Easy as Shortcake…
One of our projects this past weekend was a pair of strawberry towers to flank either side of our flower box. I got to use the power drill, so my weekend was complete.
I started out by drilling out the bottoms of the pots with a 5/8″ paddle drill. This is not for drainage, but for the garden stake “pin” that would hold the tower in place and keep them from shifting in the bed.
I repeated this step for each pot; six pots and six pins. I pinned the biggest pot directly to the soil of the flower box by hammering a length of round garden stake through the hole and into the bed. Once each was pinned into place I filled the bottoms with masonry gravel to weigh down the pot and allow for drainage. I used potting mix to fill each base pot to the top.
This process was repeated for the second layer of pots. Pin, fill with gravel, fill with soil. Wash, rinse, and repeat. To give room for my strawberry plants, I set the second pot towards the back of the first pot, so that the front of the first pot had space for four of my plants.
Strawberries have a pretty shallow root system, so as long as the pots are half filled with planting medium, they will have enough room to grow. Each one of my towers holds seven plants. Four in the first tier, two in the second tier, and one plant to crown it off. I had to introduce the Fella to strawberry planting techniques, like how the crown of the plant shouldn’t be buried under soil.
I kind of wanted to see which variety performs the best, so we planted each tower with a specific variety of berry. I’m sort of data driven in my day job and my personal life. There will probably a spreadsheet in the future measuring productivity, flavor, and mouth feel.