Sunday, July 17, 2011

Strawberry Season

It's strawberry time again ...

 Jim decided to try a new method for our plants this year instead of having the traditional strawberry patch that is very hard to weed and maintain. 

 Our farm has been keeping Pepsi in business by purchasing quite a few of their white 55-gallon barrels.  We order them from the local Pepsi plant, at a cost of $5.00 each.  The barrels have a pop (soda for some of you) residue in them, so we scrub them clean and have used them for pig feeders, Whizbang chicken plucker barrel, holders for water, and now strawberry plants.

Jim placed the barrels on some old carpeting to keep the weeds from coming up around the barrels.  The barrels are sitting on their tops that were cut off  so they can be rotated and keep the plants evenly exposed to the sun.

Andrew and Jim used an acetylene torch to melt the plastic, then a knife to cut the side and a wedge to pull out the softened plastic and create a cup to hold soil and the strawberry plant.

Jim placed rocks on the bottom of the barrel, then filled it up with garden soil mixed with compost.  The tube in the middle extends all the way to the bottom and is filled with sand.   The tube is what's used for drain tile, so the holes allow water to reach all the way through the barrel.

The strawberries are easier to pick, and much cleaner.

We are enjoying our bounty!  And our raspberries will hopefully be ready in a week or so.


Kimberly said...

They look delicious. Thank you for sharing such a great idea. I think I could handle taking care of strawberries if they grew like that.

Wendy O'Neill said...

You guys find more tricks for doing things more efficiently! Keep us posted as to the whole cycle of this berry project, would you? I imagine you'd also have less trouble with rabbits and rodents raiding the berries? Neat, neat idea. I've seen the strawberry pots (terracotta), but the barrel idea takes it to a grander scale!

Annie, Morning Joy Farm said...

What do you do with them in the winter? Do you mulch them somehow?

Thanks for all the inspiration!!

Lynn Bartlett said...

Hi Kimberly,
Jim is the one with the great ideas, and also the one that jumps right in to try new things. Hope you can give this same thing a try.

Thanks for your note, Wendy! I'll try to remember to post on what we do with the plants later on and into the winter.

Lynn Bartlett said...

Hi Annie,
Jim and I were just discussing what to do with the plants when winter rolls around. To be honest, we aren't sure what we'll do! Last winter Jim tried different ways to preserve blueberry plants and got them to successfully go through winter -- only to kill them with too much natural fertilizer. So, this time he will try different methods to see which way is best for wintering strawberry plants. Hopefully I'll remember to post about what he does do and the results next spring. Thanks for checking in!