3 ways with strawberries in the garden

Strawberries are one of nature’s most wonderful foods. Filled with antioxidants and lower in sugar than most fruits, they’re a wonderful addition to a healthy balanced diet, especially for growing children. Growing strawberries is easy and it’s lots of fun, which is why it’s the ideal growing project to get the young ones outdoors and keep them productive. These activities are designed to keep children busy during the festive holidays and the end-results can be used as gifts.

Personalise the activities by choosing different plants and selecting planters and pots that resonate with the style you are looking to achieve. While strawberries are always exciting plants to grow, more ornamental choices are possible too. Succulents, like the Echeveria range, are low-maintenance and will continue to give you beautiful results. We have selected strawberry plants as an example because they are iconic and who can resist the sweet temptation of strawberries?

Instead of the regular strawberry patch we typically see in gardens, let’s try some fun and interesting ways to incorporate these plants in our outdoor design this festive season. We have a few different creative ideas for you to choose from when it comes to strawberry planting.  

Making a wall of strawberries

A wall of strawberries uses a gutter as a planter and suspends these delightful plants midway up a wall. It’s a great way to add beauty to the building while it offers children the opportunity to taste the sweet rewards of growing their own food. It’s an ongoing project as the plants will require tending and the fruits will require harvesting. It’s the perfect task for kids!

What you will need: 

  • Guttering with the ends glued on (cut to size and drill a few small drainage holes in the bottom). The gutters used in the demonstration were cut to 110 cm in length.
  • 2 x chains for gutters (1m long each, and linked at the end)
  • 2 x S-bend hooks
  • 2 x strong wall hooks, drilled into a wall (taking into account that strawberries need full sun to grow)
  • Well-draining potting mix
  • Bone meal (or superphosphate if you have dogs)
  • Strawberry plants

How to make a wall of strawberries:

Step 1: Choose a sunny spot

The wall you choose to use for your strawberry plants must be a full-sun facing wall, strawberries need lots of sun. Drill your hooks into the wall, ensuring they are the same space apart as the length of the gutters you will be using. These hooks will eventually support the gutters. Also consider where you want your strawberries. If you’re involving the children, ensure the gutter is low enough for the young ones to reach comfortably when they come to harvest fruit and maintain the plants.

Step 2: Add holes

Drill a few drainage holes into the base of your gutter. The holes should be small enough to retain the soil and just large enough to allow the water to drain away with ease.

Step 3: Planting!

Now we can start planting! Mix a little bone meal with some soil. Place a small layer of the soil and bone meal mixture in the bottom of each gutter. Cut the bags of strawberry plants open, getting rid of some of the soil, and being careful not to damage the plants’ roots. Space and plant each strawberry plant into the gutters, filling the area around the plants with soil.

Step 4: Suspending the whole setup

Hook each chain onto the hooks in the wall and put an S-hook in each chain a few links down, to fit each gutter comfortably. You can then feed one gutter through the two chains above the S-hook, with one person holding each end. Then, feed the remaining gutter through the chains below the S-hook.

Step 5: Enjoy your plants!

Remember, strawberries need to be thoroughly watered and love lots of sun.

 

  • Building a strawberry spire 

 

A spire is a shape that tapers upwards, like the tower of a castle. A strawberry spire uses this idea, but improves on it, because you get strawberries out of it, and it’s beautifully ornamental.

What you will need:

  • 2 or 3 plastic pots that are similar in shape but different in size, depending on how tall you’d like your tower to be
  • Well-draining potting mix
  • Bone meal (or superphosphate if you have dogs)
  • Strawberry plants

Building your strawberry spire

Step 1: Preparing your materials

It’s important to ensure that the pots you buy have some drainage holes in them. If not, quickly drill some in the bases. Then, start by mixing some bone meal in with some soil.

Step 2: Preparing the spire

Fill the largest pot with soil, leaving enough space for the plant. Place the smaller pot on top of the soil in the bigger pot, against the edge, and repeat the above process, partially filling the second pot with soil.

Step 3: Planting time!

Plant a large strawberry plant in the top pot and fill it with soil. Space the remaining strawberry plants and plant them in the bottom pot.

Step 4: The final touches

Water the plants thoroughly and enjoy your creation! A little statue or two can also add character to the ensemble, if it appeals to you.

Strawberry bowl 

A big bowl of strawberries and cream is a delicacy that goes quite far back into our history. This exciting project for the garden means growing your bowl of strawberries. Strawberry plants with their rounded dark leaves and long stems make beautiful pot plants. Here’s how to grow your own bowl of strawberries.

What you will need:

  • A pretty pot or bowl
  • Well-draining potting mix
  • Bone meal (or superphosphate if you have dogs)
  • Strawberry plants

How to make your strawberry bowl

Step 1: Preparing the soil

Mix some bone meal or superphosphate into your potting soil. Fill the pretty pot with this mixture, leaving enough space for the plant.

Step 2: Planting!

Add your strawberry plant, filling the pot with soil along the sides of the plant.

Step 3: Just add water

Water your plant thoroughly. Remember to keep your pot in a position that gives it full sun. Strawberry plants also dislike strong wind so a sheltered spot is best.

Gardening as a life skill

These simple activities teach children several important lessons. It’s an opportunity for you to teach them about the anatomy of a plant. Explain to them what the purpose of a plant’s roots are. Explain how different soils feed different plants, and that’s why we add bone meal to it. Children learn by doing, and touch gives them an opportunity to experience what you are teaching them. The best part of this project is that children have the opportunity to learn essential soft skills, like patience. They gain an understanding of what it means to invest your heart into an activity, continuing to nurture and care for their plants, to be richly rewarded with juicy, luscious strawberries. It’s all about understanding the work that goes into creating a miracle.

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