VERTICAL GARDENING | GROWING STRAWBERRIES
STRAWBERRIES - THE EASIEST FRUIT TO GROW, THE HARDEST FRUIT TO HARVEST.
Why? Because slugs. That's why.
Have you ever watched your strawberry crop growing and been wide-eyed every day as those beautiful red fruit swell? Then you've gone to pick your harvest only to find slugs have beaten you too it! And it really sucks. I mean, slugs DON'T EVEN HAVE A PROPER BRAIN but somehow they taunt us - eating strawberries inside out so what looks like a bright, ripe, huge fruit is actually just a thin shell.
Well, a few years ago I found the answer - vertical gardening!
Growing strawberries on the ground means...
- Bending down to weed
- Difficult harvesting
- Mulching to keep berries off the ground
- Easy access to ripening fruit for slugs and snails
Growing strawberries vertically means...
- Easy access to fruit
- Little weeding <- and easier to do when required
- No mulching needed
- Reduction in slug/snail damage
- Maximising space
- *It does need more watering*
GROWING VERTICAL STRAWBERRIES IS SUPER EASY
Luckily, there is no fancy equipment or knowledge needed for vertical strawberries...it's really easy. Find a fence or wall in a sunny position (mine are in partial sun and they fruit just fine) that is not being used and attach some guttering or something similar. I used an old piece of wooden pipe cladding I ripped out of the house during renovations (see below). If you're using guttering, make sure you seal the ends with a wooden batten and create a couple of drainage holes. Even better, make a stack of gardens and when you water, each one will drip down onto the one beneath.
Then, fill with soil, add plants, water and...you're done!
Strawberries are perennial so they live for many years. In reality, however, each plant will only produce good harvests for a couple of years. BUT, every year after producing strawberries, your plants will create runners...little plants on the end of tendrils. Save these, root these and use them as replacement plants.
I clear out all the soil and replace ALL the plants in my vertical strawberry bed every TWO YEARS. This is the SAME as I did in my vegetable patch so it really makes no extra work. But, now I get to enjoy my strawberries without fear of slugs and snails destroying my crop first!