If you love to cook, surely you would love to have fresh herbs in hand at all times. Living in an apartment with a tight balcony may prevent you from growing your favourite herbs. The same problem arises if you live in a house with a small yard. I am certain you have plenty of other greens to grow, fighting for valuable space. Have you seen a strawberry pot? Planting herbs in the strawberry pot is your solution. It is a brilliant way to grow herbs in small spaces.
Let’s get started.
Strawberry pot was originally designed to grow multiple strawberry plants at any one time. Also, an ideal way to grow clean strawberries. It is basically an urn-shaped pot with an opening at the top with several small pockets along the sides.
Although it is called so, the pot is not just for strawberries. It can be used for a variety of plants and perfect for growing a selection of herbs in a small area. It is a delight being able to cut off some fresh herbs for cooking just a few steps from the kitchen and all in one place, the strawberry pot. In this case, you may change its name to herbs pot!
Planting Herbs in the Strawberry Pot
What Type of Herbs are Suitable
Ask yourself, what are your favourites?
A good selection will be
- • Rosemary
- • Thyme
- • Oregano
- • Basil
- • Sage
- • Mint
Are your favourites included here? Yes, no.
Click here to find out How to Grow Herbs All Year Round. You will get to know which herbs can grow and thrive together. Also, step by step guides on how to propagate herbs from cuttings, transplant herb seedlings and grow herbs from seeds.
How to Assemble your Herb Plants into the Strawberry Pot
At first thought, you will probably think of filling up the pot with potting soil and insert the plants into the pockets from the outside. I will not say this is incorrect but there is a better way to do it.
It is easier to insert the plants from the inside out.
Here is what you need to do
Cover the drainage hole with a piece of stone or shard. This will prevent the potting soil from washing out the holes when you water. However, do not cover the hole completely. Doing so will clog the drainage holes causing the water to saturate the soil. This leads to root rot and dead plants.
Fill the pot to the first level of the pockets with the sterile potting mix. It is a mistake to use garden soil to grow potted herbs. Garden soil is too heavy and will impede both drainage and aeration. Furthermore, the soil may contain insects, weed seed and disease organisms.
Insert herb plant into the pocket from the inside out. Release the plant from its original pot and gently loosen the root ball. A well-grown herb plant tends to become root bound. You will need to open up the roots for aeration.
Now, do you see why inserting the plant from inside out is easier than outside in?
Allow me to explain further.
It will be difficult for you to insert the plant into the pocket from outside once the pot is filled with the soil. Imagine having to dig a space through the pocket, making way for the root ball. Isn’t it difficult to shove the root ball through the pocket from the outside? Or, what happens if the root ball is bigger than the pocket? You may break it loose to reduce the soil or cut off some roots. But, why the hassle? Furthermore, you may end up damaging the roots. Simply push the plant through the pocket from the inside, gently. It is alright to bend the herbs slightly. You won’t hurt them as they will continue to grow once settled nicely.
After doing the same to the first level of the pockets, continue with the next step.
Press down the soil and water with a gentle stream to settle the soil.
Continue adding layers of potting soil till it reaches the top and inserts the herb plants as you go along. Remember to water them at each level.
You will want to plant rosemary or basil at the very top. Rosemary can grow bushy while basil grows easily and upright. Since you will need to pinch the basil constantly to encourage leave to grow, it is easier for you to do so with the basil at the top.
Lastly, water the top including the pockets thoroughly. After this first thorough watering, you will only need to water from the top. Depending on the climate, you may have to water it daily or as and when needed. Herbs do not like sitting in water. Therefore, it is best to water thoroughly than frequently. Allow the topsoil to dry out between watering.
Finally, place strawberry pot where it will receive 4-6 hours of sunlight daily. You may need to rotate the pot occasionally to ensure all the herb plants receive sun exposure.
So, this is how you transplant your herbs into the strawberry pot. Do you think you will enjoy the process? If you love nature, I am sure you enjoy getting your hands ‘dirty’. Get your strawberry pot now!
For those who like minimal work – forget about the digging, multiple layering and watering, there is an alternative.
Before going into that, I would like to share with you some confusion of mine. Don’t worry, I am not going to confuse you too. Rather make things less complicated for you.
Terracotta pots. Clay and ceramic pots. Of course, plastic pots.
Different Type of Pots – Which to Use
Let’s look into plastic and terracotta. "How about clay and ceramic?" you asked.
Basically, terracotta, clay and ceramic are of the same source.
- Clay is a material. It is unfired.
- Ceramic is a product made out of clay. It is fired clay.
- Terracotta is a product of ceramic made from clay. It is red clay, fired or unfired.
Do you see them as the same or different? Scientifically and technically, there are much more explanations than these to differentiate them. However, I dislike complicated matters and assume you too. Since all three are from the same source, let’s just say terracotta. Less complicated.
Terracotta or Plastic
Terracotta is a popular choice for the strawberry pot. It is porous, allowing the soil to breathe.
Additionally, it absorbs heat pretty well which is good in early spring but can be too much in mid-summer. You will have to water frequently since it will dry out faster.
You may even have to bring the pot into your house during winter as it may crack when exposed to fluctuating outdoor temperatures. Bear in mind that it can be heavy. Especially so, when it is filled with soil. Hence, you may need two people to lift it. Take care of your back!
Plastic pot is a common choice for growing herbs. It is lighter and easier to move. However, it is not as durable because the colour may fade. Also, it tends to become brittle and chip when exposed to the elements for a long time.
On the other hand, the plus point is that you need not water as frequently as the terracotta pot during the hot days as it can retain water much better.
If you like terracotta and at the same time would love a light-weight pot, there are many plastic pots available which have realistic finishes that mimic terracotta.
No matter what type of pots you choose to grow your herbs, be sure to fill it with the sterile potting mix, such as Foxfarm Organic Potting Soil to give your herb plants a strong start.
Now, this is what you want to find out
The Alternative to the Strawberry Pot
The stackable design makes it easier to transplant your herbs, either nursery-bought seedlings or a well-grown herb plant. Simply stack the tiers once you have all the plants in the individual sections of each tier.
You will like this – You can easily relocate this planter since it is detachable. No heavy lifting needed. Outside during the warmer months, inside during winter.
Should you favour this Stackable Planter instead of the Strawberry Pot, you may want to look into these areas when choosing yours.
The number of tiers. They come in 3 – 10 tiers. You can start with the minimum and add on later as you go along.
It is important to know that although this planter can be heavy with soil and water, strong wind gusts can tip it over due to its height. Hence, you need to be careful where to place it and how many tiers to stack. Especially so with young kids around.
The number of sections per tier. Usually, each tier has 3 to 4 sections. There is some larger stack that has 5 to 6 sections. More sections mean a larger stack and you may need a bigger space.
Type of material. It should be BPA-free and made of food grade plastic.
Self-Watering System. Not all stackable planters have a self-watering system. This is good to have but always be mindful to check the condition of the herbs. You may have to water the lower tiers yourself during hotter days. More so if you have a taller stack.
As with the Strawberry Pot, remember to plant your rosemary or basil at the top tier. You may even consider growing lettuce or any salad leaves.
By and Large
Planting herbs in the strawberry pot or stackable planter is a brilliant way to grow herbs in small spaces. It is an ideal space-saving solution to grow an assortment of herbs. Visualize having different types of flavour in a small space. Does it entice you?
Moreover, it beautifies your balcony or small yard and most importantly, you will be able to bring it inside during the winter months. Isn’t it wonderful? I am pretty sure your balcony will look more interesting. Do you see envious neighbours?
If you have a problem of not getting enough sunlight indoor, consider getting a grow light. Click here to find the best grow lights for indoor plants – especially herbs.
Now, the question is – What do you think of the Stackable Planter? Is it more convenient than the Strawberry Pot?
Well, it all depends on your needs and the little space you have. If you intend to extend the number of herb plants, the stackable planter is a very good choice. But think of the possibility of it tipping over with a strong gust of wind.
If you already have existing potteries at your yard or deck, you may want it to blend in.
Are you growing your own herbs now? What containers are you using? Please share your thoughts or experiences you may have at the comments section below.
It is time to showcase your love for herbs in this beautiful pot/planter.
Happy Herbs Growing!
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From the Corner of My Home – Spice Up Your Life with Herbs and Spices