By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
My grandmother always had strawberry pots lined up on her back porch.
They were filled with strawberry plants that produced the most wonderful red fruit.
This fruit filled our cereal in the morning and delighted us with a cool treat after dinner that has never been duplicated.
The treat that I reminisce about was my grandmother’s homemade strawberry ice cream.
Years later after my grandmother’s children and grandchildren moved away she converted her beloved strawberry pots into works of art. She tried growing different types of plants in each strawberry pot. First she started with moss that grew under her trees and golden moss that grew in her garden. This produced a sea of green coolness that covered the pot.
Then she tried her hand at replanting her collection of succulents such as hens and chickens. This produced a pot full of texture that spilled out of the pockets of the container. Then she tried different herbs that could be used as her kitchen herb garden. This produced a tasty duality that she used in her Sunday dinner along with a visual explosion of colors and textures.
Strawberry pots come in terra cotta, ceramic, and plastic. Each type has its pros and cons but when thinking about trying one of these planters consider cost, location, and weight. Plastic is the cheapest and the easiest to move while terra cotta and ceramic are more expensive and harder to move due to weight.
There also exist 2 different schools of thought when it comes to planting a strawberry pot. Should one fill the whole container with soil or apply some drainage material to the bottom before soil is added. My personal feelings on this matter are if there are drainage holes then one needs drainage material or if the strawberry pot is going to be covered by a porch or is going solely inside, then drainage material is optional since you can control the amount of water. But regardless of what school you follow, planting a strawberry pot is simple.
Planting a Strawberry Pot
- Strawberry pot
- Drainage material
- Soil (type needed for specific type of plant)
- Plants of choice
- Wash strawberry pot in soapy water to remove any grime, rinse, and soak in bleach water to kill any germs. Then dry in sun.
- Place drainage material in bottom if you choose.
- Place potting soil formulated for the type of plants you are going to use. Start filling until you reach the “first pockets”.
- Then take your chosen plants out of their containers, tease the roots, and place plant through hole vegetation first. It is easier to do it this way than trying to pull the roots through the hole.
- Once all first level “pockets” have been filled repeat step 3 until you reach “pockets” again and repeat process.
- Continue with this process until you reach 4 inches from the top and then plant the top with your chosen material.
- Gently water in but be careful because soil will run out of the “pockets” until the roots take hold.
Remember that the success of a strawberry pot depends on the compatibility of the plants and how well you maintain your container garden. So give this old fashioned container a try. I promise that just looking at it will bring back a nostalgic time of Grandma’s lemonade, homemade Sunday dinners, and front porch sitting watching nothing but time trickling by.