Have you ever wondered about growing strawberries in hanging containers? Few things are as delicious – or as festive – as a ripe strawberry. Plump, juicy, and red, strawberries are associated with summertime and are often used to decorate cakes and other desserts. The scientific name for the strawberry is Fragaria, and it is part of the Rosaceae family, which also includes raspberries, blackberries, and almonds. There are many different varieties of strawberries, but the most common are the June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral types. June-bearing strawberries produce a single large crop in late spring or early summer.
Everbearing strawberries produce two smaller crops – one in late spring and another in fall. Day-neutral strawberries cultivate fruit all over the growing season. All varieties of strawberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. In addition to being eaten fresh, strawberries can be made into jams, jellies, pies, and other food items. They can also be used as a natural dye for fabric. Strawberries have been cultivated for centuries and their popularity shows no signs of waning. Whether enjoyed on their own or used as part of a larger dish, strawberries are sure to please.
What Family Do Strawberries Belong?
Did you know that strawberries are not technically berries from a botanical standpoint? Each seed is surrounded by flesh, making each berry a distinct fruit. Strawberries have up to 200 seeds per berry. Strawberries are in the rose family (how fitting), are high in Vitamin C, and have numerous health benefits.
Where Are Strawberries Native To?
Strawberries are native to North and South America, Asia, Europe, and the Arctic; leaving out Africa, Australia, Antarctica, and New Zealand. Strawberries have long been cultivated in Europe from the wild since the 14th century.
After years of development, the Versailles strawberry was eventually released in France and England during the 1760s. All modern strawberries can be traced back to strawberries from Chile and the state of Virginia in the United States, which were developed with the goal of producing a big, robust, and flavorful berry. I believe they succeeded in doing so.
How To Grow Strawberries In Hanging Containers
Few things are as satisfying as biting into a freshly-picked strawberry. If you do not have room for a traditional garden, though, you may think that you have to go without these juicy fruits. Luckily, strawberries can be easily grown in hanging containers. Here is what you need to know to get started.
First, choose a hanging container that is at least 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Be sure to select a pot with drainage holes in the bottom so that your strawberries do not become waterlogged. Next, fill the pot with a mix of two parts potting soil and one part perlite or sand. This will help to ensure good drainage.
Once your pot is filled, it is time to add the plants. Look for varieties that are specifically bred for container growing, such as ‘Tristar’ or ‘Ozark Beauty. Gently remove the plants from their pots and space them evenly in the container, being careful not to disturb the roots. Water well and voila – you are on your way to homegrown strawberries!
Strawberry Growing Conditions
To grow strawberries successfully, you need to start with a well-prepared bed. The soil should be loose and rich in organic matter, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. You will also need to make sure the bed is well-drained, as strawberries do not like wet feet. Once the bed is prepared, you can sow the seeds or plant the runners. Strawberry plants should be spaced about 30cm apart, with rows spaced about 75cm apart. After planting, water well and apply a mulch to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Strawberries need full sun to produce the best fruit, so choose a sunny spot in your garden. They will also tolerate partial shade, but they may produce fewer berries. In hot summer climates, some afternoon shade may be beneficial to prevent the berries from overheating. Strawberry plants will produce fruit for 3-5 years before they need to be replaced. To extend the fruiting season, you can plant different varieties that ripen at different times. With proper care, you can enjoy fresh strawberries from late spring through early summer.
Caring For Strawberry Plant
Strawberry plants are one of the most popular fruit-bearing plants grown in home gardens. Though they are not too demanding, strawberry plants do require some special care to produce an abundant crop of juicy, delicious berries.
During the spring and summer months, strawberry plants should be fertilized monthly with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. This will help promote new growth and encourage the development of large, healthy berries. Strawberry plants should also be kept well-watered during these months, as berries are more likely to split or rot if the plants become too dry.
In late summer or early fall, strawberry plants should be pruned back to encourage the production of next year’s fruit. After pruning, apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help protect it from cold winter weather. With proper care, strawberry plants will produce an abundant crop of sweet berries for many years to come.
Pests And Diseases
Strawberry plants are susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases, which can cause damage to the fruit and leaves. One of the most common pests is the strawberry weevil, which drills holes into the berries and lays its eggs inside. The larvae then feed on the flesh of the berry, causing it to become misshapen and discolored. Another common problem is gray mold, which can cause the berries to rot.
Gray mold is often spread by creatures such as slugs and snails, which crawl across the berries and transfer the spores. To prevent these problems, it is important to keep your strawberry plants healthy and free from debris. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests or diseases, and remove any affected berries immediately. If you see signs of gray mold, treat the plants with an approved fungicide. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy a delicious crop of strawberries for many years to come.