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Strawberry Towers Forever V 3.1

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Version 3.1 is under construction with a couple of key changes. Version 1.0 was made with 2″ PVC (too small in diameter but close to being tall enough). The slots for planting were drilled with a hole saw. I shredded my fingers while planting the crowns because I failed to sand the rough edges. The density was very good but it was a challenge to keep them properly watered. Check out the start of my strawberry tower experiments here.
https://bishopsbackyardfarm.com/2011/11/02/strawberry-towers-phase-one/

I toyed with, played around with…………poor choice of words…..I am always wanting to improve on the prior efforts so I have modified V 1.0 and V 2.0 and then V 3.0 ……. 3.0 was not well thought out and the added pockets on the short towers were not well spaced out. They were crowded, impinged upon the others and looked ugly….but the berries grew pretty well.

With V 3.1 I started with 3″ PVC drain pipe and I chose the version that created pockets rather than drilled holes. I spaced them a little closer and arranged them in a logical and orderly fashion. I should be able to get 28 plants in a space that would have held 2-3 plants in a matted row system and much easier for an old guy to harvest without bending over.

The photos below show the construction process. Some time soon I will fill the pockets!

Started with a center line snapped with a chalk line on 3" PVC drain pipe.

Started with a center line snapped with a chalk line on 3″ PVC drain pipe.

I left a space of 12″ at the top for a water reservoir above the first pocket. I space the remaining slots at 9″ vertically between pockets. I snapped another snapped line at about 90 degrees left and right. The pockets were staggered to better spread out the plants.

A snapped chalk line as a starting point. First pocket at 12" in order for reservoir at the top.

A snapped chalk line as a starting point. First pocket at 12″ in order for reservoir at the top.

Using a saw and a slotted box to cut a slot to be shaped later.

Using a saw and a slotted box to cut a slot to be shaped later with the heat from a paint stripper.

I use a paint stripper to heat up the plastic above the cut slot in order to shape the pockets.

Paint stripper used to heat the PVC pipe to soften the plastic so I can shape it. Posed picture but it pretty much shows the process.

Paint stripper used to heat the PVC pipe to soften the plastic so I can shape it. Posed picture but it pretty much shows the process.

I keep a leather glove on the hand that I use to shape the softened plastic PVC.

Using my gloved hand to mold and shape the pocket. Use a leather glove as the plastic is hot.

Using my gloved hand to mold and shape the pocket. Use a leather glove as the plastic is hot.

There is a blank space at the bottom. I use a post hole digger and plant the tower about 12 inches deep for stability.

Me with a tower.

Me with a tower.

Closer view with my Christmas t-shirt "Decker's Homegrown Produce.

Closer view with my Christmas t-shirt “Decker’s Homegrown Produce.

Closer look at the layout.

Closer look at the layout.

A pocket on a V 2.0 model with a Chandler plant, This is what the new tower will resemble once filled

A pocket on a V 2.0 model with a Chandler plant, This is what the new tower will resemble once filled

 

TTFN

Bishop

Strawberries, PVC & Gardening

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The strawberries are blossoming and the high achievers are beginning to ripen! You have seen my past posts on my strawberry towers and if you haven’t you can search going backwards in time. I have reloaded the towers with Chandler strawberries after adding a few more pockets to the shorter towers.

My newest adventure with the leftover pvc from my youngest son’s Engineering project at Texas A&M University is shown below. I did have to buy a couple extra joints beyond the 12″ of 3″ pipe he needed but what the heck! I have started construction on a mini greenhouse with the hope of getting my tomatoes off to an early start! Is it possible for me to have ripe tomatoes before May 1st? That will be my challenge!

I enjoyed a misshapen strawberry today and the harvest is just around the corner…found a perfect berry today that is two maybe three days away from being perfectly ripe. I hope to share a photo and a tasting critique…..Unless of course my 4 year old garden helper from down the street comes into the yard and finds it before I can pick it! He is all boy and into anything and everything!

A look at the towers

A look at the towers

One of the early blossoms

One of the early blossoms

The mini greenhouse awaiting the cover and tomato transplants

The mini greenhouse awaiting the cover and tomato transplants

Quick photos by my iPhone….I continue to be amazed at the quality of the images!

TTFN

Bishop

 

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