The Q&A Archives: Strawberries in Wooden Half Barrel

Question: I want to plant strawberries in a wooden, half barrel--not a strawberry jar. What advice can you give--soil type, depth, drainage, variety of berry?

Answer: Strawberries prefer a rich, moist yet well drained soil (not soggy) with plenty of organic matter in it and a somewhat acid pH. In container terms, that would mean supplementing a typical soilless mix with some compost or well rotted stable manure and possibly a small amount of sand. You will need to keep an eye on moisture all season because containers tend to dry out quickly. Since you will be watering so often you will also need to fertilize occasionally with a water soluble fertilizer according to the label instructions. You might also want to use a mulch to help conserve moisture and moderate the soil temperature. In a whiskey barrel I would suggest either a day neutral variety or one of the diminutuve alpine strawberries rather than a June bearer. Burpee (800-888-1447 or offers several.

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