The experiment of whether strawberries prefer terracotta over glazed ceramic pots is over- and the clear winner is terracotta. All my strawberries in ceramic pots were ok but definitely struggling. The alpine strawberry that was cut in half has now grown to fill the terracotta low bowl, and was fruiting in January.
Now a degree of strawberry struggle is acceptable in winter- acceptable and expected; but considering in that same winter this big boy has doubled in size, I think terracotta works way better long term.
Problem is I don’t have too many big terracotta pots unused at the moment, but that’s ok- the principle behind using terracotta over glazed ceramic is just that the porousness of the terracotta means the plant wont ever really sit in water as the pot not only drains from the bottom, but through the sides of the pot.
So fabric pots work on the same principle as terracotta, but even better- and so do coir baskets.
The Gasana strawberry, my pride and joy (and a gift from my boyfriend) struggled through the winter with a very wet pot due to our really heavy rains this year. It had a tich of an aphid infestation due to some ant shenanigans and could use some better drainage and a smaller pot.
So a coir lined hanging basket it is.
I also repotted my two other alpine strawberries- one of which despite having started out in similar fashion to the thriving one in terracotta, was half it’s size. What it did do instead of growing wide is reseed itself mightily- with what looked like hundreds of baby strawberry plants all around in the soil. I have no idea what I’m going to do with that- I guess there might be a part 4 to this madness.
So after a few days I can say that my strawberries are adjusting well- happy in a sunny spot and enjoying their almost instantly better draining soil. Lots of plants can be difficult to transplant- the glory of strawberries is how hardy they are. you can literally take a shovel to a big one and split it in half and both parts of the whole will probably be better off for the rough handling.
As for the Gasana’s small aphid issues…
Behold the first ladybug of 2022!
My army is waking up.
The cavalry has arrived.