Strawberries really are the best part of summer. Even better, if you have a few acres to devote to growing them, these vine-a-licious berries can fill fields. If you don’t have several acres to play with, however, no worries! A simple strawberry planter on a patio or balcony can let you grow these gems just fine.
In fact, strawberries are some of the best plants to grow in containers. These small plants with shallow roots can grow successfully in pots as small as 10 inches across and 8” deep. That opens up a lot of options!
When you’re choosing potential strawberry pots, select those that have good drainage. In hot climates, choose light-colored pots to reflect the sun and keep the plant cooler. These berries prefer not to cook in their containers. With so few limitations, almost anything can become a successful strawberry planter! Let’s check out some fun ideas for you to try out.
1. A Strawberry Jar
Strawberry jars are one of the most popular options for growing berries in containers. Basically, they’re tall planters with multiple holes to allow many plants to grow in one pot. Several plants with interlocking root systems can thrive in a strawberry jar. As a result, you can produce a bountiful harvest of berries in these beautiful containers.
Some traditional jars have a lip under each hole to help maintain the soil and plant as it grows. Strawberry jars are definitely one of the ideal strawberry containers, but they’re certainly not the only option.
2. The Strawberry Tube
Wait, what? A tube of strawberries? That’s exactly what I thought, but it’s true. A length of PVC pipe can grow an abundance of berries in a tiny space. PVC piping isn’t the most attractive option, but if you’re short on space and need to grow your berries vertically, it might be the best option.
The strawberry tube is an easy, DIY project—even for a beginner! You need pipes, a drill, and your strawberry planting supplies. That’s it. Remember to water often though, and water from the top. Don’t let your berries dry out as all the moisture sinks to the bottom of the tube.
3. Hanging Berries
Maybe you don’t have much space, but PVC pipe may not be something you want to see in your garden. Try hanging baskets instead. Strawberries grow beautifully in baskets, and you can hang them anywhere sunny for a harvest that’s easy to reach up and grab.
A 15-inch hanging basket can hold about 4-6 strawberry plants. These plants will drape over the edges, filling the area with their luscious scent. Hanging baskets need careful watering, but are otherwise an easy, beautiful option for growing these beauties.
4. Strawberry Pallets
It’s pretty safe to say that everybody loves pallets. They’re easy to find, almost indestructible, and easy to repurpose. All you need is one pallet, and a bit of construction confidence. Just avoid choosing treated pallets, as they often have toxins in the wood.
Pallet planters provide plenty of nooks and crannies for strawberry vines to curl through. There are so many options and designs out there, but this one is the most detailed and thought out. Alternatively, you can use a vertical pallet for a space-saving strawberry garden against a wall or fence.
5. Tinned Berries
If you’ve ever bought extra large cans of beans, tomatoes, or vegetables, save those aluminum cans! Large-sized cans make funky, shabby-chic pot for berry plants. Line them up along a bright windowsill, or hang them along a fence for some bountiful beauty.
I love can planters. They look so rustic, and are also a great way to reuse old cans. Just remember to punch holes in the bottom of the cans to allow for drainage, and only tuck in one plant per pot.
6. Strawberry Ladders
Do you have an old, wooden ladder lying around? One that seems pretty sturdy, but perhaps not sturdy enough for your weight? A ladder like that will make a great base for a vertical, stairway to strawberries. Just hang some window-box style planters on the ladder rungs and lean it up against a fence or rail.
Your strawberry plants will love draping and climbing all over the ladder rungs and you’ll love the result. By mid-summer they’ll be a bountiful harvest of bright berries up and down the ladder. Ladder planters can even be attached to the wall of a house or shed. They can run almost vertical, or almost horizontal, depending on your space needs. This versatile option is lovely any way you hang it.
7. Reclaimed Antiques
We have an old wooden trunk in our garden. Its lid has long since fallen to pieces, and its bottom is probably rotted out too. But the sides are still solid, so we’ve filled it with potting soil and compost. It’s an ideal spot of strawberry plants. Spring flea markets are full of similar gems. Drive down the back roads and find a trunk, dresser, pitcher, crate, or any container that catches your eye.
Almost any open antique can become a strawberry planter, and they make a whimsical addition to any garden. You may need to punch holes in bottoms, or open up an area of the item, but trust me—it’s worth the effort.
When you’re picking up antiques, remember to bring a lead-checking kit with you. Many antiques have lead paint, and it’s important to know if your strawberry planter is toxic. Swipe an item with the leach-check kit before buying and save the stress of high lead levels later on.
8. Truck Tires
Tire planters have become incredible popular in recent years. They’re sturdy, wide, deep, and easy to find. They also save you the disposal fee when buying new tires! Just tell the tire guys you’ll be taking those things home with you.
Truck tires are larger, but any tires will work. They’re large enough to hold 10–15 berry plants and strong enough to last season after season. Fill the tires with good, loose potting soil and plant your berries within. The plants on the out rim will trail over the tires themselves, masking some of the rubber. If you have yard space, this is a great option for containing strawberry plants.
9. Wheelbarrow Berries
I currently have two wheelbarrows that can’t be moved in my yard. Both are so pockmarked with rust holes that I only needed to add one or two more to ensure sufficient drainage. After adding my extra holes, I filled them with potting soil and voila! Two large, low, wide planters.
The shallower wheelbarrow is perfect for a strawberry planter. Remember, they don’t need much depth at all. I can fit about 12 plants comfortably in my wide wheelbarrow.
10. The Strawberry Pyramid
Simple, effective, elegant—strawberry pyramids are gorgeous little towers of berry plants. They provide a central focus in any garden, or set up a few to mark out the corners of a wide patio.
A strawberry pyramid can have 3 or more levels of growing space. It’s compact and completely funky. Fill each level with quality potting soil and plant 1–3 plants per level for a full, healthy pyramid of delicious berries.
11. Cement Block Strawberries
Do you use cement blocks as raised-bed garden borders? Try filling each of the blocks’ holes with potting soil and plunking down a strawberry plant! Strawberries are low-growing, ground plants, so they won’t shade your other plants. As they spread, train them to grow out of the bed, instead of into it.
Cement blocks are just large enough for one plant per hole. But with so many, evenly spaced holes, you can create a row of glorious berry plants to edge every bed in the garden!
12. Bags of Berries
Strawberry growing bags are another effective way to grow berries in small spaces. These hanging bags help you grow your berries vertically, on any sunny wall expanse. Such bags can help you create a wall of berries with minimal rot.
Because the berries are off the ground and out of reach of most animals, you may end up with a bigger harvest too. Growing bags aren’t a DIY option, but great if you need a efficient way to grow a lot of berries in a tiny space.
13. Straw Bale Strawberries
Strawberries are great for a first attempt at straw bale gardening. After all, they’re a neat, low weed way of growing a lot of fruits and vegetables. Since strawberries are easy spreading plants with low roots and moderate nutrition needs, they’re a great first step into this type of gardening.
Plant 12-16 plants in a well-conditioned straw bale and enjoy the berries that grow as the bale decomposes.
With so many options for creating a great strawberry planter, you should never feel limited by a small yard or poor soil. You can grow strawberries anywhere, in almost anything. So let’s get started!