Well I’ve been growing everbearing strawberries in our two half whiskey barrel planters for the last few years but I decided to move them to the outer edge of several of the raised beds. Since the barrels are very deep and the strawberries have shallow roots, I don’t think they make good partners. Don’t forget that strawberries are perennials and will come back in the Spring (see the green starting to appear).
This year in order to save costs I am also trying to grow the plants from bare roots. You can beat the price – I found a pack of 10 bare roots for$2.98. The crown of the bare root should remain above the soil and the root should be fanned out and be 2 inches below the soil surface. Also, I am growing June-bearing strawberries this year which produceberries in late Spring and early Summer. As for the everbearing strawberries, they produces berries from Spring to Summer.
Two tips: 1) I always keep black deer netting available which I buy at my local Lowes. I drap the deer netting over the strawberry plants. The deer netting has openings that are 7/8″ and deters the birds from going after the berries. I started using the netting a couple years ago after a sparrow made a nest in the middle of my strawberry patch and wouldn’t let me near my strawberries because of her babies! 2) I keep coco fiber that is left over from my planter boxes on hand to put under the strawberries. You can also use straw or mulch. If the strawberries touch the wet soil it will cause them to rot.
While it might be tempting to let the strawberries stay on the plant until they are totally red, please resist. The berries will quickly rot in the sun. You should pick them when they are 25 % white. They will turn totally red within a day. Store strawberries unwashed in the refrigerator.
Stay tuned for more information on growing and storing strawberries at a later date.