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Do you need a strawberry pot to plant strawberries in or can a standard Terra Cotta pot do? I'm new at gardening, but in todays' economy I'm trying to build a garden (cheaply) to depend on rather than buy produce. I need help!
Hardiness Zone: 10a
Geatina from North Fort Myers, FL
Sure, you can grow strawberries anywhere. The reason that strawberry pots are nice is because the plants naturally vine down, so it is very pretty and a good way to fit lots of them in a small space. I don't know if slugs are a problem in Florida, but in the Pacific Northwest where I live, they wind up eating all the strawberries if you plant them in the ground. One thing you can do is get copper tape (relatively cheap at any garden supply or home improvement store) and place it around the top of your terra cotta to keep them away from your berries.
I was just thinking... If you live in Southern Florida, shouldn't you be growing strawberries in the winter and not the very hot summer months?
My grandma always grew her garden in the winter in Fort Myers. You won't have to deal with the Slugs that we have here in Seattle, but, you will have to deal with ants, and ants can ruin any strawberry plant, so you may want to hang your strawberries from hanging planters, to keep the plants up and the ants away. Copper tape works great to keep slugs away, but I don't think it'll help keep ants away and Florida has some mighty big ants!
HERE'S SEVERAL OTHER IDEAS:
You can buy a large bag of potting soil and set it up on end and wrap some chicken wire around it. You may need to stake it to the ground so it won't tip over. Then poke lots of drainage holes with a pencil or knitting needle down towards the bottom of the bag.
Next poke larger holes to plant your strawberries in around the sides and the top. You may have to cut larger holes in the chicken wire with nippers or wire cutters (for planting). If you do, be sure to fold back the wire or stick duct tape on the sharp pieces of wire and please be careful not to cut yourself when planting the strawberries.
You'll also need to poke a larger hole in the top to water your strawberries. If you use the potting soil bag as a planter, be careful not to water too much as the plastic tends to hold the water in longer. (This can be a plus if you live in a dry area).
If you want the planter to look fancier and be protected from the hot sun you can stick moss, dried grasses or hay into the chicken wire to cover it up until the strawberries grow larger.
When I was a child I remember picking strawberries off a Strawberry Bush. I'm no gardener, but I think strawberry pots are made for people that have very little room to plant (like those that live in a condo, or those who want strawberries on or near their front porch). I'd think you could just plant your strawberries in the well-tilled ground and stick a tomato trellis or wire over or next to them so they have something to grab on to when they grow.
I've also seen people make strawberry planters out of old barrels. It's as simple as dripping holes in the wooden barrel. I also bet you could use any hanging planter (or an old plastic pot hung with a piece of rope) and plant strawberries that hang. I bet you can search "strawberry pot" or "growing strawberries" on ThriftyFun and you will find some very cool and unusual ways to plant strawberries.
GROWING STRAWBERRIES IN A WHEELBARROW:
ALL ABOUT STRAWBERRY POTS:
STRAWBERRY POT SIDE TABLE:
Thank you for your input. When were you last in Fort Myers? It sure has changed. Back in the 50's US 41 was tiny and the Edison Mall was a baseball field if even that then. I'm in my mid 30's but remember being here w/ my grandparents at 4yrs. old in the Cape, Beach Parkway to be exact. Thats when Del Prado was just being constructed. I live about 7 min from the Shell Factory. It too has undergone changes.
You brought a valid point about the ants I didn't think about. I can't hang the baskets anywhere they can get sun and also I have a severe back injury that prevents me from lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk (and even that is difficult). I talked to someone at Lowes and they said growing them in regular pots is fine, in fact he had many strawberry plants growing in a gutter that had the ends plugged. He filled it with rocks and soil and they thrive.
I got the plants b/c they were on clearance. I don't expect to get fruit this year, but start for next year maybe.
Do you know of any ideas that will help with the ants and not harm the plants?
Great to hear from you.
Call your county's cooperative extension service (ask your library if you can't find it in the phone book). They maintain a program of volunteer Master Gardeners who love to offer help. Go see their strawberries and go back again and again! Costs nothing to ask all the questions you want and see results in front of your eyes!