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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Pallet planter and plans for next year

With the kitchen remodel dragging on into Spring I wasn't able to implement any changes to the vegetable garden this year.  Next year will be different and I'm getting a start on it now.  It starts with the perennial bed, which has six asparagus plants, everbearing strawberries and herbs.  I've realized that the bed can't produce enough asparagus or strawberries, so one of them has to go.

The Tribute strawberries provide a nice harvest in May and June, then they take a break for a few weeks and produce a trickle of berries the rest of the year.  These berries are poor quality and the birds get many of them.  Next spring they will make way for more asparagus.  I thought I'd take a shot at making a strawberry planter, and had read about converting a pallet into a planter.  And there is a pallet sitting in the pole barn. 

It's a straighforward little project.  Two layers of landscape fabric were stapled to the back side and some slats were added to keep it all sound, a piece of one-half inch screen was fastened to the bottom, some repairs were made to the front and some legs were added:

This is the back side showing the landscape fabric bolstered by thin slats of wood.  The legs are attached to stakes:

I added potting mix from a SWC that grew, unsuccessfully, anise fennel, then had to buy another bag to fill the planter.   Some space at the top was left to add water:

Then plugs were taken from the strawberry patch and planted into the mix.  The ground slopes toward the planter and forms a bowl-shaped depression in front of the planter.  I packed more potting mix at the base which contacts the mix in the planter (the bottom is screened).  When I water I add water to the top and bottom.  Seems to work so far.

The biggest concern is how will they do over the winter.  One option is to lay the planter down flat and put some straw over it.  The other option is to make a sort of insulating blanket by filling some burlap bags with straw and covering the planter with them.   In the spring I'll replace any plants that have died from the main bed, then take out the rest and put in the asparagus crowns.  If the planter does its job that's fine.  If it doesn't work out then I'm out the price of a bag of potting mix, which can likely be re-purposed.

5 comments:

Mark Willis said...

Looks as if it ought to work well - and as you say, it's no great loss if it doesn't. I got rid of my Strawberry plants recently,(I only had 12) because I could never grow enough to be worthwhile. It's always hard to find space in my little garden for all the things I want to grow!

Mr. Pickles said...

Great thing but I will ad two thing
1. more support at the bottom on both side because a bigger wind can turn it over
2. I would used some paint on the wood to make it last longer

Margaret said...

I had never seen this before - I'll be interested to see how it works out for you. My strawberries were delicious, but rather small and I also didn't get a prolonged harvest from what was supposed to be an everbearing variety. I've just dug up my 4 year old strawberry bed and am taking the opportunity to try out one or two new varieties next year.

Phuong said...

Pretty cool idea. I've been thinking about planting strawberries as well, it'd be a fun project. The harissa sauce you made sounds delicious.

Sue Garrett said...

An interesting idea. I wonder how easy it will be to keep watered in summer. Do the top ones remain drier than those at the bottom? I look forward to seeing how it works as it could work for ornamentals too.

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