Planting strawberries vertically: tips & instructions
As not everyone has a large garden or balcony, growing strawberries vertically is an excellent option for those of us with limited space. Here are some useful tips and tricks.
Nothing beats the sweet taste of home-grown strawberries (Fragaria) in summer. Unfortunately, strawberry plots take up a lot of space, making it seem impossible to plant strawberries in a small garden or on a balcony. However, there is a trick to growing a large number of strawberry plants in a small space – simply stack them on top of each other. This brilliant concept is also known as vertical gardening, in which plants are grown upwards rather than outwards. What may sound complicated at first is actually a very quick and easy way to save space. On top of that, vertical gardens are real showstoppers!
Ideas for growing strawberries vertically
In this article, we will explain how to grow strawberries in a gutter, which is an amazing vertical gardening method. However, there are countless creative ways to grow strawberries vertically. For example, you could recycle old plastic bottles by using them as planters and fixing them to a wall from top to bottom. For a slightly larger DIY vertical strawberry planter, use a wooden pallet and line it with pond liner. If you do not have a suitable wall, you can also make a strawberry tower out of PVC pipe.
If DIY is not your thing, why not give hanging baskets a try? They are available in a wide range of colours and sizes at any local gardening centre. Simply arrange them above one another to create an effortless vertical garden.
Planting strawberries vertically: step-by-step guide
Growing strawberries in a vertical gardening system is simple and does not require any special equipment. Here is our step-by-step guide for growing strawberries in a gutter.
You will need:
- 4 gutters (127 mm wide, 4 m long)
- 12 gutter brackets (127 mm)
- 8 gutter stop ends (127 mm)
- Screws and electric drill
- Spirit level and measuring tape
The best spot for planting strawberries vertically
Once you have decided which strawberry variety you would like to grow, the next step is to find a suitable location. Strawberries love sunny spots that are somewhat sheltered from the wind. If you do not already have a wall or fence in the right place, simply put three fence posts of the same length in the ground to secure your gutters to. Now it is time to start assembling your vertical garden.
Customising the size of your vertical strawberry planter
This vertical garden is easily customisable, and you can use any size gutter you want as long as you get stop ends and brackets that are the same size as the gutter. In our step-by-step guide, we are making a four-tier strawberry planter, which is why we are using four gutters. However, you can change the number, size and length of your gutters, brackets and stop ends to suit your needs. Simply ensure that each gutter has two stop ends and at least three brackets in the appropriate size.
Installing the gutters
Using the measuring tape, mark where you are going to place each tier on the wall. Begin just above the ground to be extra space-efficient or higher up for back-friendly gardening. Using the electric drill and screws, attach two gutter brackets to the wall 3.5 m apart. Place a gutter on the brackets and use the spirit level to check if they are level. If so, attach the third bracket to the wall in the middle of the first two. Repeat these steps until you reach the top of the wall, leaving at least 30 cm between each tier so that the plants have enough room to grow.
Fitting the stop ends
Once the individual gutters are in place, it is time to install the stop ends. To do so, it may be necessary to slightly bend the last 5 mm of the gutters, which is easily done with pliers. Place the stop ends on the end of the gutter and carefully tighten them with pliers. To prevent waterlogging in the gutters, it is critical to provide a way for the water to drain away. To do this, drill a 5 mm hole every 30 cm into each gutter.
Planting and caring for strawberries in a gutter
Now it is time to start planting your strawberries. Learn all about what to look out for in our article on planting strawberries.
We recommend growing strawberries in nutrient-rich soil, such as our Plantura Organic Tomato & Vegetable Compost, which you can fill the gutters with once they are in place. After that, the strawberries just need regular care to thrive. Strawberries grown in a gutter, like those grown in pots, require more frequent watering than those grown in raised beds or garden beds because the water evaporates more quickly. Also, you will need to apply fertiliser a little more often as the strawberries have less soil.
Tip: Just as with strawberries in pots, make sure to add a small drainage layer to your gutters or pipes. To do so, place some small stones, expanded clay or clay shards into the bottom of the gutter before filling it with soil to allow water to drain away easily.
- Perfect for tomatoes & other vegetables such as chillies, courgettes & more
- For strong & healthy plant growth as well as an abundant vegetable harvest
- Peat-free & organic soil: CO2-saving composition
Additional care includes proper fertilisation. It is best to use a potassium-rich liquid fertiliser, such as our Plantura Liquid Tomato Food. Simply add it to your watering can and apply every two to three weeks.
Summary: growing strawberries in gutters
Here are all the steps to planting strawberries vertically in gutters:
- Choose a suitable location; if you do not have a wall, use fence posts instead
- Using the measuring tape, determine where to place your gutters and mark the wall or posts
- Install two gutter brackets at the desired height
- Place the gutter on the bracket and check if level with the spirit level
- Install the third bracket in between the first two
- Repeat steps 3 – 5 for each tier, leaving at least 30 cm space between each tier
- Attach the gutter stop ends
- Drill small holes every 30 cm in each gutter
- Fill the gutters with soil and plant your strawberries