Strawberry Towers, 6' PVC, 5-1-1 mix

dapperMarch 6, 2011

My plans for making my own hanging strawberry towers ars as follows.

1-6" diameter PVC pipe (36" long)

Drill 1/2" hold in 6" PVC end cap. Measure 12" from bottom of PVC pipe and make a mark around the pipe. Insert wire screen into cap.Cement cap to the bottom of the PVC pipe. Use 2" holesaw to make 4 holes around the pipe at the mark created earlier. Move up 4" and drill another 4 holes staggered from the previous 4 holes drilled. Keep measuring 4" higher and kep stagering each set of holes from the ones just below them. There will be 5 sets of holes. Should leave 4" at top of pipe. Drill holes about 2" down from top of pipe to be able to hang the tower up off the ground. Fill pipe up to first set of holes with the 5-1-1 and then lay in 4 strawbery plants and continue to the top of the pipe. 20 plants per tower.

I may use a longer pipe to get more distance between each set of holes. Something like 6" to 8" from each set of holes.

I would top water each pipe. I understand the top will dry out quicker. I am hoping by leaving 12" at the bottom with no holes and approximately 4" from the top set of holes will in some way help with this issue.

Would like to get opinions and a recommendation of what to use as fertilizer, whether it should be either grandual or liquid, and maybe how often to fertilize.

I know Al had mentioned in another one of my threads about setting up a drip leg. I have never heard of this, nor do I know how to go about it.

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woebegonia

Please send a picture when you get it set up. I found planting a strawberry jar was more difficult/time consuming than I had imagined. Your setup sounds very interesting, maybe I can get an idea or two.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 10:56AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Dapper - consider this: Somewhere below your lowest set of holes, install a union on your long piece of PVC and cement it to the top piece. Slip 10" of pipe into the bottom of the union & secure it in place with a couple of sheet metal screws so you can take it apart later. Either cement your cap on or attach with screws. The 1/2" hole with a screen is ok, but here's what I would do at the bottom: I would poke a hole in the screen & pull a wick through. I would hold it centered in the tube, then fill the bottom of the tube with 4" of marbles. Then, I would add coarse builders sand until it filled in the space between the marbles. So - you have a wick running up through the middle of a mixture of marbles & builders sand. The sand will pull all the perched water from the soil above, and the wick will facilitate water removal from the lower parts of the container that would otherwise have perched water. This should allow you to pretty much water at will (within reason) with much less worry about perched water or the weight of the soil column compressing the soil at the bottom, which increases water retention where you want/need it least.

Al

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 2:46PM
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dapper

Somewhere below your lowest set of holes, install a union on your long piece of PVC and cement it to the top piece. Slip 10" of pipe into the bottom of the union & secure it in place with a couple of sheet metal screws so you can take it apart later. Either cement your cap on or attach with screws.

I am not sure I am getting this. The way I understand this is someplace below my lowest set of holes to drill a hole so I can make a union with another pipe. I guess this is supposed to be a 90 degree elbow or a "T". Then take more pvc pike and run it up the planter and attach it somewhere. Then at the other end of the "T" take a 10" piece of pipe and attached it to the bottom of the "T". What size pipe should I use? How far up the planter do I go to attach the pipe? I even googled it for images and still haven't seen a picture that shows the whole set up from like a water heater.

I also don't get the wicking thing. I have a wicking string/rope I poke a hole thru the screen and feed the rope thru the screen. I guess I tie it off on the top side so the rope doesn't fall thru. Not sure if I am supposed to put any drain hole at all in the end cap. I hold the rope in the center and fill with 4" of marble, is the above or below the screen? I am pretty sure it would be below the screen. So the end cap would then be used to hold the marbles and sand in place? After the screen was in place I would then start filling with the 5-1-1 mix. I take it the wicking rope that is on top of the screen just lays on the screen? How long should this rope be below the screen? I am thinking 4 inches as well. Doing this I am trying to figure out how the water drains, unless the water comes out of that union which is used as an overflow so to speek? I think at that point you would fill until the water came out the drip leg? If this is so then the higher you put your drip leg, would cause the 5-1-1 mix would stay saturated to that point.

I am sorry for the confusion on my part. I have read your reply at least 25 times. I have read it to my wife and we have discussed it. We are still not sure how to do this.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:30PM
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