Well, it seems like spring has finally hit the Portland area. With the weather so nice, I just couldn't sit inside at my sewing machine! This weekend I spent some time in the sun working on a planter for strawberries, something I've been dreaming of for years. We already have two raised planting beds which I use for vegetables like kale, lettuce, peas, and (my favorite) tomatoes. A lot of things tend to be trial and error for me in the garden. The climate is NOT what I grew up with in Sacramento so I have to give up things like growing bell peppers because I 1)don't have a green house, and don't intend to. 2) They take more work than I'm willing to put into it.
So, once I set my mind to having strawberries this summer I did my best to find a creative and inexpensive way to do so. Initially I was planning to make a third planter bed to connect the existing two but soon decided that would take a lot more leveling and expense than I would like. So, I went to my new best friend Pinterest to resolve my dilemma. I came across a few things that sparked my interest. I came across this project: DIY Garden Planter. While that project was geared toward a flower display I decided it would also be well suited for strawberry plants.
Well, you know me I can't do a creative project by someone else's plans, I've got to make it my own. Here's what I did:
- Have a large decorative pot on the bottom with a hole drilled in the bottom.
- Take a 1/2" rebar (I ended up getting a 10' pole and having them cut it down for me to 6') and drive it down into the ground through the hole of the base part. Ideally you should have a foot or two in the ground.
- Fill the base pot with soil.
- Carefully thread the first terracotta pot onto the rebar and cock it to one side making sure that it is stably settled in the dirt of the base pot. I used 8.25" Azalea pots for this project, they're a little wider than they are tall to allow for more planting.
- Plant your first plant in the first terracotta pot. I found it was a lot easier to do this as I stacked the pots rather than having them all stacked and trying to put plants in them.
- Continue to the top of the rebar carefully cocking the pots to one side or the other and planting as you go.
Voila! I had a lovely time playing in the dirt with the little girl (you can see her little truck in the planting bed). I got my first round of plants at the same home improvement store I purchased the other supplies. That was a big mistake. We went to a local plant nursery down the way from us to get the rest of the plants: $12.99 for 25 bare root strawberry plants. I have planted 15 of them (not just in the strawberry tower) and will probably give the remaining 10 plants to friends.
I'm very much looking forward to having garden-fresh strawberries in June!