Space Saving and Work Saving<br>Ways to Grow Strawberries

Space Saving and Work Saving<br>Ways to Grow Strawberries

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Space Saving and Work Saving<br>Ways to Grow Strawberries

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Space Saving and Work Saving<br>Ways to Grow Strawberries

Space Saving and Work Saving<br>Ways to Grow Strawberries

Space Saving and Work Saving<br>Ways to Grow Strawberries
Space Saving and Work Saving<br>Ways to Grow Strawberries
Space Saving and Work Saving<br>Ways to Grow Strawberries

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Online Magazine

Space Saving and Work Saving
Ways to Grow Strawberries

By Robert Laurence

More than any other fruit the strawberry lends itself well to space saving planting in the garden, on the Space Saving and Work Saving<br>Ways to Grow Strawberriesbackyard patio, and even high up on city terraces. Strawberries thrive in anything from a plain box or jar to a strawberry barrel or large pyramid planter. Recommended varieties for such plantings are the new and prolific Everbearers, either Ozark Beauty, Geneva, or Ogallala being good choices. Crops, of course, won't be as large as those from plants grown in a berry patch, but you will be guaranteed some fresh strawberries every summer. The best soil for all planters is a mixture of equal parts of rich loam, manure, compost, and sand. When any of these containers are used, all strawberry plant runners should be removed (although some gardeners root them into peat pots first for use elsewhere) and plants should be replaced every few years. Feed the plants with a complete water soluble fertilizer. They are easy to protect from birds during fruiting time by covering the container with a cheesecloth netting or punctured plastic sheet.


A List of Space and Work Savings Ways to Grow Them

1. Store Bought Strawberry Pyramids
The strawberry pyramid, or ring as it is sometimes called, allows you to have a strawberry patch on the patio or terrace and makes an attractive display on the front lawn. Prefabricated aluminum pyramids with sprinklers and protective coverings are available from numerous manufacturers. They consist of three rings, each progressively smaller, hold about 50 to 75 plants, and come equipped with their own sprinkler, to which you attach your garden hose. Without accessories like a cheesecloth cover, to protect ripe fruit from birds, this cost varies.

2. Homemade Pyramids
You can make your own strawberry pyramid from either metal or wood. The circular metal pyramid is simply a series of three tiers, the bottom one generally 6 feet in diameter, the second 4 feet in diameter, and the third 2 feet in diameter. To construct a strawberry pyramid from aluminum, use corrugated lawn edging sheets, which are the necessary 6 inches or so wide. Build the first tier as a circle 6 feet in diameter, setting it on the ground and filling it with soil. Then add the second and third circular tiers, filling each when it is set in place. A piece of perforated 3 inch pipe can be inserted from the top to water through, or a sprinkler can be placed at the top.

To construct a square strawberry planter from lumber, use two by eights coated with wood preservative and precut in whatever dimensions you desire. One tier might be 5 feet square, the other 31/2 feet square, and the last 2 feet square. Join the boards for each tier frame with 1/2 by 31/2 inch comer braces, using 16d nails. Then place each frame atop the other as with the circular metal pyramid
. Homemade strawberry pyramid made from lumber. Either of these terraced planters will hold about fifty plants. They'll grow even more berries than on the same space in a strawberry patch if you drill holes in the sides of the wooden or aluminum tiers and plant strawberries therein. Pyramids are all far more convenient to tend than strawberry beds.

3. Barrels of All Sizes
The old fashioned strawberry barrel is another great space saver and is portable as well. Berries grown in this way will always be clean and will ripen evenly. Strawberry barrels can be made out of anything from a small wooden nail keg to steel oil drums. Starting at the bottom, simply drill from 2 to 4 inch diameter holes in circles around the barrel. Stagger each circle of holes 6 to 12 inches from the preceding one. Make the holes in each circle 6 to 12 inches apart from center to center. Finally, drill small holes in the bottom for drainage, and paint or decorate the container for use on the lawn, terrace, or patio. Attach coasters to the bottom so that the barrel can be moved about, or set it on a wagon wheel that spins around, or simply place the barrel on bricks or wooden blocks. Each of these methods provides good air circulation.

When ready to plant, put stones or gravel in the bottom for drainage and fill the barrel with your soil mix. Plant as you fill the barrel with soil, inserting the plants from the inside of the barrel, guiding the leaves and crown outside through the holes and fanning out the roots inside. When the barrel is planted, insert a piece of perforated drainpipe that has been cut to the height of the barrel (rolled screen can also be used). This is filled with pure sand and watered through.

Strawberry barrels can be winter protected by bringing them into the garage or a cool cellar, or by mulching them heavily with straw or leaves held in place with chicken wire. It is worth a try to save them for next year, but generally the plants should be replaced with new ones after they have fruited, for they bear very sparsely after the first year.

4. Jars
Probably the oldest of strawberry planters, the strawberry jar comes in several sizes. The clay, terra cottacolored containers are offered by some nurseries and are well worth looking for. These attractive ceramic jars have openings or "pockets" in the sides as well as room for a few plants on top. They can be set outside, in a sunny window, or under artificial light and are cared for the same way as strawberry barrels.

5. Boxes
If you can't find a strawberry jar, or don't want to buy one, a small box, 2 x 2 feet or longer, will serve just as well for the patio or a sunny window. Either find the right sized box, or build one to your own specifications. Fill the container with a rich soil and plant a dozen or so Everbearers for a refreshing treat all summer long. Place a large stone in a comer of the box that you can run the hose against when watering plants.

6. Baskets and Other Containers
Strawberries can also be grown on the patio in hanging baskets suspended from tree limbs, in tile flues filled with soil, and in decorated gallon cans attached to a fence. Old tires, scalloped along the edges with a sharp knife and colorfully painted, can serve as strawberry planters as well as flower patio planters they might even be piled one atop the other and made into a strawberry barrel. For a really unusual effect, try inserting a few plants in soil filled crevices of old logs. Or plant strawberries on the patio itself between bricks laid in sand. Another patio pleaser consists of setting individual plants in 5 gallon plastic containers that are filled with sterilized soil and set in the grass surrounding the patio.


 
 
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Space Saving and Work Saving
Ways to Grow Strawberries