The web is full of images of plants growing in unusual places, such as on walls, from pallets and in wooden structures. Wooden towers permit you to develop strawberries (Fragaria spp.) , which develop in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, with less garden area or on a terrace. The dirt is retained in these structures in 2 ways, depending upon the design. Some use pieces of timber installed in an angle, but others use some type of manufactured or natural cloth to hold the dirt in place.
Raised Raised Beds
Pyramidal wooden strawberry towers have a succession of angled slats that form a series of bottomless nesting boxes. These are similar to raised beds in a horizontal garden, except that they are stacked on top of one another. The structure is held together and stabilized by vertical boards in the corners. Soil is added to every layer and held in place from the angled boards around the sides. Pack the potting mixture in securely to decrease settling over the season.
Holding It In
Another system to create vertical strawberry towers would be to line the structure with a fabric or mat. Typical materials for the lining include sphagnum moss, coco matting, landscape material and burlap. When the lining is in place, fill the tower to the top with dirt. The soil should be packed in securely to decrease settling. To plant the strawberries, cut through the lining and then add a plant in every hole. Strawberries have shallow roots, so be sure they are tucked also.
Keeping the Tower
The main concern with strawberry towers, or some other vertical gardening structure, is moisture. Being raised up and never in uniform contact with the ground produces the dirt in the structure dry out more rapidly than an earth-bound garden bed. Strawberries in a vertical tower will have to be watered more often than those in a traditional bed, which explains why many men and women install a drip irrigation system in a strawberry tower. If you choose to use drip irrigation, install the lines until you fill the structure with dirt.
A strawberry tower is basically a container garden, except up in the air, so like other container gardens, then you need to use the best soil possible to fill it up. A mix of potting soil and finished compost is a fantastic choice for a strawberry tower. Fill the tower after it’s in its permanent place because it will likely be too heavy to move once it’s filled with dirt.