Growing strawberries is one of the best things about fall gardening. Who doesn’t love fresh juicy strawberries, picked right off the plant and ripened to perfection?
Strawberries are hardy to zone 2, and grow quickly, so they’re an excellent fall garden project.
Take it from us–the easiest way to grow strawberries is upright–in a pallet planter!
Here’s what you’ll need:
You can get pallets for free or cheap in all sorts of places, which saves you money and keeps those things out of landfills, too.
It’s best to check that the pallet wood has not been pressure-treated with chemicals that can leach into your strawberries’ roots. (Here’s how.)
You’ll also need some landscaping fabric, a staple gun (or a hammer and some small nails), and a piece of thick plastic the size of your pallet. Contractor trash bags will work, as will painter’s dropcloth, or even leftover greenhouse film.
Finally, you’ll need some quality garden soil to plant in.
I personally recommend compost mixed with peat moss or coconut coir, in a 2:1 ratio. Be sure to wet down your peat moss first, don’t mix it in dry!
You can also add mycorhizae, worm castings, and/or rock dust as soil amendments.
The coconut coir or peat moss will retain water, keeping your plants evenly moist at the rootzone. The compost and other additions will feed your plants, ensuring you get a great strawberry harvest!
Here’s how to set up your strawberry pallet garden:
1. Lay the pallet down and cut landscape fabric to cover one side, then staple or nail it in place.
2. Then, cover that up with the plastic, to retain water and minimize soil escaping from the back.
3. Flip your pallet over and fill it in with your lovely soil mix.
4. Add in your strawberry plants–about 20-25 of them! Strawberries don’t need a lot of root space, and can be grown about 6 inches apart. Water them in, to help the plants’ roots make connections in their new soil.
5. Leave your pallet garden horizontal for about two weeks, to allow the strawberries’ roots to grow further. Keep it watered–daily for the first week, and every 2-3 days after that. You can fill in any gaps in the soil with more compost or with straw.
After two weeks have passed, carefully prop up your pallet garden against a wall or fence. It’ll be a great idea to secure it in some way, so the pallet won’t fall down.
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