Hello sugarpies, happy Monday, welcome back to my blog! I hope you had a lovely weekend.

Mine was nice, I spent part of it creating a couple of strawberry towers. Here’s how they turned out:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, homemade strawberry tower

Cute, eh?

I thought I’d share the process with you in case you want to make one for yourself. I hope you enjoy!

How To Make a Strawberry Tower

First, why would you want to? For me, I knew I wanted to grow my own strawberries, but I wasn’t sure I had the space. Strawberries like to spread. My existing container gardens didn’t have room for them, and I was wary about putting them in the ground (a lot of work given our crappy NM soil, plus I’m a renter).

I’ve been obsessing over vertical gardening for the last few years, so it wasn’t a huge leap for me to wonder about growing strawberries up somehow. I’d long wondered about making my own growing towers. Towers would maximize production with minimum space – I liked the thought of that.

Cost was another factor. By using improvised materials, each tower ended up costing about $8 apiece, minus the plants (which were $3.50 per container, and each container had 3-4 plants each). A much better deal than your traditional strawberry pots, like these:

photo-8

Then over the weekend, thanks to Mom’s generosity, I got some chicken wire, soil and strawberry plants. It was time to see if the idea in my head could come to fruition.

Here’s how it went down.

Step One: Select the Appropriate Material. I wanted some sort of chicken wire with small holes, but I was flexible. What I ended up with was called “hardware cloth” but I don’t know why since it’s not cloth. It looked like this:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

I could’ve gone for taller fencing but I wasn’t planning on creating a strawberry orchard, haha. The small size was perfect.

You may want wire with bigger holes, or smaller – there were lots of options.

The metal was a little tough to work with, I wish it was flexible enough to roll out. But it wasn’t, I wrestled with it and I was successful. I used wires to secure them into towers:

IMG_0440

Step Two: Cut Holes for the Plants. I limited mine to holes at the top, like so:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Step Three (Optional): Wrap the Tower in Fabric. I had a few reasons for wanting to do this. One was to help hold the soil in place. Two was to make the towers cuter. And to make them more fun and colorful.

The idea is that the plants will grow over and through the fabric. The fabric itself will probably last about two seconds in the hot Albuquerque sun. That’s ok – I only wanted them to be cute in the beginning while the plants were filling in.

I had some old ribbons I wanted to use, and I got some cheap scarves from the thrift store. I attached them to the tower using staples and paper clips!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

The shell is done!

Step Four: Position Your Tower. It’s easier to build the tower in place than to move it afterward. I had gotten plates from the dollar store to use as bases.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Step Five: Begin Adding Soil. I also added a drip line at the same time, keeping it in the middle of the tower. Since strawberries should come back from year to year, I packed a LOT of soil into the tower.

Action shot:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Another view:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Step Six: Add the Plants As You Go. I had a variety of plants, some everbearing, some Junebearing. Some already had fruit, others didn’t.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

It’s easier on both you and the plants if you lay the plants down, then add more soil, then add more plants, then add more soil, and so on. (As opposed to shoving them into the tower after you’ve filled the soil all the way to the top.)

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Step Seven: Keep Layering Plants Until You’re Done.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

Voilà! The first tower all cleaned up for the photo shoot!

I still had wire left, so I made another tower the same way:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make a Strawberry Tower

An action shot of tower two:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos,

And then all cleaned up again, before watering:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, How To Make Strawberry Towers

I think they’re adorable! But then, I’m a sucker for strawberry plants anyway.

Hopefully you can see that building your own tower is straightforward and rewarding. It was a little time-consuming but I’m tickled with the results. I can’t wait to see them grow!

If you have any questions, give me a shout.

I’ll be back tomorrow, hope to see you here.

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