The ingredients are simple: a few strawberry plants plus some basic earth, air, and water. Add sunlight, and voila! After just 60 minutes of work, you'll have weeks of edible garden pleasure for your patio or deck. For an almost instant strawberry patch, purchase already blooming plants. Try ever bearing varieties like Ozark Beauty or Tribute for steady yields of large, plump berries.
1. Make a built-in drain by filling the jar bottom with a 1-inch layer of gravel or broken pot shards. Separate the gravel from the soil with screen mesh cut to fit or a piece of nylon pantyhose. Next, add the earth. Fill the jar with potting soil up to the lowest pocket, firming the soil to eliminate trapped air spaces.
2. Starting with the lowest pocket, make a small hole in the soil. Thread a single strawberry plant down into the pocket so its roots spread toward the interior of the jar. Add more soil -- firming it in with your fingers -- until you've reached the next pocket level. Repeat planting process until all pockets are filled; leave space at the top for more plants.
3. For larger jars, drill holes into a length of 2-1/4-inch-diameter PVC pipe at 4-inch intervals. Before planting, insert the pipe in the jar's center, down through the soil to the bottom pocket. This allows water to seep down, soaking lower plants. Finish with several plants at the top, spacing them tightly for a full, flowing look. Water well.
4. Keep moist. Container gardens dry out quickly, so water often, with plant food added. Moist soil and vitamins will keep your garden thriving. No extra maintenance is required except an occasional manicure. Pinch off dead leaves and overripe fruit to keep plants fresh-looking. Rotate the jar one-quarter turn every few days (try a plant caddy) to give plants and berries enough sunlight.