We hear the Bloom Master get called a “Modern Strawberry Pot” pretty frequently. While it’s more than that they are definitely right—Bloom Masters are dang good strawberry pots! Visiting a lot of homes and nurseries I’ve seen some amazing success and some that are not quite there. So I thought I pass on some tricks of the trade as given by one of the professionals that seems to be getting it right.
I visited with Bart Flint of Flint Nurseries in West Point, Utah. He sells thousands of strawberry baskets to Fred Meyer, Associated Foods, and other grocery market places in his region. And it’s no wonder because they look terrific. Here’s how you can copy his success.
Mindful of cost, Bart starts from seed—Berry Basket ever-bearing variety, because they taste the best and grow well in a container. It’s best to sow your seeds in a 288 seed plug tray, or bigger cell, starting in November the last possible day of planting on December 1st if you want them in time for Mother’s Day. The seeds get a regular dose of 17-5-17 fertilizer until February, when they are ready to transplant.
In 2 – 3 months the strawberries will have good root development and will be ready to transplant. In his greenhouse Bart has a lot of plants growing not just strawberries so he has to keep things simple and conditions favorable for all his plants. He keeps the same fertilizer as he did on the seeds and the greenhouse temperature at 65 at night and 76 during the day. Watering needs after transplant fluctuates. You’ll want to let the pot get relatively dry before you water again (not constantly soggy). So that means right after transplant you may only water once a week, then three times a week, then during May it could be once a day. You kind of have to eyeball that one. But water thoroughly, until water drips out the bottom. By May the containers will be full with runners, flowers, and even berries spilling out of the Bloom Master.
With the greenhouse work done the next issue is delivery to the customer. Bart has his own trucks for the shipping process and it seems to work well. The retail stores have nearly 100% sell through so it’s a win-win for everyone. The strawberry baskets are a popular item; they’re great for condos or anyone that doesn’t have a yard they can dig up, and of course Mother’s Day. Bart chooses Bloom Master pots, first because they have holes in the side that are perfect for strawberries, but also because plastic pots use half as much water as the fiber ones.
And that’s about it for the strawberries—it is that simple. Bart says you could do the same thing with tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers but he is busy enough with just the berries.Tags: Strawberries, Tips & Tricks