By Irum Sarfaraz

Strawberries are very hardy perennials that grow with only a little bit of care and attention in limited space. They should be well weeded and pruned to obtain a good harvest. Strawberries grow very well in containers and hanging baskets. There are also special strawberry pots which provide added ease in harvesting the fruit. Strawberries are best planted in raised beds and larger pots as this allows adequate watering without getting the leaves too wet. To get a spring harvest, strawberries need to be planted in pots in September.

Strawberries can be very easily grown in containers and pots as long as they are kept amply watered. When planting in pots plant them in about 6 inches of soil. In order to get berries in spring, plant the strawberries by September. To get an even earlier harvest move the plants indoors in February. Then pollinate them by brushing from flower to flower with a delicate paintbrush, picking and transferring the yellow pollen from one flower to the next. Prepare a good soil for planting strawberries. The roots of strawberry plants are shallow rooted as compared to most other fruit plants and they have to get all their nutrition and moisture from the topsoil.

The soil for planting strawberries needs to be light, slightly acid and well enriched with compost, peat or manure. This helps to hold in moisture during dry weather. The same soil which is good for vegetables is usually optimal for strawberries as well.

Do not plant strawberries in nematode-infested soil. Nematodes are commonly found in soil in warmer climates but can be present in other areas, too. It you suspect nematodes in the soil, it is best to sterilize the soil before planting strawberries.

The best time to plant strawberries is early spring. When planting strawberries in containers, pots and jars plant them in fall and place them in a sheltered area. It is also recommended to mulch them heavily to provide insulation.