Need ideas for Strawberry planters

raiderrick22April 10, 2008

The good news:

I have 50 Earliglow + 50 Ozark Beauty strawberry plants due to ship on Monday. I also have about 125 Red Alpine strawberries + 40 Yellow Alpine strawberries + 30 White Alpine strawberries growing in my basement under lights.

Here is my problem:

I really don't have any places to plant them.

I think my wife is tired of all of the Square Foot gardening boxes all over our yard. The yard is covered in growing grass, so tilling at this point is pretty much useless. I live in Northwest NJ. Heavy clay soil.

Is there a more "decorative" design to the raised beds I could use to plant the strawberry plants in? Any ideas and / or pictures would be greatly appreciated (by my wife especially).

Thank you in advance - Rick.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Rick:

You can grow strawberries in any kind of pot, raised bed, hanging basket, hanging bag, pyramid, etc. I've even grown them in old 4 inch PVC pipe with holes cut every foot, filled with soil, hung on an incline and watered in the top end and out the bottom.

Hanging bags full of potting soil with holes/slits cut in the sides and plants inserted might be cheapest. I think they sell hanging bags designed to plant things into the sides. I'm certain I've seen strawberry pyramids for sale. They might look nice setting in the middle of all that grass.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 1:18PM
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sequi

I have the same challenge. The solution I am trying this year is a stackable strawberry pot called an Agro-Tower. It's used to grow strawberries vertically by some commercial growers. Check out http://www.growpots.com.

So far, I like the solution but it needs to be supplemented with an irrigation system.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 2:40PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Man, I like the looks of those grow pots! I'll be ordering some this fall to plant three varieties of day neutral strawberries. Looks like one tower should be about right for 25 plants.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 4:18PM
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paulc_gardener

That''s a lot of berries. Planted properly you need a space at least 24 by 50 ft. Strawberries sprawl out like wildfire.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 5:49AM
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cheshirekatttt(5)

I have a similar planter for my indoor herbs that I bought at the Home and Garden Show here in Denver, Colorado in February. I got the one that allows for three plants on each tier because it looked like it would provide more air. But I haven't seen the six plant per tier one in person.

You can see the one I got in the link I added. I got the one with three tiers and it only cost $15 at the show. I would like to get a few more so I can have themes; Italian, sweet, mints, grass, strawberries, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vertical Garden Planter

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 1:00AM
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altadenamara

There are a number of vertical strawberry planters available, but keeping the soil in them and the strawberries watered is a challenge, especially here in SoCal.
I've used the conventional strawberry pots, and if there is any die back with the plants, a hole develops and the soil washes out. Also, the planters need to be turned regularly so the plants in the back get enough sun. A plastic pipe with holes positioned down the middle of the pot is necessary to get the water deep down inside the pot.
The Growin' Bags from Parks are perhaps the most affordable containers, hold up well, can hang anywhere, but they dry out fast here in SoCal, and need to be watered twice a day in the hottest weather. A quick once over with the hose isn't enough to soak the whole bag. Only one third to one half of my original strawberry plants are still alive in them.
Soil seems to be critical in these containers, something that retains moisture, but drains easily. Adding water polymers to the potting soil seems to help. Coco Coir might help also.
The easiest way to grow them, for me, is still the regular raised bed with potting soil. The plants can be crowded a bit, especially the alpines, are easy to water, weed, fertilize. A strip border bed that runs along the front of a regular bed, say around 2-3 feet deep, and as long as the regular bed, still allows you to reach over the strawberries to weed the main bed, and is easy to squeeze into an area with limited space. The raised part settles down over a few years, so when there are runners, they're easy to tuck back into the main bed, root, and keep the bed going, not take over the yard.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growin' Bags

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 8:50AM
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sequi

So far I really like the Agro-Towers. I have 24 strawberry plants in the space that previously held four (2 square feet.) There is so much soil in each level that drying out is not a problem. And when you water on the top, it trickles down to the bottom layers. However, it takes so much water on the top to make it through four levels that normal rainfall won't cut it. You have to either manually water or hook it up to an automated irrigation system.
I have enough plants going (three towers of four layers plus more planted in traditional raised beds and in traditional pots, or over 100 plants) that I am not bothering with turning the towers. So far, it has made no visible difference to plant development.
I also have the Park growbags, but I haven't bothered to use them. Maybe I'll use them after the runners start, but they are much more hassle.
The Agro-Towers seem to be a great method. I found slugs hiding in and around the raised beds, but I can't see how they could attack the towers (unless they take up rappelling.)
The inventor suggests a pole down the middle, but it is not necessary if you only have four levels. There is a mechanism for each pot to lock into the one below. It's pretty stable unless you have really high winds. As is, my towers have already survived a couple of thunderstorms without tipping. (Filled with soil, they're pretty heavy and stable.)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:10AM
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tdave8666

Alta,

What are the dimensions on the grow bags? I'm guessing that the bag its self doesn't allow water to pass through it. Just seems to me, that for ease of watering, might it be possible to keep a 5 gallon bucket of water handy and just dip the grow bag?

dave

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 12:24PM
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jojomojo(6b)

I'm sure the original poster has already figured something out since its been a couple of weeks, but I thought I'd share an idea anyway....

I found plans at runnerduck.com for a strawberry pyramid. I really liked the look of it so I wanted to give it a try. And my husband and I are NOT very handy at all, but we managed to put something functional together (I think you have to see it up close and personal to truly appreciate its wonky-ness lol).

I haven't planted it yet (hoping to do that later tonight) so I can't give my thoughts on actually using this....just wanted to share an idea ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: RunnerDuck Strawberry Pyramid

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 3:35PM
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greenmulberry(5-Iowa City)

Jojo, how did the runnerduck pyramid work for you this season? I am researching plans for a strawberry bed and thought the one you made looked like a good idea.

I have all winter to make it!

Laura

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 3:02PM
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price403(Zone 6b, WV)

I was going to make the runnerduck pyramid but it would be too heavy to turn. You could only get the plants on two sides to do good without being able to turn it. Maybe if you could put some sort of turntable like a big lazy susan under it it would be good. Or you could set it near a white wall to reflect some sunlight back to the two shaded sides...

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 10:19AM
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jmarc(7)

I've improved a design of a wooden strawberry tower I saw over on the eastern shore. I sell them locally as strawberry towers, but people plant flowers in them too since they look so unique. The strawberry towers I build are pyramid shaped with tiers and they stand 6 ft. tall. They're quite sturdy. There is a picture on my webpage that shows one (click link below).

Here is a link that might be useful: Wooden Strawberry Tower

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 8:35PM
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