Growing strawberries nowadays does not require big space in your backyards. Many gardeners are now going vertical in their gardening methods as it is more efficient and widely used for many strawberry growers. It is one of the most productive and most inexpensive ideas for people who love fresh and luscious strawberries but don’t have enough space to grow.
DIY-Friendly Tower Structures for Strawberries
Space utilization is essential and is mostly practiced by plant growers, particularly for small crops like strawberries.
It is an excellent option for those who have limited space but are looking for another way of growing.
Growing upstanding strawberries can bring lots of fun. But the question is, what kind of vertical strawberry structure do you have room for, particularly if you have limited space?
Vertical gardening has endless possibilities. You can plant fresh herbs, strawberries, and many others. There are many easy DIY ideas for vertical gardening, and aside from saving limited spaces, upright planting is also an excellent addition to your home, as they are awesomely eye-catching.
Try some of our DIY-friendly vertical structures with inexpensive materials you can use for your strawberry upward growing.
1) Strawberry Tower out of PVC Pipe
- 6 feet of 4-inch PVC schedule 40 pipe
- Hole saw drill bit
- Pole digger
- Potting mix
Here’s how to set up your tower of PVC pipe.
- Cut the PVC pipe to the height of your preference, but 6 feet is an ideal height for your tower planter.
- Cut 2 ½ inch holes down on one side, 1 foot apart leaving the last 12 inches uncut.
- Bury the last uncut 12 inches part of the PVC pipe into the ground.
- Cut another row of holes on the other side of the pipe, and repeat to the remaining sides too. (the idea is to create a spiral design by cutting holes alternately)
- Dig a perfect deep hole to set your PVC pipe.
- Fill the pipe with amended soil. (your PVC pipe vertical tower is now ready for your strawberry starts)
Other ideas you can also try using PVC pipe:
2) Strawberry Tower Using Plastic Buckets
- 2-4 (5 gallons) buckets
- Weed cloth or garden cover (about 30” x 36” length)
- Potting mix amended with compost
- 30 strawberry starts
- ¼-inch soaker hose and ¼-inch spaghetti tubing (for drip irrigation.)
Here’s how to set up your tower of plastic buckets.
- With the use of pliers, remove the handles from the buckets.
- With the help of a tape measure as your guide, mark the first container ½ inch from its bottom.
- Do the same for the second bucket. Mark 1½ inch up from the bottom to make it a little bit shorter from the first bucket.
- Repeat procedure number 3 to the remaining buckets.
- Hold the buckets steady by using a hacksaw or with a pair of helping hands.
- Cut the bottom of the buckets where you made your marks.
- Ensure the buckets nest into each other by sanding the edges.
(Take them apart, once you are sure they can nest together comfortably. )
- Draw marks (about 5 to 6) scattered in each bucket with 4 inches apart. (these will be your planting spaces)
- Avoid marking too close to the base as the bucket will be nested together.
- With the marks as your guide, drill openings at the side of your buckets using a 2-inch hole bit.
- Do the same in the remaining buckets. (ensure to sand the edges to nest them comfortably)
- Fit the buckets together and place them in a sunny area. (optional: you can paint the bucket if you want to)
- Line them with your garden cover. If you like to use a drip line, this is the time to install it.
- Fill with potting soil amended with compost and fertilizer. (you can use clothespins to hold the fabric in place while filling the soil in your bucket tower.)
- Your plastic bucket tower is now ready for planting strawberry starts.
3) Strawberry Tower Using Plastic Bottles
If you are looking for a cheap and sustainable vertical garden structure, then why not try a tower of 2 gallons of plastic water bottles or 2-liter plastic soda bottles?
With this structure, you can install a 10 feet of ¾ inch drip line or an inch of hose irrigation tubings, four plastic spaghetti tubings, and four irrigation emitters.
- An 8-foot-tall post (4×4)
- 16 10-liter plastic bottles
- ¾ to 1-inch screws
- Four 3-gallon pots
- Strawberry starts
- Spray paint
- Cut the bottom of your soda bottles halfway through use to hang the bottle.
- Paint your soda bottles to reduce intense sunlight penetration.
- Erect the pole properly about 2 feet into the ground and secure it with soil.
- Place a screw on each of the four sides of the pole in which to hang the bottles.
- You can install irrigation systems at this time.
- Next, tie the bottles onto the screws in the pole.
- Secure your spaghetti tubing on top of the pole with one emitter on each side of the pole.
- Place one-inch pipe pieces on the neck of each bottle.
- Place four pots (approximately 3 gallons each) filled with other types of growing media on the ground.
- Your tower of plastic bottles is now ready for your strawberry starts.
Note: The pots are optional. However, they are placed to absorb excess water, fertilizer, and salt.
Other ideas you can also try using plastic soda bottles:
4) Growing Wall of Strawberries with Wooden Pallets
- Used pallet (the one that is not pressure treated or sprayed with pesticides)
- 5 cubic feet potting soil
- Some landscape fabric
- 20-25 strawberry starts
- Heavy-duty stapler
Here’s how to set up your pallet garden.
- Lay the pallet on the ground. Cut some landscape fabric to cover on one side and staple it on the pallet to secure it in place.
- Cover the fabric with plastic to help retain moisture and minimize soil dropping from the back.
- Flip your wood pallet over and fill it up with amended soil.
- Start adding in your strawberry starts. (strawberries do not require a lot of root space – 6 inches apart is sufficient enough for them to breath) Water them in to help roots connect to the new soil.
- Leave your pallet horizontal temporarily (approximately two weeks) until the roots are fully set. Water them daily for the first week, and with the interval of 2-3 for the following week. Fill up gaps in the soil with compost or more straw.
- Carefully stand your pallet garden up against the wall or on the fence after two weeks. It would be nice to secure it on the wall so the pallet won’t drop on the ground.
- All you need to do now is help your strawberries thrive and expect a productive harvest.
5) Hanging Strawberry Bag Planters
- Large bag (you can purchase a hanging grow bag, or you can create your large bag like a plastic feed sack)
- Potting mix
Here’s how to set up your hanging bag planters.
- Cut holes about 3 to 4-inch in diameter on the sides of the bag
- Space about 12 inches apart and strengthen the edges of the holes with duct tape.
- Fill the bag with an enriched potting mix.
- Plant strawberry starts with the roots covered while the crown protrudes slightly.
- Clip runners as they develop to avoid overcrowding.
- Place the bag in a spot that receives full sun.
- Keep the soil moist by watering the plants often.
- You’re now ready to plant on your hanging bag planter.
Other hanging ideas you can also try:
6) Stackable Strawberry Planters
- Stackable Planters (either rectangular or cross-shaped)
- Potting Soil
- Gravel (to fill the base and be safe from tripping)
Here’s how to set up your stackable planters.
- Fill the base of the planters with gravel to avoid easy tripping. (leaving 8 to 10 inches from the top of the planter for soil)
- Fit the medium-size planter on top of the gravel bed in the large-sized planter.
- Pack up the large planter with soil around the medium size planter.
- Repeat the process with a small size planter on to the medium size container.
- Strawberries will spill out over the sides of the planters as they grow to provide fresh luscious fruits.
Other stacking strawberry planting ideas you can also try:
Guide On Strawberry Vertical Growing
Strawberries are probably the most favorite plant to grow in vertical gardening. Aside from being a low maintenance type of plant in most areas, you can also keep them to grow back year after year. Another benefit is it requires minimal effort to grow, so it won’t be hard for your kids to enjoy eating your homegrown produce.
Here’s how to grow strawberries vertically.
Prep the Soil
Enriched potting mix is essential in growing strawberries as the plants have to stay in that planter for some time. It is best to use a loose mix that includes perlite, coconut coir, peat moss, compost, worm casting, and some other organic soil amendments.
However, it is advisable to stay away from wood chips, topsoil, and soil used for container gardens.
Strawberries love acidic soil, and a reading between 5.5 to 6.8 for strawberry plants is the best. If you’re concerned about the pH of your potting mix, you can get a meter reader at the store and check the status of your soil even a couple of times a year.
Study Your Growing Zone
To consider your growing zone is necessary before purchasing things to start your strawberry garden. Strawberries prefer dormant season, and most varieties are perennial in zones 3-8.
Getting a variety of berries that can tolerate winter, aside from the idea of saving your limited space, is essential. Plants in containers usually get a little colder compared to the plants in the ground.
Strawberry plants love full sun exposure. Eight hours and even more is ideal for whatever variety you may choose. Always place your plants in a sunny area to enjoy its optimum growth.
One Strawberry Plant in Each Pocket
Most growers prefer bare-root form to start a strawberry garden compared to seeds. Seeds take a long time to germinate, and not everyone has time to wait.
Strawberries in the bare-root form are often affordable. Sometimes, bare-root looks like they are already dead, but you don’t need to worry as they can get back to health just in a few days.
When you opt to get bare-root plants, to start your garden, follow the package directions properly. Growers recommend proper care until they are ready to plant. Aside from the bare-root form, you can get starter plants too.
Planting only one strawberry plant in every pocket is ideal for the best results. Doing such will allow your plants to grow healthy and robust. Also, always clip runners off the plants to help your strawberry plants thrive and bloom even in the first season of growth.
Don’t Bury the Crown of Your Strawberry Plant
The way you plant strawberries matters. They love it when their roots are buried under the soil but not their crown. Always plant at the crown level for both bare-root and starter plants.
Water as Needed
Strawberries hate soil that is always damp and humid as it will cause their roots to rot. So, most of the growers water their plants either once or when necessary up to 3x for the week only.
It is essential to allow the soil to dry out between watering, but let the plants be fully saturated when you water. Always do the soil finger test before watering during summer, to ensure your berry plants are free from root rot.
Dealing with Pests and Diseases
There will be times that you need to deal with some pests and plant diseases. Growing different varieties of plants along with your strawberries can make a huge difference in reducing pests and diseases.
Another thing that you must be careful about is overwatering. This can cause root rot and leads to many problems. Other growers use neem oil or hydrogen peroxide for insect control and a birds net cover to keep birds away from ripening fruits.
Check first your growing zone, and if your garden is in the middle of the upper end, the need to water your plants will be every couple of weeks to make it through next season. Strawberries that look dead in the dormant season is normal. They’ll come back to be alive once the weather starts to warm.
Growing strawberries in colder zones such as 3, 4, and 5 need more care compared to warmer zones like 8-10.
Here are some precautions to ensure your plants can get the best chance of making it through the winter.
- Place your vertical garden closer or towards your home to protect plants in windy winter days.
- If a frost net cover is available, use them to help insulate your plants.
- Move your plants inside a shed when expecting extreme cold weather to protect them for that limited time.
- You can also add mulch straw at the top of the pockets for additional protection.
- Water the plants only when the winter freezes the soil.
Some plants won’t make it through even with the best winter care. Around 5 to 15% won’t last during winter, but you can enjoy 85-95% of strawberries about 3-4 years out of one planting.
Some mother plants start to decline their production. Place the runners besides the plants and replace them when the roots are fully set.
Final Thoughts on Growing Strawberries Vertically
There you have it! We’ve shared the guide on strawberry vertical growing along with a few easy DIY ideas you can use to grow them at home. You can enjoy unlimited delicious produce while taking up just a small spot in your limited garden space.
If you’ve already tried one of the ideas we’ve shared above, you can let us know how it turned out for you. Please don’t hesitate to share it with us by writing in the comment section below. We’re excited to know.