Growing Strawberries in Grow Bags
Strawberries are an easy-to-grow plant hardy to USDA plant hardiness zones 5 to 8, and if grown indoors, they can practically be grown everywhere, year long. If one having no backyard is wondering if they can grow this perennial in containers or grow bags, the good news is that they can do so, because strawberries actually do well in grow bags.
In fact, grow bags are an excellent option to grow various vegetables and fruits including strawberries because they save garden space by growing strawberries vertically and in a healthy way.
Updated: November 10, 2021.
Strawberry Grow Bags
When strawberries are planted in grow bags, grow bags different from the standard grow bags are used. Strawberry grow bags have pocket-like holes onto their sides where one can plant the strawberry plants along with planting them in the top soil layer. So, the grower can plant more plants in one strawberry grow bag.
Strawberries planted in such grow bags are elevated and strawberry fruits ripen without ever touching soil, increasing their quality.
However one can even plant strawberries in regular grow bags, i.e. without side holes.
Hint: such side holes/pockets can be easily made even in ordinary grow bags, but if possible, get genuine strawberry grow bags.
How to Grow Strawberries in Grow Bags?
When to Plant?
Strawberries grow well when planted in the spring and fall. Strawberries can be found in the form of seeds or young plants, ready for planting on a permanent location. While growing strawberries from seeds can be a very special experience, for most gardeners strawberries in the form of young plants is recommended way of getting new plants.
Strawberries need well-drained soil that should be rich in organic matter. One can use potting mix but they should also add compost to it before placing the mix into the grow bags. Adding a small amount of an NPK 10-10-10 (10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium) fertilizer is also a good idea because it will provide additional nutrients.
Another ideal potting mix is a combination of coco coir or peat moss and some perlite or vermiculite and compost or worm castings. This potting mix is not only inexpensive but also provides good drainage and is overall a good growing medium.
Some grow bags feature relatively large drainage holes in order to ensure good water drainage - the grower should cover the drainage holes with flat rocks (to prevent the soil from spilling out of the bag) and then fill the grow bag with the potting mix. The side pocket holes should also be filled with the potting mix. The grower can add a slow-release organic fertilizer to the soil at this stage, although compost and NPF fertilizer are usually more than enough.
Now they should plant strawberry plants in the holes one in each pocket and then in the top soil layer. They should make sure that they don’t bury the crown i.e. the part above the roots. They should now press the soil around the roots firmly but gently and place the grow bag in full sun.
Note: Another reason behind planting multiple plants in this way into the grow bag is that 10 strawberry plants in 20 liters of growing medium give better results than a single plant in 2 liters would. This is because in a bigger connected volume, the roots of the plants get more area to grow and the availability of water and nutrients is more constant.
Now the grower should water the plants thoroughly until excess water drains out from the bottom of the bag. The bottom has drainage holes; thus, if a good potting mix is used, the water will drain well. Also, the gardener should water the plants in pockets as well as those in the top soil layer.
Strawberries need a lot of moisture, however, if the water sits in the soil, the roots will rot. Therefore, the grower should make sure the soil is not water-logged.
Soon the plants will bloom and around 4-6 weeks after blooming, the berries will be ready for harvesting. The grower should harvest only fully red berries.
Growing strawberries in grow bags is an inexpensive, space-saving, easy and fun way to get these attractive berries in their fresh, succulent, delicious, and home-grown form. Strawberries grown in grow bags and containers can be very decorative, and the fruits taste so much better than the commercially grown strawberries.