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!