Strawberries are juicy fruit that you can eat raw and use in making cakes and salads. Strawberry jam and juices are the favorites of everyone. Nowadays growing strawberries in a limited space is not a big task.
Vertical gardening methods are very efficient and widely used for growing strawberries in a small growing area. If you are looking for the most productive and inexpensive ideas then you should go for vertically growing methods. The people who love fresh strawberries but don’t have space for growing can pursue this way of growing.
WHY GROW STRAWBERRIES VERTICALLY INSTEAD OF IN THE GROUND?
Limited space is a big problem for those who love gardening. You can grow strawberries vertically because it is a small crop. Space utilization is very essential and most of the growers follow this method of growing.
This way of growing can bring lots of fun for you. By adopting vertical growing methods you can make room for many plants. Vertical gardening has many benefits and upright planting is a good addition to your home because these growing methods are tremendously eye-catching.
The other advantage is when you grow plants vertically than they become less susceptible to pests. Harvesting and picking fruit becomes easier and you can maintain plants more effortlessly.
If you grow plants in a container then your plants may be dehydrated or over-watered. If you grow strawberries vertically, then it will up less space and use less water than the traditional growing method.
Your strawberry plants need the right amount of water, oxygen, space, and nutrients to thrive. If you are a crafty person then you can create your vertical growing tower for strawberries but a ready-made vertical planter stand is another option for you.
Before growing strawberries in a vertical tower, you should know how to grow them from seeds and afterward transplant them in the tower.
HOW DO I SET UP MY VERTICAL TOWER FOR STRAWBERRIES?
You should choose the best location for your tower where your plants are protected from harsh weather and receive full sun exposure for the juicy growth of fruit. Here are simple steps for setting the tower.
THINGS YOU NEED FOR THIS PROJECT
- 7 meters black poly tubing
- Quality water pump (2.5m head height)
- Quality digital electric timer
- 3 × 5KG blocks premium coco coir growing medium
- Perlite growing medium (the ratio between perlite and coco is 4:1)
- 2 months supply 2 part hydroponic grow nutrient
- 3 × 13mm poly hose t-joins
- 2 × 13mm poly hose elbow joins
- 4 × 13mm poly hose-end plugs
- 6 × 2.5 meters 4mm micro drip hosing with joins
- 6 × 4mm micro drippers
- 3 ×PVCc riser pipe stabilizers
- 3 × 40mm length 50mm diameter riser pipes
- 15 large 45cm planters
STEP 1: MEASUREMENT
First, measure out the tower for your strawberry plant. It is recommended that the spacing of your Tower should be 100cm apart.
STEP 2: FRAMING
You can use a hammer for setting the poles on the ground. The diameter of the poles should be 19mm. The recommended length of the pole is 1.8 m. If you want to stack higher than 7 tires then you should give some extra length to the tower. For this purpose, hammer one-meter length of the 16mm pole in the ground first. After that put the 19mm metal pole over top.
The pole should be set completely vertical. If the pole is slanted then choose a new spot for the tower.
Repeat the same above step for the remaining towers.
Now place the 2m length of 20mm PVC pipe over each metal pole. After that twist the PVC into the ground about 5-20cm until it is firmly set.
Slide riser pipe over the frame. Measure and cut irrigation hosing to your desired length and fasten irrigation fittings t-joins, elbow joins, and end plugs provide.
Now poke a small hole close to the end of the hose as shown with any sharp utensils. Twist in the 4mm dropper line until snug. Now poke another hole about 3cm from the previous hole. The twist in the other 4mm dropped line until snug. Feed both dropped lines up through the riser pipe.
Dig a trench 10 to 20cm deep and bury to hose in the ground. Make sure the hose is deep enough that the Riser pipe does not touch it when twisted firmly into the ground.
Now slide the PVC riser pipe stabilizes over poles. Feed the 4mm dropped lines up through the center of each planter and stack them up. If you are using large planters then it is recommended you should use 5 layers of planters.
The height will be two meters off the ground. Cut the dripper lines approximately 5 cm above the top player. Twist the 4mm t-joins into each dropped line. Now fasten the dripper lines with a zip tie.
STEP 8: FILL THE PLANTER
Place block of coco coir in a large bucket. Fill the bucket with 15 liters of water. Now use your hands for breaking up. Add 4 bags of perlite to the bucket. Mix well with your hands. Fill up each planter with this mixture. Now, this is the time to add your plans to eat the pocket of the planter.
STEP 9: CONNECT THE SYSTEM
It is recommended that to bury reservoir in the ground to keep the water temperature lower. Now measure and then cut the 13-millimeter poly hosing with the elbow and t-joins.
Now place the pump in the middle of the reservoir. Cut the hole into the side top of the reservoir for the power chord. Position black hosing into the pump.
Now set the timer to 3 × 1 minute per day. The reservoir should be filled with clean water. Add hydroponic nutrients to the reservoir. When water drips from the bottom tier, the tower is fully hydrated.
- An Easy Way To Grow Strawberries In Hanging Baskets
- How to Grow Strawberries Indoors
HOW TO GROW STRAWBERRIES?
GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
If you are a beginner then it is best to buy seedlings or plants from the store or nursery. The reason is that growing from the seeds can be a little tricky. The germination process takes 14 days and after sprouting the seedlings will take another 2-4 weeks to become self-sufficient.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF STRAWBERRIES
The question is which variety you should choose for your vertical tower. There are commonly three types of strawberries found in the world. We will discuss them one by one. It will help you choose the right type according to your choice and climate.
1- JUNE BEARING VARIETY
This variety bears fruit all at once. The time in which these plants produce buds in the autumn. You will see flowers and fruits in June and in summers this variety produces runners.
As this type bears fruit in June, that’s why its name is June-bearing or June-bearers. If you are living in a hot area then you will get a juicy treat earlier than June.
2- EVERBEARING VARIETIES
This variety gives you high production of fruit in Spring but in summer you can get a little quantity of fruit. The buds of this variety produce during the long days of hot Summer and the short days of fall.
The buds which are formed in summer will bear flowers and fruits in autumn and the buds which formed in autumn will produce fruit during the following spring.
3- DAY-NEUTRAL VARIETY
This variety will produce fruit until the first frost of spring. The temperature requirement for this variety is between 35 °F and 85 °F or 1 °C to 30°C. At a suitable temperature, this variety will produce buds, fruits, and runners continuously.
If you want high production of juicy berries then you must keep in mind that this type of strawberry produces less quantity of fruit.
SOIL YOU NEED FOR PLANTING
You need rich and well-drained soil for growing strawberries. Organic material in the soil will make it possible that your strawberry plants produce healthy and juicy berries for you.
It is suggested you should add a mixture of coco coir and perlite (80/20). Coco coir can retain moisture and make it possible that your plants get air for breathing due to light structure. You can also add clay pebbles to the mixture of the soil.
WHEN TO PLANT STRAWBERRIES?
The best time of growing strawberries is spring. Make sure before planting strawberry the danger of the last frost is passed. You can ask your local nursery for a frost date. After the last frost, you can plant the strawberries.
- You should establish a new plant of strawberries each year. It will keep berry quality high in every growing season. The runners which are produced by strawberry plants grow into new plants.
- It is recommended that you should choose a disease-resistant variety of strawberries. For this purpose, you can ask your reputable local nursery.
HOW TO PLANT STRAWBERRIES?
When you choose the right variety for your strawberry tower then the next step is planting. The best time for planting strawberries is early Spring when the threat of the last frost passed.
Fill the planter with a high-quality organic potting mix and place the crown of the strawberry plant just on the top of the soil. The crowns of the strawberry plant should not bury in the soil otherwise it will rot. The leaves, flowers, and fruit of strawberry plants need light and fresh air.
- The shallow roots of the strawberry plants need regular water, especially in hot summers. Make sure your strawberry plants get water regularly so the roots will be established in the soil easily.
- It is recommended that you should grow strawberries from last year’s runners.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR STRAWBERRY PLANTS?
Strawberries are perennial and can tolerate mildly freezing temperatures. If you are living in a cold area then little care is needed. If the temperature of your area drops very low then your strawberry plant can be reached the dormant stage. You should provide some winter protection for healthy fruit.
- It is mentioned above strawberry has shallow roots that’s why moisture is very important. Strawberry plants need water about 1 inch per square foot per week. When runners and flowers of strawberry plants are developing then they need a lot of water.
- If you want the strong growth of strawberry plants then you should fertilize them. The berries will ripen within 30 days after Blossoms are fertilized.
It is recommended that in the first year, you should pick blossoms, from the strawberry plant to discourage fruiting. If the plant will not bear fruit then it will spend all the energy in developing healthy fruits.
After following this step you will get a higher yield in the second year. If it is needed then you should eliminate runner plants. The first and second generations of strawberry plants produced higher production.
HOW TO HARVEST STRAWBERRIES?
You can harvest strawberries within 4 to 6 weeks after blossoming. You should harvest only red berries because they are fully ripe to eat. Pick the juicy berries every three days.
Do not pull the berries from the plant but use a sharp scissor for cutting by the stem, in this way, your plant will not damage. It is suggested that you should choose a June-bearer variety of strawberries because the harvest will last up to 3 weeks. The production quality depends upon the selection of variety.
HOW TO STORE STRAWBERRIES?
It is better to eat strawberries fresh because the sugar in the berries converts to scratch soon after picking. But sometimes the quantity of berries is more than you need. In this situation,n you have to store strawberries.
- For storing berries, you should store them unwashed in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
- You can also store frozen strawberries for 2 months.