By Angie Marie

If you want to plant fresh strawberries, try growing them in hanging baskets. Hanging baskets prevent slugs from ruining your plants. They also allow for air ventilation, which prevents the berries from rotting as fast as they do on the ground. Plant your strawberries between late June and early September to yield healthy fruit. The hanging basket will allow you to harvest your strawberries easily, but you need to protect them from predators to ensure the quality of your fruit.

Choose a hanging basket with an 8-inch-to-12-inch diameter. Line the basket with moss if it does not contain a liner.

Soak the basket liner in water. Allow it to soak for one to two hours.

Add a light soil mixture to the hanging basket, including perlite, peat moss or vermiculite. Combine all three ingredients for an effective potting mixture by adding 1 quart of perlite, 8 quarts of peat moss and 1 quart of vermiculite.

Leave 2 inches of space at the top of your pot. Dig a hole in the center large enough to place the roots of the strawberry plants. Space the plants out evenly to give them plenty of room to grow. You can fit four to six plants in one hanging basket. Gently pack the soil down around the roots.

Hang the strawberry plants outdoors in a location where they will receive at least six hours of sunlight each day. Water the strawberries daily as needed to prevent the soil from drying out. Strawberries need a lot of water.

Remove the blooms once they begin to sprout. You also will need to remove any strawberries that start developing early. You want the plants to first develop strong roots in their new environment. Once the roots develop, pick the strawberries as they become ripe.

Keep the soil damp to encourage root growth.

Feed the strawberries an organic fertilizer every 10 days to keep them healthy.

Harvest the strawberries when they ripen to prevent them from rotting.

Place a net around the strawberries to protect them from birds.