Growing strawberries in containers (Thrifty Fun)

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Growing Strawberries in Containers

By Ellen Brown

Q: I live in Oregon, in the valley, rain and sun! I am wanting to container garden strawberries. I have some ripe ones from the store, can you start them this way? I know they take a “bed”, but I have seen some varieties in containers on patios. My patio gets full sun from the morning to mid afternoon. Any advice would be appreciative, especially for containers because my yard space is cramped with other trees and lawn.

Hardiness Zone: 7a

Thank you!
Camo_angels from Willamina, OR

A: Camo_angels,

Many varieties of strawberries grow wonderfully in containers, including barrels, drums or bags. Many seed companies and garden centers offer pouches or bags, complete with plants, for growing them vertically on walls and fences. Personally, I like them in hanging baskets. With their green leaves, red fruit and delicate white flowers, they’re actually quite pretty. And when the juicy red fruits cascade down the sides of the basket, they are practically screaming for you to come over the pick them. Like the growing bags, baskets save on patio space and keep the fruit up off the ground and away from mold, insects and birds (mostly). Another idea is to grow them in planter boxes attached to railings or under sunny windows.



About The Author:
Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at

Continue reading Growing strawberries in containers (Thrifty Fun)

Growing container corn (maize) – (Google Alert / The Star)

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Google Alert – gardening

The Star

Patio-gardening ingenuity takes root from a corny idea

Container vegetables require at least six hours a day of direct sunlight to produce cobs

Aug 18, 2007 04:30 AM

Special to the Star
Denis Allman has struck gold on his deck – corn gold, that is. Soaring seven feet on a small fourth-floor patio, the leafy giants produce full sized cobs, and have neighbours gasping in disbelief. When Allman couldn’t find sweet corn he liked in supermarkets, he started to grow his own. In pots. Continue reading Growing container corn (maize) – (Google Alert / The Star)

Planting mix for containers (Google Alert / The Union)

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Google Alert – gardening

The Union – Nevada County Local News

Container gardening: Soil is king

By Carolyn Singer
» More from Carolyn Singer
12:01 a.m. PT Aug 18, 2007

Early in the summer, the deer discovered the choice selection of plants on my porch. Gone was the beautiful white Impatiens in a blue container. In the same meal, my cherished red Begonia and scarlet pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) also disappeared. I should know better. This is not the first summer the deer have enjoyed my container gardening efforts in what I thought was my “safety zone.” But gardeners are ever optimistic, and I am no exception. Fortunately, this year I also decided to use hanging baskets for a few plants. So far, the deer have decided it is not worth it to climb onto the porch (three steps), climb up on my wicker chairs and stretch to reach those choice morsels hanging over the porch railing. Continue reading Planting mix for containers (Google Alert / The Union)

How to plant a Tree or a Shrub in a tub (selfsufficientish)

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How to plant a Tree or a Shrub in a tub

You may have been attracted to this site as you are an urbanite and you don’t have that much room to grow things. …………….

My previous article on container gardening may have given you some ideas, but here a few more for those of you with a small yard or who want to grow things on a patio.

Many plants can be grown in Tubs including edible ones such as apple trees like crab or compact dwarfing apple trees. They won’t grow to the same sizes as they would if planted straight into the ground, but they will still crop and if you ain’t got much room that’s ideal.

Choose a large pot or tub with an inside diameter of at least 38cm (15 inches). To ensure that the Tree or shrub does not topple over in high winds (or just from gravity) you should not use a plastic tub, ceramic or clay tubs are ideal.

Place bits of broken crockery, broken clay pots or chipped bark over the drainage hole.

Part fill the tub/pot with loam-based potting soil, do not use any heavyweight alternatives as the weight is required for sustainability.

Get the plant you wish to pot and knock it out from it’s original pot. If the roots are tightly wound around the root ball then it is a good idea to gently tease out a few so that they will readily grow into the surrounding pot.

Stick the plant into the pot and make sure that the root ball is 2-2.5cm below the rim of the pot. This allows for watering.

Lastly firm the compost around the roots, give the plant a liquid feed and a good watering.

Keep well watered in dry weather. For bigger trees and shrubs make sure that the tubs are packed around some other hefty pots to ensure that they don’t blow over.

Vertical gardening – the sky is the limit (Google Alert / Bugdugle)

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Google Alert for gardening

The Bugdugle Blog Network

Vertical gardening – the sky is the limit

2007-Jul-26 .. Posted in Other Gardening Topics


Ever seen a really nice fence? Me neither. So why not put up a ‘vertical garden’? Sounds weird huh? I know, but it can be done.

Vertical gardens are great for people who have ugly fences or limited space. Vertical gardens consist of hanging planters whether on porches, fence posts, or hanging from balconies. Wherever you live you can have vertical gardens. You can use a trellis, string, fishing line or a mesh fabric. The trellis can be wood or iron. The theory behind the vertical gardens is, if you provide a way for the vines to attach themselves to, you will have a wall of beauty.

Climbing roses are a favorite for these kinds of gardens, as is the Clematis. Other plants people love to see climb are morning glories, honeysuckle, ivy and in some areas grape vines. When you think about the different colors and varieties of these plant versions, you could add so much color to your outside area that will look elegant with color.

You can also add hanging basket plants such as carnations, petunias, dailies and geraniums to name a few. Making a hanging basket is easy and it gives you the opportunity to have a beautiful array of color anywhere.

Another type of vertical garden is the stacked box vertical gardens. These gardens are square boxes stacked on top up each other in a vertical direction. You then plant your plants inside with the flowers pointing out. This makes a box garden that can be use indoors or outdoors. Follow the link if you wanne know more about vertical gardening

Topsy Turvy Planter : Vertical Grow Bags (Garden Tool Guide)

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Garden Tool Guide
– Everything you need to know about gardening tools!

Vertical Grow Bags for Small Gardens


Vertical grow bags are fantastic gardening gadgets that allow you to grow both vegetables and ornamental plants in a small space. If you live in an apartment with a small patio, grow bags like the award winning Topsy Turvy Planter will allow you to garden, even if you have virtually no space.



My very simple strawberry bottles (Willem)

Having read Marie IANNOTTI’s excellent article on “How to plant a Strawberry Pot (Strawberries Optional)“, I want to show the good results that I obtained with strawberries growing in my plastic bottles :


Using classical PET bottles, I first perforated the bottom (making two tiny little holes of 2-3 mm).  Then, I have cut the upper cone of the bottle, made a slit in the wall of it (to be able to fold the cone a bit) and pushed it in the bottle, down to the bottom to form a sort of a dome over the drainage holes (stop taken off).

After filling the bottle with potting soil (mixed with a bit of water stocking TerraCottem soil conditioner), I planted a young strawberry plant on top, compacting quite well the potting soil by pushing it down, leaving a cavity of some 5 cm (2 inches) at the top of the bottle (for ulterior watering).

As a maximum of irrigation water is kept in the bottle (surplus is drained) and there is less evaporation, the potting soil with the TerraCottem keeps the inside of the botttle moistened for a longer time.  Thereby, the strawberries (or other plant species, even young trees !) are growing continuously almost without any water stress.

It’s simple and very cheap, but the results are remarkable (see  the picture above).  I am sure that the same results can be obtained with very cheap plastic shopping bags, that can easily be transformed into “grow bags“.

Vertical gardening in a Plug and Grow Upside Down Planter (Clean Air Gardening)

Description of a commercial product, but bringing some good ideas for vertical gardening.

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Clean Air Gardening

Plug and Grow Upside Down Planter

Also known as Plug N Gro-bag.

This grow bag is so simple, you can’t go wrong! A major gardening breakthrough, the grow bag can help you grow the best flowers, herbs, berries or vegetables right on your patio or deck! Now you can plant 9 bedding plants in less than 10 minutes. All you have to do is plug it, water it, and watch it grow. Uses standard potting soil. Water and feed through the top. Also a space at the bottom for 1 to 2 plants. Grow bags for growing plants are nothing new. Cheap, garbage bag-type growing bags are used by the millions in Europe, but they are used flat on the ground, and not vertically.

Growing vertically brings you many significant advantages.
First, you can plant all the way around the bag, not just from the top, letting you plant four times the number of plants or more.
Second, a vertical gro-bag takes up almost no room. Third, growing vertically eliminates many common gardening problems such as ground insects, ground fungus, bacteria, slugs and other garden pests.

Plug and Grow Upside Down Planter

The Grow Bag is pictured here hanging from our Growing Pole, but you can also hang it from anything that can hold 30 to 40 pounds. You can often hang it on a patio from a wooden beam.

The herb garden (BBC)

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BBC – Gardening (see my Blogroll)

The herb garden
It’s almost impossible to grow a bed or pot of herbs that doesn’t look fantastic. They are also very easy to grow. Like ornamental plants, there are annuals such as basil, coriander, and marjoram; perennials such as mint, fennel and thyme; woody perennials such as rosemary, lavender and sage; or even bulbs such as chives. You can grow herbs in a formal herb garden, scattered among ornamental plants in a bed or border; or as pot plants on the patio. Keep a few near the back door, they smell great on a hot summer’s day and they’ll be within easy picking reach. They also make great hanging basket plants. Continue reading The herb garden (BBC)

Italman’s cherry tomatoes turning red (Urban Growth)

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Urban Growth

Turning Red

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

There’s a lot of things going on in my home garden these days. Unfortunately I’m on a pretty tight schedule and right now I can’t find the time to document all of them. However, my cherry tomatoes certainly deserve a word or two, and a photo of course! Finally, the fruit started to change color a few days ago and it’s getting redder and redder! I can’t wait to pick the first cherry tomato from my balcony garden!