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We’re trying some new strawberries

Strawberries might just be our most successful harvest ever, since we got on top of the beastie problem, we’ve never had a bad year. So you’ll probably think we are mad if I tell you that we scrapped our strawberry bed and all the plants? Well not to fear, we are still growing strawberries, we just took the opportunity for a bit of a change. Cause you know, why wouldn’t you?

As you guys know, we don’t have a huge amount of space. No homestead, small holding or even allotment space for us, just our small urban back yard. So if we decide to try a new crop, there is a lot of finagling to find a way to fit it in… and this year, we are going back to growing peas and beans, so where to put them?

So I’ve decided that I’m going to have a go at maximising space by growing the strawberries vertically, after all, we have heaps of fence space that isn’t doing anything. And luckily, we have an amazing neighbour who gave us some old pallets from the factory he works in (thank you Chris), so we are going to use them to build some “pallet planters” against the fence. So… as you can imagine, I spend a few days in serious research mode trying to find out what I could about growing vertically and how to make planters out of pallets. There are hundreds of videos and instructional stuff online and it looks super easy.

The idea is that you use the pallets structure as your main growing space, and just take out each alternative spar and use it as a bottom piece for the ones above to make a little trough. Super simple idea. But it also comes with the bonus of being a brilliant way to add a little bit of privacy to our garden too. We’re going to set them up against the fence just in front of our shed. Which is out little sun trap area. Unfortunately it is also where our neighbours have their seating area, so it’s a bit awkward to be sitting there, as it feels a bit like we’re sitting eariewigging. So we’re hoping the combination of visually adding the panting and the baffle effect of the plants will help to add a wee bit of privacy for us. And let’s be honest, it’s a lot less invasive than planting bamboo which was the other option.

So we haven’t actually got the build finished yet, because the weather took a real change just after we got started and we were under a foot or so of snow, but just because that’s what always happens, the strawberry plants arrived – and had no home. Poor wee plants 🙁 So they are currently housed in trays in the greenhouse waiting on their new home to be finished. But it does let me tell you about the excitement of the new plants we are going to be growing this year… we are growing something a tad different… are you ready for this…????? We are growing PINEBERRIES

They are white…. yup you read that correctly, they are white strawberries which apparently taste like pineapple. Mad as a box of badgers but I recon it’ll be fun to try something different, so that’s out plan for this year. I bought them at JParkers, so have a look and see what you think.

So as I said, the strawberries are currently tucked up in some compost in the greenhouse, but not to worry. The plants are actually dormant at this time of year, so there is actually no rush to get them out into their final homes. As long as you keep the roots covered and keep the plants away from frost, they’ll be fine. After all you would normally leave your plants out in the beds over winter, they are hardy wee things 😀

So that’s the excitement from us, I can’t wait to get it finished, but it’s actually turned out to be a wee bit more time consuming that I though. I actually thought I’d get them all build and set up in a day… turns out if takes way longer than that to get the little growing troughs all line. Ah well… some thing to look forward to 😀

As I mentioned, the weather went a bit mad here, we were seeing crazy -14C temperatures and 14inches of snow, which is seriously unusual for us. I think I only remember getting anything more than a couple of inches of snow, maybe 3 times in my adult life. It’s all gone and back to normal now but it did put the breaks on our garden plans a little… I’ll drop the youtube video under here so you can see the madness of the snow if you want, and of course I’ll be in the greenhouse sorting the wee plants.

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