Last year I bought a dozen Ozark ever-bearing strawberry plants from Gurneys. They put out babies and I now have strawberries all over, even growing in the dirt around the door to my greenhouse where I had some of these pots sitting when trying to find a place for them.
My original plants didn’t produce well the first year, but this second year they are turning out the berries. Strawberry plants should live for about 5 to 6 years, but start to decline after about 3 years. My plants are ever bearing, so after a summer break, I can expect another crop in the fall.
I planted most of the strawberry plants in 10″ hanging pots, but set the pots in this bed for a while. The plants sent out runners and the ones that rooted over-ran this bed. I wish that I had mulched it better – I need to add something, maybe chopped leaves to keep the berries off of the ground.
I am surprised how strong and hardy these plants are. We have mild winters in east Texas, having had only a few nights of mid to upper 20 degree weather and only a few 30 degree days. These plants handled it just fine. The crown is constantly putting out new leaves.
The easiest way to grow strawberries is in hanging pots. The fruit cleanly hangs from the sides and does not rot on the ground. Easy to harvest also. A 10″ pot is sufficient for one strawberry plant.
My problem now is to weld up some rebar into hanging pot stands, enough to handle about 3 dozen hanging pots.
Don’t allow too many runners to grow from the plants – most sources seem to say that 3 runners are sufficient, although no one discusses how many plants to allow per runner. The runners produce at least 3 to 4 plants each. The runners take plant energy from fruit production, but I want some runners so that I can have more plants.
When you plant a strawberry plant, be aware that the crown is the heart of the plant – the crown should be half buried in the dirt. If you totally bury the crown, it could rot. They like full sun and slightly acidic soil – pH of 5.5 to 6.8.
I temporarily have about 2 dozen handing baskets on several bent cattle panels – this one is on the panel that I grow my yard long green beans and Chinese long red beans, so I will have to move them in a month or so. I am just going to let the strawberry plants in the bed stay there. Wood sorrel has been sprouting all over my place – it is the lighter green leaves in the front end of this bed. Going to pull it and get the beans planted.
Strawberries are a delightful plant to grow in your garden.