If you don’t have enough space in your garden or home to grow your produce, this doesn’t mean you can’t do it. A strawberry tower is a fantastic way to grow delicious, healthy fruits while saving space. But how does a strawberry tower work?
A strawberry tower is a planter that is set up vertically. It can be made of various materials, making it easy to build yourself. Not to mention how easy it is to maintain and harvest the fruits.
In this article, I’ll explore everything you need to know about strawberry towers, their advantages, and how to make your own one at home.
What Are Strawberry Towers?
A strawberry tower is a structure in which you can grow strawberry plants. It can sometimes contain water reservoirs. It grows vertically so that it’s easy for you to check on your plants and harvest them.
Since it uses vertical space, such as in your garden or on a balcony, a strawberry tower is perfect for minimalist gardening. It enables you to harvest delicious berries even if you don’t have a large garden in which to plant them.
Depending on the style of your strawberry tower, you can set one up that’s decorative. For example, some towers can have triangular or pyramid shapes. These can become statement pieces in your garden or on your patio.
What Are the Advantages of a Strawberry Tower?
Starting a strawberry tower has many advantages, with saving lots of space benign the primary one. Since they use vertical space, this can reduce how much ground you need to grow strawberries.
Other advantages include the following:
- Moisture control. The strawberries won’t sit in damp soil in the way they would when planted in the ground, which means they won’t rot or get fungal infections.
- Convenience. Since the strawberries are growing vertically, you don’t have to bend down or get down on your knees to harvest them. This is especially beneficial for people who have mobility issues.
- Decorative appeal. Strawberry tower gardens look absolutely beautiful and striking.
- Protection from pests. By keeping the plants off the ground, you can protect them from damaging effects from pests like snails.
- Portability. Strawberry planters that are portable can be moved into sunny areas of the garden during summer or inside the home during periods of frost.
- Can be made from various materials. You can make a strawberry tower garden from wood, PVC, or other materials, which is a great way to use what you already have.
However, there are some potential drawbacks to consider before planting a strawberry tower:
- Strawberries require full sun. This can be tricky to ensure when growing them vertically.
- Strawberry towers can be heavy once installed. You might not be able to move them around your garden if they’re heavy, so you’ll have to choose a site you’re happy with before you plant your strawberries.
What Type of Strawberries Can You Grow in a Tower?
You can grow any type of strawberry in a strawberry tower, but some varieties are more suitable because of how quickly they grow. June-bearing strawberries provide a high yield and large fruits when harvested, so they’re ideal for growing vertically.
But day-neutral and everbearing strawberry varieties also work well because they are much more compact. Day-neutral plants don’t get sensitive to the length of the day, so the plants will fruit consistently when the temperatures are warm, as the University of Minnesota Extension reports.
By comparison, everbearing strawberries are those that flower and fruit three times during the spring, summer, and fall.
When making a strawberry tower, you should plant strawberries when temperatures are generally consistently above 35°F (1.7°C). But when you plant your strawberries depends on where you live. In our guide, “When Are Strawberries In Season?”, we outline the following tips:
- If you live in a colder climate, you should plant strawberries early in the spring or in the winter.
- Late fall or winter is ideal for planting strawberries if you live in a moderate climate.
- If you live in a tropical climate, you should plant strawberries early in the fall.
One last thing. We also have a guide on how to grow strawberries at home so check it out for more tips and tricks.
How to Make a DIY Strawberry Tower
If you want to make your own DIY strawberry tower garden, know it’s not too complicated. Here are the materials you will require.
- Pipe caps
- 2 PVC pipes. Choose ones that are approximately 4 feet (1.2m) tall and about 4-8 inches (10.16-20.32 cm) in diameter
- PVC glue
- Strawberry plants
- Hole saw
- Power drill and drill bits
- Eye bolts
- Think about how long you want your tower to be, then cut the PVC pipes. These will be installed horizontally along a fence so one is above the other. If you want to make three levels of the strawberry tower, you can cut a long PVC piece into three equally-sized pieces.
- Make a hole at the top and bottom of the pipe pieces you’ve cut so that you’ll be able to hang your tower. These holes are for hooks. Although optional, they make your tower versatile. Later, when you attach the PVC tower gardens to a fence, you’ll be able to do this with the use of the eye bolts, washers, and nuts.
- Attach caps to one end of all your pipe pieces using PVC glue. The other ends should be left open as this is where you’ll pour the soil.
- While the PVC glue is drying, you can attach your brackets to a fence or other structure where you will place your strawberry tower garden.
- On the PVC tubes, you want to drill holes using a saw. Make sure the holes are about six inches (15.24cm) away from each other. You should have about five or six that align with each other.
- With a drill, drill some holes all over the tubes. These don’t have to be aligned. They are essential so that your PVC tower will drain water effectively.
- Fill your tubes with potting soil. Liquid fertilizer will be helpful in the future when you need to ensure you feed your plants without changing the soil.
- Cut six pieces of rope so that they’re all about 22 inches (55.88cm) in length.
- Hang your first PVC tube that’s been filled with soil. Place one piece of rope through one of the hooks on the tube and run it down so that you can attach a second PVC tube underneath the first with the use of the rope. The rope will keep the tubes connected in place. Let the holes you’ve made in the tubes face upwards.
- Dig out the strawberry plants you’ve been growing in the garden.
- Place one plant in each hole. Backfill with more soil to keep them secure.
- Water the PVC pipe from the top. You want to water the plants with a few inches of water (approximately 7cm) and allow them to soak through. Repeat this every few days.
Alternative Method for DIY Strawberry Tower
Another way to make a strawberry tower is to use a simple container. This is an even easier way of growing strawberries, and it’s ideal for beginners. For this, you’ll need a tall and thin container. A five-gallon (19-liter) bucket is a good choice.
You’ll also need these materials:
- Hole drill bits
- Nutrient-rich soil
- Landscape fabric
Here’s what you should do:
- Cut holes in the container. You want to make them about two or three inches (5.08-7.62cm) apart from each other. Hole drill bits will ensure you can make the holes neat.
- Place landscape fabric inside the container. Cut slits in the fabric where the hole openings are going to be.
- Fill the container with nutrient-rich soil. The best soil for your strawberry plants is one that contains organic matter, such as compost.
- Plant the strawberry plants in the container openings you’ve made.
- Place the container in an area of the patio or garden where it will get a lot of sunshine.
A strawberry tower is ideal for growing strawberries in a tiny garden. You can even make one with just a PVC pipe! Happy harvesting!