How to grow strawberries in a vertical plastic pipe

Written by elton dunn
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How to grow strawberries in a vertical plastic pipe
Day neutral strawberries grow well in vertical systems. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Strawberries grow readily in vertical pipes, which hang from balconies or apartment terraces. As long as they've got full sun, plants in these systems will grow fine. For vertical strawberry planters, choose day neutral fruits like Tristar or Tribute. These berry plants bear a full crop of fruit the first season they're planted. Strawberries need little care once planted, requiring fertiliser in the first year only if they're struggling.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • PVC pipe, 1-inch thick
  • Drill bits, 1/8-inch and 1-1/2-inch
  • Drill
  • Potting media
  • Day neutral strawberry plants

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  1. 1

    Drill small holes into a 1-inch PVC pipe that is just as long as your vertical planter, using a 1/8-inch drill nit. Greg Stack of the University of Illinois Extension advises drilling the holes close together toward the bottom of your planter, then 3 inches apart toward the centre, then 6 inches apart near the top. The pipe and holes act as a watering aid, so that water gets to the berry plants in equal amounts. Otherwise, higher-up berry plants would steal all the water.

  2. 2

    Drill 1-1/2-inch wide holes in your vertical plastic pipe, staggering the holes around the pipe. Leave at least 3 inches between holes vertically. These are where your berry plants will go.

  3. 3

    Insert the small pipe into the large pipe, then pour in potting media until you've covered the bottom holes with soil.

  4. 4

    Push one strawberry plant into each hole so the roots are tucked into the soil and the foliage and stems come out of the hole.

  5. 5

    Add enough potting medium to cover the next set of holes. Again, push plants into the planting pipe. Work in this way until you've planted all berry plants in all the holes.

  6. 6

    Water the plastic pipe thoroughly by pouring water in the top of the planter and down the 1-inch PVC pipe you put in the centre. Thereafter, water the planter like this when the soil feels lightly moist to the touch, adding liquid to saturate the soil.

  7. 7

    Hang the planter in a location where it can receive full sun for at least 6 hours a day.

  8. 8

    Watch your strawberries. If the berries appear green one month after planting and the plants struggle to grow, fertilise with water soluble nitrogen fertiliser, following the dose range based on your size planter.

  9. 9

    Rotate the planter if parts of it appear to be getting less sun, so the fruit ripens evenly.

  10. 10

    Harvest the berries when they turn fully red, indicating they are ripe.

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