Growing Strawberries in a Tower Garden
Strawberries are luscious fruits rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and other healthy components, making this an ideal addition to a home garden. Nonetheless, even with its popularity and deliciousness, nothing beats the home-grown variety when it comes to the richness of flavour. So how to grow strawberries at a house with little space? You don’t have to worry about that little predicament. Although this may sound intimidating, growing this plant at home is not really that complicated. In fact, you can cultivate this greenery with the use of tower gardens – a vertical gardening method popular these days.
For a quick breakthrough of the process, here are the steps:
First of all, you need to know the plant before starting with the cultivation. Study its basic parts and identify which is the runner, the crown, and the flower. When you are familiar with the anatomy of the strawberry, you can now begin with going hands-on with the process.
When looking for seedlings, know that you have to choose between the June-bearing variety and the ever-bearing or day-neutral variety. The former produces sizable berries every year during a three-week period in summer. So if you are located in a short season area like Canada and the northern U.S., then you can choose this type. However, you can enjoy multiple harvests with the latter through the year, provided that the temperatures would remain between 35 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Regarding the use of tower gardens for strawberry cultivation, ever-bearing and day-neutral strawberries are compact than June-bearers. And with fruit produced in their first year, these are ideal for stacking gardens.
Since these plants are cold-resistant, you can begin planting the seedling earlier in the year. Just make sure that the temperatures remain consistently above 35 degrees Fahrenheit. However, be warned. Seeds may require 3 years of waiting before the plants mature and bear fruit. So you might opt for bare root and dormant strawberry crowns instead if you can’t wait that long.
On the other hand, since seedlings are growing already, you can expect an earlier harvest but this comes as more expensive than the aforementioned choice. In fact, you can get 20 to 25 bare root crowns for the same price of two to three seedlings. Check it out at Mr Stacky
Since a new plant grows from the crown, you have to position this near the surface where it can get access to air and light. Otherwise, it will just rot and die.
On the other hand, once the strawberry grows and starts budding, you have to prune the first buds to make it stronger and produce more fruit. It may sound counterintuitive, but in doing so, you get to encourage the plant to focus on its leaf and root development.
Meanwhile, if your strawberry plant only produces flowers but no fruit, you can act as a pollinator by using either a small brush or a cotton swab to collect pollen. Hand-pollination helps with influencing maturation. If effective, you can expect results within just a few days.
However, if you want bigger and heartier fruits, you can start by removing the runners. These are root-like offshoots in the base of the plant. By removing these, you get to let the plant focus on its fruit production, thus leading to bigger yields.
But do not throw the runners away, you can grow seedlings just by placing these in water to root.
For ever-bearing and day-neutral strawberries, you can expect harvest as early as summer when planted in early spring. Once the berries turn red, then it is the time to harvest the feast. However, remember not to pull the fruit. Instead, cut the stem just above the berry.
Cultivating strawberry plants in tower gardens are that easy. What you just need is patience and perseverance. And remember to consume the fruits immediately after picking since its natural sugar content gradually changes to starch, which is why store-bought berries are not that healthy and tasty.
For more fruit and vegetable garden ideas, check out horticultural experts like Mr. Stacky Vertical Gardens for your gardening needs.