This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

southern Florida strawberry farm

My dad just sent me this photo he took this morning. Looks like a great way to maximize space and minimize water use. I'm wondering if this sort of set up would be useful in any of my gardens some day. Another idea to keep in mind ....



Blogger Just Jenn said...

Wow - that's got to be a lot easier on the back too when it comes time to harvest!

February 10, 2009 6:16 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I think I remember seeing someone who grew vegetables in plastic garbage bags full of soil hung off her deck.

For me, its would be a way to cover the lead contaminated soil along my house, but not go to the expense of filling deep raised beds.

I'm thinking of a similar way to grow cucumbers, peppers. The area by my house is the warmest and sunniest plot I have. I'll keep thinking....

February 10, 2009 7:06 PM

Blogger breannep said...

wow - that's cool - I had never really thought about how strawberries were commercially grown... I am now also contemplating I I could replicate this in my own garden

February 11, 2009 12:03 AM

Blogger Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Perfect Kathy, my husband would love a garden like that. Then you don't have to bend down.


February 11, 2009 2:12 AM

Anonymous MarianLondonUK said...

Ahhh Florida, can't wait to go to Naples at the end of April yipeee. Have grown cherry tomatoes in a hanging basket I wonder if suspending several hanging baskets together with enough plant clearance to grow cherry tomatoes and strawberries would work?

February 11, 2009 9:06 AM

Blogger Ed Bruske said...

great system for strawberries, something to consider for our urban plot. too much plastic, though

February 11, 2009 12:22 PM

Blogger ellipsisknits said...

Very cool idea.

Another thing it would do is keep the fruit from laying on the ground and getting eaten by slugs.

It's like the world's largest strawberry pot. It seems like something you could actually do with some pipe too.

Wonder how it holds up in hurricanes? ;)

February 11, 2009 1:03 PM

Blogger pjkobulnicky said...

Not sure this would work except where winters are very mild. Up here the plants would freeze too hard in the exposed pots. One could do the berries in pots, bury the pots in the winter with a hoop cover and then set the pots in rings that hang from a pole or a fence when the weather moderates.

Cukes? Go to a big building supply and see if they have any clay chimney liners that are damaged and that you can buy for cents on the dollar. Stand them up, fill with compost and plant your cukes. I do it.

February 11, 2009 1:21 PM

Blogger kathy said...

LOVE the chimney liner idea for cukes! That I will give a try.

But I'm thinking about strawberries too now. Don't you think you could throw out the main plants in the fall, plant the runners in the ground close together in the fall and let them overwinter, then transplant these to stacked pots for bearing in the spring? Of course too much plastic. Maybe another solution for this problem...

February 11, 2009 1:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It just happens that I live close to a u-pickup farm in the chicagoland area that has 1500 of these towers. There 5 buckets, each holding four plants per tower. They are made out styroform and are watered from top bucket only. I did ask the owner what he did with the plants in the winter. He said he lets the plants die, and then replants new one in the spring. For more info, do a search on the internet for hydro-stack.

February 12, 2009 8:56 AM

Blogger kathy said...


February 12, 2009 10:50 AM

Blogger linaria said...

I can see a couple of reasons that would would never work in the Northeast:

1) Transpiration. I imagine that in hot, humid Florida strawberries are likely to get root rot when planted in the ground, but I think you would have a hard time keeping them consistently watered here unless they had access to in-ground water.

2) Insulation. These plants would never survive the winter here, not even if you planted them in the fall (not enough time to build sufficient root system). I guess if you only plant 1-year varieties and replant in the spring it wouldn't matter but that sounds expensive.

FYI I don't think runners don't produce in the same way parent plants do, I'm not sure that just planting those would work.

February 13, 2009 11:15 AM

Blogger pjkobulnicky said...

My guess is that folks with single year plants start them EARLY in hoop houses. To get significant production you have to get the berry plant to a high degree of maturity first before it is ready to fruit. That's why they are normally two year plants and, actually, the greatest production is during the third year ... after which they are yanked. If you planted the new plants in say April ... they would still be insignificant by flowering time in May.

February 13, 2009 11:40 AM

Blogger kathy said...

The strawberry farms I see around here are traditionally planted in the ground.

February 16, 2009 8:14 PM


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