Vertical Strawberry Tower Planter (Growing Strawberries at Home)
This vertical strawberry tower planter annihilates the need to dig in the ground.
The tower has five compartments and each hold two plants. The top, sixth compartment, can hold three plants. So 13 in total.
Each compartment holds up to 150′ cu. of soil. This is perfect amount for for strawberry root systems. Each compartment also has built-in drain holes for optimal drainage.
The entire tower planter stands vertical and secure thanks to its stand and wall mount.
This means that you will easily keep slugs away. Also, once fruit has ripened, you can easily cover it with bird netting .
This strawberry tower is performing really well!
A main issue that we had was to keep the bugs away from the strawberries. I don’t think to date we’ve had one strawberry eaten by any type of bug!
We’ve had pretty much full production for many months of the year. I’d say there’s at least a strawberry hanging on there at least eleven months out of the year. That’s pretty cool!
It made in Europe from UV-resistant polypropylene. Dimensions: 44 1/2″ H x 12 1/2″ Diam. Weighs 5 lbs.
Growing Strawberries in a Vertical Tower
What we’re going to talk about in this article is propagating strawberries into your tower garden.
You can start strawberries from seeds, but the strawberries are actually pretty hard to propagate. When we’ve tried them over the last two or three years, we get a very low germination rate. It uses a lot of our resources in order to do that.
What we started to do is growing strawberry plants using bare-root strawberries. It’s something that you can buy from a seed store. It’s less likely that you would find it from a local nursery. But you can also buy a strawberry plant already planted.
In this scenario we actually bought strawberry roots and many seed suppliers online will sell bare-root strawberries.
When you do get these strawberry plants, they’re gonna be full of dirt. You’re gonna want to wash the roots of dirt.
You’re gonna cut the rockwool cube in half, place on top of the roots and you’re gonna sandwich the the roots between the rockwool and then tie it together with a rubber band.
Here is how to do these steps in more detail.
Strawberry plants come in a big rubber band. You are going to first wash them while still in the rubber band.
Turn on your sink faucet and you will see at the bottom a lot of runoff, a lot of turbidity, a lot of the dirt that came with your planting.
This is totally fine if you planting into a soil garden bed. But since we’re planting in hydroponics, we don’t want the dirt to actually clog the pump. Even though this is pretty fine dirt, we don’t want any possible contaminants in the soil to get into our hydroponic system.
Part of the reason why grow hydroponically is to avoid some of the contaminants that come in soil.
Once you are done with washing, you’ll separate the strawberry plant roots and put them into the growing medium. We personally use rockwool. It’s a super porous material, it’s relatively inexpensive and it also is very porous, so the plant roots can grow through.
Take the rockwool and put it in a big enough container to wet it. We do this in order to reduce the pH of the rockwool to get it a little bit closer to seven.
Rockwool usually comes in blocks, so you are going to cut off a piece.
You are going to slice it right down the middle. Sometimes you can go all the way through. It’s not that big of a deal.
Take strawberry plant root and you want to put this kind of horn towards the top of the rockwool cube and then the root system inside of the rockwool cube and let the roots flow through.
Then what you are gonna do is close it up like a sandwich. What’s important is that the top of the root mass is underneath the top of the rockwool so that everything stays nice and moist.
Then you are gonna take my rubber band and wrap it around and there you go. You’ve got your strawberry seedling ready to be transplanted into the tower.
Really gently place the roots inside of the tower and then make sure that it’s tucked snugly and that fits onto the tower garden clip.
That’s pretty much it.
Once you have it in there, here are some tips and tricks on how to take care of it.
You definitely want to start in the spring. This is perfect time to start.
Strawberries need at least 6 to 10 hours of sunlight per day. So you definitely want to have it in a sunny spot if you can.
Most varieties will give you a lot of fruit in a 3 week period in the early summer. There are some varieties out there that will produce fruit all year long.
There are some varieties that will produce fruit in cycles. Basically in the spring and then it kind of goes dormant in the
summer and then it produces a little bit towards the end of the summer or early fall.
There’s a lot of different varieties out there, so you definitely want to check what kind of variety you’re getting.
You’re probably going to find it easier for a variety that will be harvestable in the early summer and it will give you an abundance of fruit for about three weeks.
You want to keep your tower garden pH at 5.5 to 6.5. You want it closer to 5.5 because a fruiting crop normally wants a lower pH level. This helps the fruits to mature
You want to remove runners (daughter plants). It happens when a plant is sending out a shoot in order to create a brand new plant. When you’re growing in the ground, this is actually going to create this big ground cover.
The problem with that is that it will start to divert the energy of the plant or photosynthesis that’s being created by the leaves to create that new plant. What you really want is to have as much energy going to the fruits themselves then to the creation of a new plant.
What’s cool about this is that you can cut this towards the top and then you can give one to a neighbor or put it in another cube and throw it into your tower planter to start a completely new strawberry plant.
You can start to propagate strawberries and you really never have to buy strawberry seeds again. This is a really great way to save money and to let nature just run its course.
Strawberries are subject to pretty much every type of fungus out there.
What you definitely want to do in order to avoid fungus is keep your tower in a well ventilated area.
If you’re outside, you’ve got it covered.
If you’re indoors then you definitely want to have some sort of ventilation system, whether that’s an HVAC system or fans that are constantly blowing, distributing air across the room,
You want to set an automatic timer for the pump for 15 minutes on and forty-five minutes off. Strawberry roots don’t like it to be too wet.
You can use neem oil on the plant leaves. There are other methods, but we want to talk about some of the organic methods. Neem oil is deemed organic pesticide or fungicide. It is a very light fungicide. It’s more of a pesticide than a fungicide but it could be useful.
When the fruit is ready to pick, you’ll know because it’s gonna be super red and juicy looking.
We definitely suggest storing the strawberries unwashed. Even if you did spray them with chemicals, we suggest you don’t wash them until you’re ready to eat them because they’ll store longer in fridge.