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Gardening Advice: Growing Strawberries in Hanging Baskets

Posted by Guest Blogger Wednesday, June 10, 2009 11:19 AM EDT

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Question: Is it true that strawberries grow very well in hanging baskets?

Answer: Strawberries have small root systems so they are good candidates for hanging baskets. In fact, on recent trip to Malaysia I visited a commercial strawberry farm where all of their crops were grown in hanging containers! As well as the basket being attractive, the fruit isn't laying on the ground to rot and there is less chance that slugs will find the strawberries.

  • You'll need to locate your basket where the plant gets at least six hours of direct sunlight
  • Use a good multipurpose soil mix: you'll likely need to water frequently because hanging baskets usually dry out quickly in the summer
  • To help retain moisture in the soil, mix in a soil can amendment that's safe for food; SoilSponge (made with coconut fibres) is my favourite
  • Avoid using the moisture retaining mixtures that use chemical polymers or hydrogels when growing food; they are fine for ornamental plants, but not for plants we eat
  • Be sure to fertilize your plants, too
  • Feeding every couple of weeks during the summer months should be plenty; a formulation for tomatoes works well

Strawberries fall into one of three categories: June bearing, everbearing or day neutral.

  • June bearing strawberries produce a crop once a year during a three-week period, usually in June
  • Everbearing produce two crops: one early and another in late summer or fall
  • Day neutral types can fruit continuously from June through September. Day neutrals like cooler temperatures, however they will not flower or bear fruit during hot weather

Answer provided by Veronica Sliva, Regional Director, Garden Writers Association.

This column was originally posted on the Foodtv.ca Eating Well site.

Gardening Advice is featured on Style Sheet on Wednesdays.

Topics: Summer, Gardening

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