pros and cons. With plastic, the pot is lightweight and will have a chance of toppling over in the wind but it is the least expensive. Since terra cotta is porous, it sucks up the moisture in the soil and therefore has to be watered more often, but, terra cotta is attractive. Ceramic may be the best way to go because it is heavy, retains water and is attractive, but you'll probably be paying a little more. When you purchase your pot, be sure it has holes in the bottom for drainage. This will ensure that your plants' roots won't be sitting in water and rotting.
When purchasing plants for the pot, choose one plant for each 'pocket' and three or four for the top. When potting, use any all-purpose potting soil and, if you wish, mix in a slow-release fertilizer. If you don't use the slow-release fertilizer, keep in mind that you will need to fertilize your plants some other way after planting. Plants in pots need more feeding than ones in the ground because each watering leaches nutrients from the potting soil.
Begin planting by putting the potting soil in the pot until you reach the first 'pocket' level. At this point, plant a strawberry or other plant in that 'pocket'. Continue all the way to about 3-4 inches from the top level and plant the three or four plants there and fill in with potting soil. Water well.
If planted with strawberries, set the planted pots in full sun on your patio or in your yard. Check to see if the soil is dry daily by poking your finger in the top inch of soil. If it is dry, then it's time to water.
Strawberry pots can be a fun way to garden. Consider planting themed gardens in them such as all blue flowers or Italian seasoning herbs. Just remember it's very important to make sure the chosen plants are compatible and will like growing in the cramped quarters of a strawberry pot. Have fun!
Remember the strawberries of your childhood, dew-covered and fresh-picked early in the morning and served with shortcake and whipped cream in the evening? Can you recapture that flavor? Sure you can -- but not with store-bought berries. Find out how to grow baskets of strawberries full of flavor, even in small spaces.
Copyright ©, 2000, Monica Resinger
Monica Resinger is editor of Creative Home, Creative Gardening and Creative Home Money ezines. Join one or all of these fun and informative ezines and get answers to your homemaking, gardening or money questions! Our readers are sure to have an answer for you. One informative article is also included in each issue. For more information, send a blank e-mail to the appropriate address to join: