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Planting Strawberries in Hanging Baskets

Hello Villagers,
     Spring is in the air and that means it’s time to start planting! Involving your child in gardening can have positive impact on your their attitudes towards and willingness to try fruits and vegetables. This is shown frequently in the research and I’ve seen it in my own children as well. Even my pickiest child will munch on vegetables when she picks them from the garden. But if you’re like me, then you may not have a ton of land to plant a large garden. Lucky for us, many fruits and vegetables grow well in containers.  Today, we are going to focus on strawberries.
     This year I decided to try growing strawberries in hanging baskets. I did this for a few reasons. One, strawberries can quickly take over a garden if the runners aren’t well controlled and I didn’t want them to over power my other plants. Two, their shallow roots allow them to grow well in a container. And three, growing these strawberries in hanging baskets would reduce/prevent insect infestation. I am still developing my green thumb so I’ll take any help I can get.
     I’ve never used hanging baskets so I needed to purchase some before getting started. It is recommended that you use baskets that are at least 12 inches in diameter. This will fit 3-5 plants. I chose these 14 inch baskets and planted 3 strawberry plants in each.
     As for the variety of strawberries, I chose the “ever-bearers”. These bear fruit 2-3 times a year and produce fewer runners that will take nutrients away from the plant. Once planted, strawberries should be provided a high potassium fertilizer once a month until it produces flower, then it should be fed every 10 days. Your strawberry plants should also not be allowed to dry out, however, over watering can cause the roots to rot. Your plants should be hung where they receive at least 8 hours of sunlight.
     If well taken care of, your strawberry plants should bear fruit for 3 years. Setting up your containers may be a little costly at first, but if you have 4 berry lovers like I do, then it should pay off in the long run!
Happy gardening!

Jessica Barnes, PhD, RDN, LD

Dr. Jessica Barnes received her PhD in nutrition from Texas Woman's University. Her research focused on food preference development and creating materials to help preschoolers become familiar with healthy foods. She has worked with families and communities as a clinical and community Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

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