Shallow root systems make strawberries ideal container plants, but strawberry watering proves difficult.
You can never have too many strawberries, which is why strawberry jars are so popular. Not only do the multipocketed terracotta pots have space for a dozen or more plants, but they are also visually appealing. The only drawback to these planters is being able to get enough water down to the plants roots. Learn how to make a DIY watering tube to solve the issue.
Proper strawberry watering techniques
Plants always do better above the ground if they are growing healthy roots below. Water deeply and infrequently to encourage strong roots. Many people mistakenly water too often and just moisten the top layer of soil.
With shallow watering, the plant doesn’t need to reach down deeply for water and nutrients in the soil. Instead, they become lazy and hang out in the top of the soil. Since the top layer of soil dries out quickly, this creates a need for constant watering. In addition, the top layer isn't as rich in nutrition, so the plants will be less healthy overall.
A strawberry jar makes properly watering the plants difficult. Even using a thin-spouted watering can to direct water into each of the pockets will still not saturate the soil in the center of the pot. You are doomed to have shallow roots and thirsty strawberry plants. Unless, of course, you add a tube down the center to evenly disperse the water!
Your DIY watering tube will direct water down to where it’s needed and help you grow the biggest, sweetest strawberries on the block.
Materials and tools needed:
Pocket-style strawberry jar planter
1.25-inch plumbing pipe
Pipe cap for 1.25-inch pipe
Pipe lid for 1.25-inch pipe
Making your DIY watering tube
1. Use the tape measure to determine the height of the inside of the strawberry pot. Measure from the bottom of the inside of the pot to the top lip of the pot. The cap will sit just slightly above the soil line.
2. Use the hand saw to cut the pipe to length.
3. Drill holes along the length and diameter of the tube with a quarter-inch drill bit.
4. Attach the cap to the bottom end of the tube and set it in the center of the pot. Put the lid on to prevent soil from getting in the tube while you fill the planter.
5. Fill the planter with soil, holding the tube in place as you go. Keep the soil loose to facilitate planting.
6. Add strawberry plants in each of the holes, and two or three at the top around the watering tube.
7. After planting, thoroughly soak the entire jar to fill the soil in around the roots of the new plants, and don’t let the soil dry out for a week as they adjust.
8. To water, lift the lid and pour water into the tube and let it flow into the soil until you can feel moisture under the plants.
What’s growing in your container garden? Let us know in the comments section below.
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