Strawberry Tower | how to grow strawberries in a basket

Strawberry Tower | how to grow strawberries in a basket

Strawberry Tower | how to grow strawberries in a basket

Strawberry plants are one of the easiest berry crops to grow and excitingly, one of the first plants in the garden to produce fresh ripened fruit.

The plants have the ability to survive adverse growing conditions and can not only be grown in garden beds, but in containers as well.

This year, we decided to tuck our plants in a decorative basket, creating a Strawberry Tower that is already bearing tasty homegrown goodness.
Along with cherry tomatoes, they are one of Butch’s favorite treats to snack on while we’re out tending the garden.

Strawberry Tower | How to grow strawberries in a basket

A Strawberry Tower is a creative way to grow a bunch of strawberry plants in a smaller contained space. Growing the plants vertically not only makes harvesting easier, but elevates the berries off of the ground, making them less susceptible to mold and diseases.

Once the plants are established, the Strawberry Tower will provide a beautiful display of lush greenery for the entire growing season. Plus, you don’t need to dedicate any garden space for the container as the Strawberry Tower is perfectly sized and well suited for a sunny deck or patio area.

The basic building concept below can be applied to a variety of containers.
You can really get creative and think out of the box for this project.

The inspiration behind our decorative Strawberry Tower was this large metal storage basket.

DIY Strawberry Plant Tower Basket

The metal storage basket was picked up at Michaels. It is available in three different sizes. The large one was used for this project.

DIY Strawberry Plant Growing Basket

The other supplies needed for the Strawberry Tower include:

Landscape Fabric – at least 36 inches wide
A Couple of Large Rocks
Organic Potting Soil mixed with Compost
Bare-Root Strawberries or Strawberry Plants

Build a Strawberry Plant Growing Basket

Once the decorative liner was removed, landscape fabric was used to re-line the basket.

The landscape fabric will hold the soil in place and retain moisture, while providing adequate drainage for the Strawberry Tower.

To measure the length of landscape fabric to use, I turned the basket upside down – draped the fabric up the side – over the bottom – then back down the other side. An additional 12 inches was then added to account for the folded band at the top of the basket.

Wide landscape fabric works best as it gives you a nice amount of material to overlap the seams once it is nestled into the basket.
36 inch Weed Barrier Landscape Fabric was used for this project.

After the landscape fabric was in place, a couple of rocks were set in the bottom for some added stability. A layer of pebbles can also be used, as this will help any excess water drainage.

How to Build a Strawberry Tower Basket

Strawberry plants thrive in loose, fluffy, well-drained soil enriched with lots of organic matter.

Our basket was filled with organic general purpose potting soil mixed with compost.

DIY Strawberry Plant Growing Basket

With the soil in place, the excess fabric on the top was folded down twice and tucked into the upper rim of the basket.

Landscape Fabric Lined Strawberry Basket

The strawberry plants on the side of the basket were planted first.

While regular potted strawberry plants were used for the top of our basket, Bare-Root Strawberries were used for the side.

Bare-root strawberries are plants that were removed from the soil while they were dormant. Almost all of the soil is removed, leaving a ‘bare-root’. The plants may have a bit of new growth appearing at the crown, though a majority of the foliage will be shriveled up and brown. Bare-root strawberries cost much less than starter plants and can be found at many hardware stores as well as ordered online.

Alternatively, potted strawberry plants can be used for the side of the basket as well.

A utility knife or razor blade will easily cut through the landscape fabric to create a hole for planting.

Just a small hole is needed for the bare root strawberries. Starter plants will require a larger opening.

These cuts were made in an inverted ‘v’ shape, as shown above.

DIY Strawberry Tower

The excess fabric was then trimmed with scissors, leaving a triangle opening for the plant.

Planting Bare Root Strawberries

The bare-root strawberries were then tucked into the holes.

When planting any type of strawberry plant, the planting depth is very important for the strawberry plant to thrive. All of the roots of the plant should be covered and the crown – where the roots and shoots join together – should be positioned right at the soil level.

Once the sides were planted, regular starter plants were added to the top of the basket.

The basket was then mulched with a layer of Dried Pine Needles.

There are many benefits to using dried pine needles to mulch strawberry plants. Strawberries prefer acidic soil and the dried pine needles can help to lower the ph levels on the soil’s surface to a proper acidic level for the plants to flourish.  As the pine needles decompose, they slowly release organic matter into the soil helping to retain a healthy root system throughout the growing season. The pine needles also retain moisture in the soil, help maintain the soil temperature, and provide a barrier to help protect the leaves and fruit from soil-borne diseases.

Growing Strawberry Plants in a Basket

Here is the Strawberry Tower Basket just three weeks after planting.

DIY Strawberry Growing Basket

Seascape Strawberries were planted in the top of the basket and Sparkle Strawberries on the sides.

The Seascape Strawberries are Everbearing and the Sparkle Strawberries are June-Bearing.

How to Grow Strawberries in a Basket

There are three types of strawberry plants – Everbearing, June-Bearing, and Day-Neutral.

Everbearing Strawberries typically produce two harvests – one in the spring and another in the late summer.

June-Bearing Strawberries produce one harvest that generally lasts for two to three weeks, mid to late season.

Day-Neutral Strawberries will produce smaller sized fruit all season long, as long as the temperatures stay between 35 and 85 degrees.

Choosing a variety of plants that produce at different times will prolong the fresh berry harvest throughout the entire season.

How to Grow Strawberry Plants

Planting a Strawberry Basket Tower

In ideal conditions, strawberry plants are short-term perennials and will produce crops up to three years.

By planting the plants in a container you run the risk of them not surviving through the winter in colder climates.

For that reason, this year we are treating our plants as annuals, without any expectations. We are letting the plants produce as much as they can, without pinching back any of the flowers.

Once fall arrives, we will attempt to over-winter the Strawberry Tower by moving it into the greenhouse. (A cool basement or garage would work as well)

Growing Strawberries in a Basket

Growing Bare Root Strawberries

DIY Strawberry Basket Tower

How to Plant a Strawberry Basket Tower

Growing Strawberry Plants

Strawberry Tower | how to grow strawberries in a basket #michaelsmakers

Comments

  1. Great tutorial, Stephanie. Thank you for sharing it! There’s nothing better than growing your own food and having to easily accessible!

        

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