Hanging Strawberry Plants
Several years ago I planted a couple dozen strawberry plants in a patch of great garden at a friend’s house (she had nothing to plant there, and it seemed a shame to let it go to waste). I was so excited when I started to see fruit, and I was licking my chops the day that I bought some cream and went over there to devour, and possibly share, my first harvest.
I was absolutely crushed to discover that I didn’t get to them first. Ants had ravaged my crop of beautiful berries. The voracious South Carolina ants had left no berry uneaten. I hate using pesticides, especially around food crops, so I never got to eat a single berry that season.
So how can we keep our tender, home-grown strawberries safe from insects without spraying chemicals all over them? It’s easy, really: grow them where most of the pests can’t get to them. Soon after losing my crop to ants, I got a couple Growin’ Bags and started growing my strawberries in the sky. Hanging the plants is the best method I’ve found to grow strawberries in containers. Hanging them places the berries out of reach of many of the insects that most commonly eat them. This is excellent for organic gardeners, or for anyone trying to minimize the use of pesticides. And because the strawberries don’t develop while lying on the ground, they also tend to be prettier fruits, without the flat side that often accompanies ground-grown fruit (and there’s nothing better than a bowl of perfectly-formed, home-grown strawberries).
Growing strawberries above the ground also saves a lot of space, and means that you can grow them in places you’d never consider possible otherwise. A former roommate was inspired by my container strawberry garden, and he now has two Growin’ Bags hanging the glassed-in patio of his second-floor apartment. Now, if only I can figure out how to get him to share!