Daily care of any plant is key to their success.
Give your strawberry container or hanging basket a quick daily head-to-toe assessment.
Check for things like:
- Leaf Colour – Leaf colour is the first indication of plant health.
- Is the colour a deep dark green? Are there yellow, spotted, black, or moldy leaves?
- When you see something other than a healthy green leaf, look a little deeper. Is the leaf just old? If so, remove it. Is there mold? Remove that one and take off some other leaves all over the plant to improve air circulation in and around the plant.
- Check for bugs – quickly turn over a few leaves to see if you have any pests living on your plant. They love to hide on the bottom sides of leaves or on the top of the soil because they are safe there.
E – Ensure that Your Strawberry Planter has Ample Water
Checking that there is enough water available to your strawberry planter is also a daily practice.
There are a couple of ways to check for adequate hydration:
- If your strawberry container is light enough to pick up, check the weight. Get familiar with what the weight is when it is completely saturated after you have watered it and then keep monitoring it as the days pass. When it gets light and before the plants have wilted, water it so the water drips out of the bottom of the pot.
- If your container is too heavy to pick up, then poke your index finger in the soil to the second knuckle. If it is dry at the tip of your finger, it is time to water. If the planter is shallow, like 30 cm (12″) it is okay to have the water drip out of the bottom. However, as pots get larger and deeper, allowing water to flow out of the bottom could actually result in an overhydrated container, so be careful to monitor your plants.
- Bear in mind that most strawberry roots live in the top 8-10 cm (3-4”) of the soil. Keep your strawberry well drained, and not wet. Strawberry roots have a low tolerance for being soggy and they will rot.
N – Nutrition
This step is about fertilizing. Knowing how to fertilize plants growing containers is an important step because containers have a finite amount of soil. Water often drips out of the bottom of planters and the water takes fertilizer with it where the nutrients get washed out of the soil.
Fertilize strawberry containers weekly with a balanced fertilizer like 20-20-20 or any other fertilizer that is suited for strawberries. You may prefer an organic or natural fertilizer. Follow package instructions as directed.
D – Deadhead and Boost Growth
This step is about keeping your strawberry plants trimmed back and tidy to maintain their health and productivity.
- Pick ripe strawberries when they are ready to promote new flowering and more berry growth.
- If the strawberry plant gets straggly, just trim it back by pinching it or clipping it back with a pair of scissors. It is always best to trim near the leaf nodes – that’s the area where leaves emerge from the stems.