Growing strawberries in hanging baskets has been popular for many years, as strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow. There are several different varieties of strawberries to choose from, however most do well with minimal but frequent care. Here is a step-by-step guide to show you how to grow strawberries in a hanging basket.
Step 1 - Prepare the Hanging Baskets
You'll need to choose a hanging basket suitable for growing strawberries. A popular basket used for growing strawberries is a wire basket that is lined with Coco fiber, however any hanging pot or basket that provides good drainage will work as well. Before adding soil to the basket, you'll need to ensure that you thoroughly soak the basket or pot that will be used.
Step 2 - Create Soil Mixture
Next, you'll need to create a mixture for the basket to be used. You should use peat moss, perlite and vermiculite in a 8-1-1 mixture ratio. This will provide for a lightweight mixture that does not add a lot of weight to the hanging basket. This mixture will also help retain water better than most potting soils and helps prevent your strawberry plants from drying out too quickly. Mix the ingredients well.
Step 3 – Add the Mixture to the Basket
Using the mixture you just created, fill the basket or pot to a depth of about 2 to 4 inches from the top. Then, create a hole that is large enough to accept the roots of all the strawberry plants. You should try to spread the plants out as much as possible to help stimulate growth. If you used a 12 inch basket, you should be able to easily place six strawberry plants, however if you use an 8 inch or 10 inch basket, you may only be able to use four plants.
Step 4 - Initial Watering
Next, you'll need to ensure that you water the plants thoroughly so that the mixture and the roots of the strawberry plants are adequately soaked.
Step 5 - Hang the Strawberry Plants
During the first few days after the initial planting, you will need to ensure that the strawberries are placed in a location out of direct sunlight. You should keep the strawberry plants in this location for 3 to 4 days while they are adjusting to their new basket home. Afterwards, you can start to gradually move the strawberries in the sunlight; a few hours a day at first and gradually increased time until the plants are left in direct sunlight 6 to 8 hours a day.
Step 6 - Strawberry Plant Maintenance
You'll need to monitor your strawberry plants on a daily basis, and water them accordingly. Always ensure that the soil is moist but not waterlogged or soaked. Use a high-quality water soluble fertilizer about every 10 to 14 days or so. Furthermore, try to use fertilizers that are high in phosphorus as this will promote growth.
When strawberries turn red, they are ready to be picked. Depending upon the variety of strawberry that you have planted, you should expect to see strawberries bear fruits during a 2 to 3 week period in the spring for June bearing strawberries, and at varied periods during the spring, summer and fall ever-bearing strawberry varieties.