rows of buckets full of strawberry plants

Growing Strawberries in a Bucket

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Growing strawberries in a bucket is easy and fun. Strawberries are a great fruit to grow in Oklahoma. Read on to learn more!

growing strawberries in a bucket with strawberries spilled on a table

Growing strawberries in Oklahoma

Strawberries are a great plant for growing in a container garden because they don’t require a lot of space to produce a plentiful crop. Find out more about bucket gardening here.

Here are some great tips for growing other things in containers too. It’s easy, even for beginner gardeners:

Many great classic dessert recipes, like strawberry pie, call for fresh, delicious strawberries. You can buy strawberries, either fresh or frozen, from the nearest grocer. Or, it is just as easy and far more satisfying to grow your own, by starting a bountiful container garden.  

Garden containers for growing strawberries are easy to find because the only requirement for growing them is that the root of the plant is covered by about an inch of compost. Besides terracotta pots, you can grow strawberries in almost anything that holds a decent amount of soil and has good drainage, like a bucket.

Growing in a bucket saves space, provides decor, and gives you fruit in a convenient location. It’s a great idea to put your bucket on casters so it can be moved easily. It needs holes for drainage. Six would be a good number.

Since Strawberries don’t grow very large, they don’t need a huge container. It should be at least 12 inches deep.

Your garden bucket soil can be mostly compost. You can also use potting soil. Or mix compost, peat moss, and pine bark mulch in equal parts. That gives you drainage, nutrients, and structure. Here is more information on soil structure.

You’ll need to water your strawberry bucket regularly. They need about one inch of water per week. During the hot part of the summer, you may have to water daily. But when it’s median temperatures, you should be able to water once a week.

bucket gardening strawberries growing in a pot

To get started, buy some strawberry plants. Soak them in a container with a little water while you prepare the bucket. Strawberries need to be planted about 2 feet apart in direct sunlight for at least 6-8 hours per day to produce fruit. So if you have a 5 gallon bucket, you should be able to plant 1-2 plants in it.

Plant the crown or the top of the roots just above the soil surface. Fill in the area with compost until the roots are completely covered. Make sure the crown isn’t under the soil line or it could rot.

Strawberries grow well during the spring and summer seasons. You can begin growing them early in the season by planting seeds indoors and later moving them to their containers in early summer.

Strawberries will handle spring-like temperatures as long as they aren’t exposed to freezing weather for extended periods. If you are starting your plants from seed, you should thin them out when they have grown a bit to make sure that the container isn’t overcrowded.

Don’t harvest any strawberries from your bucket garden the first year. Just pinch off the fruit to allow the roots to develop stronger. The second year, you can start harvesting strawberries when they are deep red. Sometimes birds will eat your berries, so you can use bird netting or some type of cover to protect them if they are almost ripe.

unripe strawberry growing over the side of a pot

You will reap the rewards for several years after initially planting strawberries with minimal effort once your plants are growing and healthy. The only step left is to get a round of strawberry shortcakes going for tonight’s dessert.

Growing strawberries in a bucket is pure gardening joy. Once you have the space and the resources (buckets, seeds, and garden soil) you can grow almost any plant, including herbs, dwarf fruit trees, and berry bushes in this manner. Container gardening is easy, and a perfect way to grow your food on the patio or any sunny location available.

Check out more about when to plant what in this month by month garden planting guide.

Companion plants for strawberries

Superfoods like strawberries are fun to grow. And easy. Check out more superfoods you can grow right at home here.

Companion planting is an important skill to learn in the garden. Growing plants together that help and support each other is a great tool. A wonderful companion plant for strawberries is asparagus. They support each other and ward off pests that decimate the other crop.

Planting something with strawberries that draws pollinators will help your strawberries produce to their fullest potential. Nasturtiums, cilantro, and sweet alyssum are three great choices.

Plants that add nutrients to the growing environment that strawberries need include peas, beans, white clover, and lettuce. And plants that deter strawberry pests include marigolds, thyme and chrysanthemums.

Choose one or two of these suggestions to grow in the bucket with your strawberries or in a nearby area and you’ll have more success growing.

Check out more about what you can grow in zone 7 here.

Get rid of slugs in strawberries

A huge pest for strawberries, actually the only one we ever have trouble with besides birds is slugs and snails. Those slimy little jerks get in the berries and turn them to goo. And it makes me so mad! The best protection against them is diatomaceous earth. Check out more about how to get rid of slugs here. And it’s a natural solution! So you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals.

For more ideas on how to use strawberries, check out these fun recipes:

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