Are you looking for the absolute best method to grow strawberries in containers? Think vertical! Vertical strawberry planters allow you to create automated grow towers that are perfect for strawberry production. This guide will show you everything you need to know about achieving high yields growing strawberries in containers.
Why grow in Strawberry planters instead of in the ground?
Firstly, plants that are allowed to grow off the ground are much less susceptible to pest disease and attack. Only problem is that standard container gardening is fraught with danger. The main issue is the amount of root space available to the plant and the inevitable under or over watering. Plants grown in large containers tend to suffer from over-water symptoms and plants grown in smaller containers, from under-water symptoms. You want to give your strawberry plants just the right amount of water, oxygen, nutrient & space to thrive. It’s a combination of science and art!
One of the most popular berries in the world, Strawberries are ideal for growing vertically in stacking strawberry planters. Strawberries that are grown vertically take up less space and use much less water than traditional soil methods as the soil absorbs the water faster than the plant can up-take.
Hydroponically grown strawberries, will produce more fruit than strawberries grown in soil. This is because you can provide just the right quantities of fresh nutrient, oxygen and trace elements at just the right times, enabling each plant to reach it’s full genetic potential.
Guide for beginner gardeners
The best way to grow strawberries is from store bought seedlings or plant starts. Growing from seed can be very tricky! Strawberry seeds are very tiny and delicate and can take up to 14 days alone just to germinate. Once germinated, they generally take another 2-4 weeks to become self sufficient. Therefore, it’s far easier to let the professional nurseries do the hard work and just shell out for the seedlings!
Strawberries grown in soil need fertile, well-drained soil with high organic matter content. When grown hydroponically, strawberries react very well to drip systems where it’s fed at regular intervals. You’ll want to use a mixture of coco coir and perlite (80/20 mix). Coco is incredibly good at retaining moisture while at the same time being light and airy which allows your plant roots to breathe (essential!) Hydroton (clay pebbles) can also be added to the mixture to further oxyginate, but for drip system we do not recommend growing in 100% clay pebbles as it does not wick the water out to the outer regions of each clover.
After inserting the strongest seedlings in your planters and feeding regularly with clean water and quality hydroponic nutrient, your strawberry plants should begin to produce fruit within approx 28 days. These plants will also send off runners or ‘daughter plants’ that are also capable of producing fruits. Once the runner is long enough to reach a lower part of the tower, you simply pin it in the coco mix encouraging it to grow roots of it’s own! You simply keep doing this for each of the runners and before long, you’ll have a thriving vertical tower of strawberries!
How Much Light Do Strawberry Plants Require?
Strawbs have high sunlight needs and will do best if given 10 or more hours of direct sunlight per day! A minimum of 6 hours per day is still sufficient however, but not optimal. Basically, the more light the strawberries receive the more juicy ripe large fruit you will pick. They really can’t get too much light!
What Temperature Do Strawberries Grow Best At?
The ideal temperature for strawberry plant growth is between 18 to 25 degrees celcius during the day and no lower than 10 degrees at night.
What PH is best?
A pH range between 5.5 and 6.5 is best for strawberries. This is similar to most other vegetables.
When Is The Best Time To Pick Strawberries?
Ripe strawberries should be ready for picking about 30 days after blossoms form. Once the plant starts to produce fruit you will be able to harvest berries about three times a week. Make sure you leave a small piece of the stem still attached to the fruit when you harvest. The premium time to pick berries is in the morning when they are at their coolest temperature.
How do I set up my towers?
An area that is protected from the wind and in full sun is ideal.
Step 1 – Measure out your towers. We recommend spacing your towers 100cm apart.
Step 2 – Hammer the 1.8m length x 19mm diameter poles into the ground. (If you are stacking higher than 7 tiers, it may be worth giving the tower some extra strength. To do this, hammer the 1m length x 16mm diameter metal pole firstly, and then put the 19mm metal pole over top (this is not 100% necessary).
Make sure your pole is completely vertical. If it’s slanted, start again in a new spot. Needs to be perfectly vertical! Use a level if you have one.
Step 3 – Repeat step 2 for the remaining towers
Step 4 – Place the 2m lengths of 20mm PVC pipe over each metal poles. Twist the PVC into the ground about 5-20cm until it’s very firm.