THE CLUMSY GARDENER | Hanging strawberries


Creating vertical space, sorting out strawberry plants, and making our own modular hanging planters from plastic milk jugs and some hooks. All this, as the sun sets, in this episode of the Clumsy Gardener. Hey folks, welcome back! So I’ve got this planter with strawberries in them. It started out with just two plants and now there are like seven in there. They’re overcrowded and I need to separate them. One of the DIY projects for the garden involves creating some vertical space, which is great not just for things to climb up it, but also for things to hang down. And that’s exactly what I need for the strawberries. Over the past few months I’ve been collecting things like planks of wood, wine boxes, bamboo poles, and ladders that people have thrown away for a larger project involving a lot more plants. But tonight, we’re going to start making an easy, no-frills, modular, hanging planter. And we’re setting it up… by candlelight. The sun is now setting. I’ve spent most of my day running around, sourcing materials and buying different things. So we’re starting today’s shoot on the romantic side, at sunset, and then whatever we can’t finish tonight, we’ll sort out in the morning. Repurposed plastic bottles are used a lot in gardening DIY. There are tons of great designs out there on how to use them, but I’m making something for my strawberries. Most varieties put out runners. horizontal stems that shoot off a plant and produce a clone, which, given soil contact, will root and establish. It explains our strawberry planter situation. Anyway, I’ve cut the bottoms off of the bottles, and tried a few hole placements. So the idea is to use the handles as a way to keep them continuously going down but then I’d make some strategic holes, maybe one right here, so they’re quite balanced on that side. And then one, say maybe, right up around here, around there-ish, so maybe it’ll be at a slight angle you get the idea, right? You know what I’m talking about right? The handles share the load, so the holes won’t have to work as hard. I also want the planters to spiral or have some curvature as they hang. Using a nail and lighter to create the holes, I give it a quick assembly test. Yeah I’m pretty happy with that. I just need to make sure these holes are large enough so that hooking the planters in and out of them aren’t going to be too cumbersome, but yeah we’re good to go. We will soak ‘em overnight, and clean the labels tomorrow. Once cleaned, I twist a flathead screwdriver in to increase the size of the two holes. After that, I drill a small hole in the cap for drainage. Though not totally necessary, I thread a kerosene wick through each one, and tie a knot at either end. You could just let excess water flow out the bottom or use a small hose, but I saw these when I was looking for long hooks. Seemed like a cool way to guide moisture down from one planter to the next, and you can always shorten it once it’s in situ or even remove it if it doesn’t work for your setup, so giving these a try. Anyway, let’s give it a quick test. It’s pretty balanced without any weight, so now for the moment of truth clay drainage rocks, soil, and strawberry migration time. All in all I am pretty pleased with how this one’s turned out. But what’s also cool about this system, if I wanted to, was I could hook one of these containers onto this other side as well. Say, there’s a runner coming off of this container and it’s not long enough to reach all the way down here. No problem, you’re not limited by the hooks themselves. You can always move one up here, so that runner can be staked into the container that’s going to hang out right on this side. You could even unhook them all and put them in a basket or box if you need to move your setup, or grow them there until they’re ready to be hung. Yay DIY. Just don’t hurt yourself, right? I’ll also be leaving instructions, measurements, and tips below for those of you keen to try this out for yourselves. Anyway thank you guys so much for watching. Take care, happy growing, we’ll see you next time.

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One thought on “THE CLUMSY GARDENER | Hanging strawberries

  1. So here's the deal…

    Materials
    -1.5L plastic jugs with handle (3X)
    -25cm metal S-hooks (5X)

    Tools
    -Nail (we used 3")
    -Flathead screwdriver
    -Dril
    -Scissors or blade

    Step
    1. Drill a hole in the center of the cap
    2. Cut the base off the jug
    2. Make two holes along the center of the side of the jug that does not have the handle (measurements from the cap: first hole 12cm down, second hole 21cm down)
    3. Ease in and rotate the flathead screwdriver to expand the size of the hole
    4. Soak or use very warm water to soften adhesive and remove labels
    5. Migrate your strawberries, hang them up, and give them a good watering

    Optional, but you can paint the bottles an opaque colour to better protect the roots.

    Have fun, let me know how this works for you, and if you've adapted this for other bottle shapes, please share!

    Take care everyone, and don't cut or stab yourself.

    Happy growing.

    -J

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