Growing Strawberries in a Jar

You don't need a lot of room for a strawberry patch. Place multiple plants in a pocketed planter and watch them grow.

The ingredients are simple: a few strawberry plants plus some earth, air, and water. Add sunlight, and voilà! 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 plants that are already blooming. Try everbearing varieties like 'Ozark Beauty' or 'Tribute' for steady yields of large, plump berries.

Step 1: Prep the Container for Planting

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.

Step 2: Fill Pockets with Plants

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.

Editor's Tip: 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. 

Step 3: Water Well

Keep the potted strawberry plants 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 the plants looking fresh. Rotate the jar one-quarter turn every few days (try a plant caddy) to give plants and berries enough sunlight on every side.

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