Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Strawberry Jars - Not Just For Strawberries Anymore

Planting in a Strawberry JarStrawberry jars are nothing more than planters with small planting pockets along the sides. These were originally used for growing strawberries, but they aren't just for strawberries anymore. Nowadays strawberry jars are used for growing nearly any kind of plant imaginable, herbs, bulbs, flowers, and vegetables to tropical foliage plants, succulents, and vines. With an assortment of plants, some potting soil, and imagination, you can create a striking addition for the garden.

Create a portable herb garden in a jar, filling each pocket of the strawberry planter with an herb of your choice such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil, marjoram, oregano, and sage. Create a breathtaking fragrant garden with your favorite aromatic plants like heliotrope, sweet alyssum, lemon verbena, and even miniature roses. There are also many succulent plants and flowers that can be successfully grown in strawberry planters. Some of these include hens and chicks, cacti, sedums, petunias, impatiens, geraniums, begonias, and lobelia. Foliage plants can be added as well to create a more natural appearance. Choose numerous varieties to add texture and contrast to the strawberry planter garden. Trailing plants, such as ivy or sweet potato vine, also look great placed within the pockets of strawberry jars.

The only requirement for using plants other than strawberries is to check their growing conditions to ensure they are compatible. For instance, plants that require the same amount of sun, water, and soil should be grouped together. When you begin selecting plants for the strawberry jar, choose plants that fit your desired theme as well as those that grow well in containers. The number of plants will depend on the number of planting pockets in your strawberry jar. Choose one plant for each pocket and at least three or four plants for the top. Since watering leaches nutrients in the soil, you should also fertilize your plants. Strawberry pots can be a fun way to garden. Consider planting themed gardens such as an herb garden, a foliage garden, or a succulent garden.

Strawberry jars are available in different styles and materials such as plastic, terra cotta, and ceramic. Plastic strawberry jars are lightweight, making them more prone to tipping over; however, they are probably the least expensive. Terra cotta jars are the most popular and very attractive, yet because of its porous qualities, these types require more watering. Ceramic strawberry jars are more decorative, heavier, and retain water well. The type you choose should complement your garden style and theme.

Planting in a Strawberry JarOnce you have obtained your desired plants, you are ready to begin gardening in the strawberry jar. Take the frozen bottled water and carefully punch holes throughout the entire bottle. This can be easily achieved using a screwdriver and hammer, or an ice pick if you have one. Place a flat rock in the bottom of the strawberry jar and add some potting soil up to the lowest planting pocket. Carefully tuck the plants into the lower pockets. Place the bottled water firmly into the soil and begin adding soil until reaching the next row of planting pockets, placing the plants into their designated pockets. Continue filling the strawberry jar with soil, repeating the steps until all pockets are filled with plants. The top of the bottle should be peaking out through the top of the strawberry jar. Place the remaining plants around the neck of the bottle. Once the water begins thawing out, it will slowly seep through the holes, keeping your plants moist and happy. Use the top opening of the bottle to replace water as needed.

Gardening with strawberry jars is not only easy but also fun. They are well suited for any garden, especially small ones such as patios. Strawberry jars can be used for growing various plants or even tranquil fountains. Nothing adds beauty to the garden quite like the versatile strawberry jar.

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