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Sweet Success

How to Ensure a Long, Bountiful Harvest With Our Pocket Planter Kit

Pocket Planter Kit
Unlike traditional strawberry jars, our Pocket Planter Kit ensures consistent, thorough watering.
Specially designed planters called "strawberry jars" have long been used to grow strawberries. The jars usually have several planting pockets on the outside, allowing plenty of room for the long runners and dangling clusters of fruit. The problem with these jars is that they dry out quickly, especially during the heat of summer. And, because of all the pockets, the planters are difficult to water efficiently.

We wanted to build a better jar that would be easy to water yet still have the "look" of a traditional strawberry jar. The result is our nine-pocket Pocket Planter Kit, which features a 4-quart reservoir to ensure consistent, thorough watering -- even during hot weather.

The most important part of the system is the water reservoir, which sits at the bottom of the jar and has a long fill tube the ends at the top of the jar. The fill tube is used to monitor the water level and fill the reservoir. "It's important to keep the reservoir filled for consistent watering," says Sarah Niland, of Gardener's Supply, who helped develop and test the Pocket Planter Kit. "We found that the reservoir holds about a seven-day water supply."

Tips for Success

  • Moisten soil before filling container.
  • Pinch off flowers for first four to six weeks. This ensures good root development and better fruit production later in the season.

The soil mixture is important, too. It needs to wick moisture from the reservoir when necessary, yet drain efficiently if rain is plentiful. We recommend using Transplant Mix, boosted it with a third-cup of All-Purpose Fertilizer. This granular fertilizer is perfect because it's slow-release, providing nutrients for the plants all summer long. "Just mix the fertilizer into the soil before planting," Sarah says.

For plants, we used an everbearing variety called Tristar, which had good flavor and fruited from July 1 to mid-October -- much longer than the typical strawberry season. Each of the planters in our trials yielded an average of over 300 berries each.

Last updated: 7/9/19