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Growing Strawberries Vertically

strawberry growing bags

Strawberries are typically grown in mounds of soil, and they spread out and multiply and spread and multiply, taking up a lot of real estate. Picking strawberries grown this way is a back breaking experience – definitely not for me.  So I tried these hanging growing bags one year, and found that it was a delightful way to grow berries.

The growing bag is a deep pocket PVC bag with ten X shaped holes stamped into one side.  The directions were to fill it with potting soil, set in the 10 bare root plants in the holes, water it, and then hang it up outside.  This was a fun little project!  I purchased three types of bare root plants: some fancy French mini strawberries, some early season and some long season. I wanted berries all season long.

The plantlets all took root and began to grow prolifically once I hung them on our fence.  The neighbor kids were fascinated, especially a little 3 year old boy who would come running for strawberries when he’d see me.  Each plant sends out runner plantlets, much like a spider plant.  I would tuck these back into the bags and they would root as well.  I got a ton of strawberries, and they were wonderful.  Those little gourmet French berries had a different flavor – they were good, but didn’t produce as many as I would have liked.

The only problem I found with this system was that it took a long time standing there with my watering wand, trying to soak the contents of the bag all the way to the bottom.  If I buy these again, I’ll also buy watering spikes to stick in them to help the deep soil wetness factor. (Watering spikes are available at Gardener’s Supply, my favorite on line garden store.)

These little gardener’s delights took no real estate, provided a continuous supply of strawberries for about 2 months, and were a beautiful addition to my garden. Even though they didn’t look as pretty as this photo from Park Seed’s website, they were fun. I had 6 growing bags total, re-used the bags for 2 years, and loved the fresh strawberries.

You can get these at www.parkseed.com, and Gurney’s Nursery has the best variety of strawberry plants I know of. There’s a link to their store on the left hand sidebar.

Enjoy experimenting, and happy gardening!

26 comments to Growing Strawberries Vertically

  • Heather Kirby

    This was very informative and I’m inspired to try this.

  • LeMon Baker

    I grow mine vertically also..I used construction wire tomato cages , 5 ft tall 2ft diameter, lined inside with garden cloth, put a 1.5 inch pvc pipe down the center that I had drilled 1/2 holes every 3 inces to water through. filled it with mulch, peat and growing soil, staked it on one side with a metal t post so it wouldnt fall over, cut slits in the cloth every 6 inches around and down then pushed the roots in….strawberrys everywhere….
    and east to water and feed through the pvc pipe in the center, be sure and cap the bottom end so the water doesnt run out

  • katie

    Did the strawberry plants stay in the bag throughout the winter for the next season, or did you buy strawberry plants every year?

    • Winter is our growing season here. Summers are so hot I never could get myself to stand there and water them so I’ve never kept them from season to season.

  • Beverly Jones

    I would like to see a tutorial on this. I will be working hard to get my garden going so I might as well do some of these strawberries

  • Stephen Harrell

    I am trying mine this year in gutters on the fence. I have 100 plants that I got from Norse Farms (actually got 104) and 90 are in the 5 gutters. All 104 are green and growing well with flowers now, which is mnore than I can say for the 30 I bought from Wally World. None of them have the first speck of green and were all planted together. Shall see how a wall of strawberries looks in about a month.

  • Trista

    I know I am a year late finding this page to comment on, but I grow my strawberries in a container. For storage in the winter, I cover them with leaves and put it in the corner of the garden shed. They winter over fine(I am in zone 5 so winter is a little brutal at times). I will be trying a vertical garden this year with tomatoes and strawberries as I am running out of space and need to keep the dogs from eating them. :) I bet they will winter over okay too.

  • Sharbogast

    How do you keep bugs and animals away from them?

    • I hung them on my fence in the back yard. Keeping them off the ground really helps keep the bugs away. The only “predators” I had were the neighbor kids! They were welcome to come and taste and learn what grows in my garden.

    • I have a critter that likes to come in the garden and take a couple of bites out of the best tomato then leaves. I saw these Havahart Motion Sensors on a show to keep cats off a patio. I’m ordering one for the garden. When it is connected to a garden hose and set for various size critters it will make a noise and start the sprinkler. They will “learn” that this is not a fun place to be for other than a bath.

      • I have one question about the bites in your tomatoes. Are they possibly made by a bird like a Grackle? If so, they’re most likely caused by thirst rather than hunger. Keep a large dish of water near your beds. I use a 15″ underliner for a clay pot. It not only waters your birds, but beneficial insects will love it as well. Just make sure to change the water every day so you don’t attract mosquitos and their larvae.

  • Pamela Pollock

    hello, i went to Gardener’s Supply and couldn’t find any watering “spikes”. are these a long item that you insert into the bag? thank you, pamela

  • Robert

    I have grown mine in-ground for a few years and have realized that I feed the local wild life more than myself. I think I will be trying this next season. On a related note, I found that fresh ground cinnamon really does keep the ants off of them, but it didn’t seem to bother the chipmunks!

  • Darlene

    Hello,
    I love the idea of growing strawberries in the growing bag, can I purchase a growing bag, if so any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you for your help & time,
    Darlene

    • Darlene, I think I purchased mine at Gardener’s Supply. If not then it was Park Seed’s website. Click on the link on my page for Gardener’s supply for a discount. I’ll be posting a link to Park’s soon.
      Happy Gardening!
      Marian

    • See the article I wrote on it. In the upper left hand search box, type “Strawberries”
      Happy Gardening

  • Susan

    I was wondering how many berries were produced out of the 6 growing bags of the course of the whole season?

  • Sandy

    Question: Did you hang the bag immediately after planting? I had a “kit” that said to plant the bare root plants and water it and leave it flat for 1-2 weeks. I tried that, but needed to move it and all the dirt went down further into the bag, taking the plants with it. I assume I didn’t have enough dirt. Do you fill it until the bag is tight? I’d love to do this, but ended up throwing that one away. Frustrating.

    • Yes, first I filled the bags completely with moisture control potting soil, shook it down and added more. If i were to do this again, I would insert a 1″ PVC pipe down the center after I had drilled lots of holes in it for irrigation. I’d make sure it stuck out the top.
      Then, after the dirt is packed in, you can slit open the x’s and plant the seedlings. Let them sit under a grow light for 2 weeks before hanging. Once the plants have rooted, they won’t fall out or down.

  • Hi! Just discovered you on Pinterest.

    My garden is confined to containers on my very sunny patio, which has been an unexpected success for tomatoes. I live in Coastal S.C., zone 8. The soil is horrible for tomatoes, and then there are slugs and other critters.

    This year I added strawberries to the garden– 15 barefoot plants from CottageFarmsDirect.com that I planted in a TopsyTurvy and a strawberry planter in the early spring and about 36 everbearing plants that I bought on sale at local nursery that I’ve planted in a stacked plastic pots.

    It’s rained and rained and rained this season. The plants are healthy. I’ve used compost and compost tea to fertilize, but I’ve been disappointed with the yield. What did you use to fertilize? Do you think I”ll have more success next year after the plants have had a year to mature?

    Thanks for any advice!

    • I use an organic fertilizer from Gardener’s Supply. Just click on their link on my page and you can search for fertilizer. Their tomato fertilizer is excellent and nearly doubled my fruit yield when combined with BiotaMax upon planting.

  • Thelma

    I want to make my own grow bags for strawberries. How much space do I need for each plant?

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