If you want creative and frugal ideas for strawberries including growing tips, container ideas, how to overwinter them, and delicious recipes—you have come to the right place.
Some people find growing strawberries a little tricky. These beginner growing tips should help. After all, strawberries are not just a fabulous food crop, but a rather beautiful plant that adapts well in various containers from hanging baskets to vertical tubes and bags. You’ll see what I mean below.
Growing New Strawberry Plants
Grow New Plants from Old Ones
I mentioned in How to Grow Strawberries that the easiest way to get new (free) plants and ensure an ongoing harvest for many years, is to make use of the ‘runners’ that strawberries plants produce. These are their babies, and, with a little help, you can grow them into fruit-producing adult plants. The babies are introduced to soil, while still attached to the mother plant. Once roots have formed, the runner can be cut from the mother plant.
You can also, of course, purchase strawberry plants for transplanting or grow new plants from seed (if you are extraordinarily patient).
Saving Strawberry Seeds
While growing strawberries from runners is the fastest form of propagation, you can also save the seeds from mature fruit.
All those little bumps on the outside of a strawberry? Those are actually seeds. However. If you want to try growing new plants from seed, you will need heirloom varieties (not hybrids) to ensure the new plants actually produce fruit.
- Stephanie of Garden Therapy shows how she saves alpine strawberry seeds from mature fruit.
- If you’re new to plant terminology, this may help: Seeds 101: Understanding Heirlooms, Hybrids, and GMOs.
If you do try growing a hybrid that doesn’t produce fruit, there’s no real harm. You might still have a nice plant!
Keeping Strawberries in Containers during the Winter
I live in a cold climate and I have to protect my strawberry plants from wet, cold weather. While they benefit from a cold, dormant period, the real killer is a moist, deep freeze where the actual plant is destroyed. Death by icing up! That’s the same concern when growing vegetables in the winter. Dampness + freezing is the real enemy.
Overwintering In-ground Strawberry Plants
- For in-ground strawberry plants, I add mulch (usually a few inches of straw) right over the plants.
Overwintering Strawberry Plants in Containers
- For strawberries in containers, before you store them for the winter, consider whether they need new container mix. If they’ve been through a good fruiting season (or two) with the current mix, they may struggle to grow in the spring.
->If things don’t look good and there’s time before the bitter cold weather sets in, I repot the plant and water it before winter storage.
->If it’s still hanging in there ok, I will put a tag on it reminding me to repot it in the spring.
- Strawberries in containers can be stored in a garage or shed so long as the temperature does not go below freezing (or get too warm). I add straw mulch (just in case it gets super cold), and keep the pots lightly watered right through until spring. This is too easy to forget so set up a reminder system.
In the spring, I set the whole container in a sunny location, keeping straw around the container and plants for insulation until the risk of frost is done.
Creative Strawberry Planter Ideas
- Turn an old wheelbarrow into a rolling strawberry planter. I made this one and it works great!
- Convert an arbor! With just a few extra pieces of wood, you can convert an arbor to a vertical garden for strawberries or any other container-loving plants.
- Shelley of Sow and Dipity shows us how to convert an Ikea grocery bag holder into a wonderful strawberry tower.
- Stephanie of Garden Therapy grows some of her strawberries in hanging bags. I love how these look when the fruit is ripening.
- Angela of the Untrained Housewife has a really neat project here where they converted some old whiskey barrels into a tiered strawberry planter.
- Tanya of Lovely Greens has set the internet on fire with her strawberry planter made from wood pallets.
Favourite Strawberry Recipes
I don’t actually cook with strawberries (because I try to avoid added/refined sugar) so I can’t vouch for the yum factor, but some of my blogging buddies tell me these recipes are their ultra-delicious favourites.
Go forth boldly, make, and enjoy!
- Strawberry and rhubarb jam recipe
- Strawberry pretzel parfait recipe
- Fresh strawberry pie
- Strawberry cherry kefir ice cream
If you have a strawberry growing tip, trick, or question (just not a trick question), let me know in the comments.
Hey, Are These Berries Safe to Eat?
This isn’t about strawberries, but other fruits you may notice in your garden.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛