Growing Strawberries Vertically: Ideas for How to Skyrocket Your Harvest

Strawberry plants are one of the most rewarding plants to grow in your homestead garden, especially for beginner gardeners. Strawberry plants are compact, generally easy to grow and rewarding you with delicious and beautiful strawberries. There are many ways to grow strawberries: rows, raised beds, hanging baskets and vertical planters. If you are short on space, are homesteading in an apartment, or just looking for innovative and creating ways to growing strawberries than growing strawberries vertically may be the perfect solution.

In this article, we will explore exactly how to grow strawberries vertically and give you several ideas for the best vertical growers that you can make at home or buy. We’ve been growing strawberries for over 15 years and have tried almost every method available and will share everything we’ve learned over the years. See the Best Strawberry Planters for more ideas on growing strawberries in containers.

If you are looking for a general overview of growing fruit on your homestead, make sure to check out this article: Fruit Gardening on your Backyard Farm for an Amazing Harvest


Why Grow Strawberries Vertically?

Vertical gardening offers numerous benefits, especially when it comes to growing strawberries. By utilizing vertical space, you can save valuable ground area, making it an excellent solution for small gardens, balconies, or even urban settings. Growing strawberries vertically also improves air circulation around the plants, reduces pest and disease issues, and makes harvesting easier. Plus, it adds a unique aesthetic appeal to your garden!

If you are limited to growing strawberries on a deck, balcony or patio, growing strawberries vertically may be the only option. This is one of the best crops to growing with limited space.

How to Choose the Right Vertical Planter

When it comes to growing strawberries vertically, choosing the right structure is crucial. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Hanging Baskets: Hanging baskets are an excellent choice for vertical strawberry gardening. Select baskets with sufficient depth and drainage holes to accommodate the plants. Hang them in a sunny location, ensuring they receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  2. Vertical Towers: Vertical strawberry towers or planters are specifically designed for growing strawberries in a compact space. These towers feature multiple planting pockets or tiers, allowing you to grow several plants in a vertical arrangement.
  3. PVC Pipe or Gutter Systems: Repurposing PVC pipes or gutters as vertical planters is a cost-effective and versatile option. Attach them to a wall, fence, or trellis, and fill them with soil to create a series of planting pockets for your strawberry plants.

Here are a few Vertical Strawberry Planters we’ve used on our homestead:

PVC Strawberry Tower

A PVC strawberry tower is a clever and space-saving solution for growing strawberries vertically. It consists of PVC pipes or tubes arranged in a tower-like structure, with planting pockets or holes where the strawberry plants are inserted. The tower design allows for multiple layers of strawberries, maximizing the use of limited space. PVC strawberry towers are customizable and can be tailored to fit your specific needs and available space. They are cost-effective, easy to assemble, and provide excellent drainage for the plants. With a PVC strawberry tower, you can create a stunning and productive vertical garden, enjoying an abundance of juicy, homegrown strawberries right at your fingertips.

Growing Strawberries Vertically in a PVC Tower

Wooden Strawberry Tower

A wooden strawberry tower is similar to a PVC tower except instead of PVC you create the tower using wooden boards. This tends to be larger and heavier than a PVC tower, so you can put your wooden tower into a large pot, directly into the ground or build a base box for the tower.

For our wooden strawberry tower, we places the entire tower part into a large pot and planted the strawberries directly into the tower from here.

Growing Strawberries Vertically: A wooden Strawberry Tower
Growing Strawberries Vertically: A wooden Strawberry Tower

Strawberry Raised Garden Stack

Another fun method for growing strawberries vertically is to build a series of raised garden beds stacked. We built a relatively small strawberry raised garden stack with a base of about 2 ft x 2 ft, but even with this small design, you can still plant 9 strawberry plants in a very compact space.

Strawberry Raised Garden Stack

Strawberry Planters

Another excellent option for growing strawberries vertically is to place them in a pot of strawberry planter. You can see some excellent options for strawberry planters below, or use a pot or hanging backet you already have hanging around at home.

Growing Strawberries Vertically

Best Vertical Strawberry Planters for Purchase

While making a vertical strawberry planter is relatively easy, you can also purchase a number of creative and attractive vertical strawberry planters. Below are a lost of the 5 best vertical strawberry planters:

Mr. Stacky 5-Tier Strawberry Planter Pot

This stacked strawberry planter is compact and sturdy and a great option for growing strawberries in a small space. This vertical strawberry planters also works for herbs and other small plants

Reeyox Strawberry Grow Bag

This is one of the planters we are trying out this year. The grow bag is large enough to hold enough soil to grow a number of healthy strawberry plants. So far, this grower is attractive and the plants are growing well.

3 Tier Stackable Herb Garden Planter Set with Bottom Saucer

This 3 tiered garden planter is a great option for growing strawberries vertically. We have not used this planter, but it gets excellent reviews and I’ve seen it in use with healthy strawberries.

Choosing the Best Strawberries

When selecting strawberries for a vertical planter, there are a few key factors to consider to ensure the best results. First, opt for compact or trailing varieties that are well-suited for vertical growth and won’t overwhelm the space. Look for varieties labeled as “day-neutral” or “everbearing” as they continuously produce fruit throughout the growing season. These varieties are ideal for vertical planters as they can provide a steady supply of strawberries. Additionally, consider the size and flavor of the strawberries. Some varieties are known for their larger fruits, while others are prized for their sweetness or unique flavor profiles. Assess your preferences and choose varieties that align with your taste preferences. Lastly, read reviews or consult local gardening experts to find varieties that have a track record of success in vertical planters. By considering these factors, you can select the best strawberries for your vertical planter and enjoy a plentiful harvest of delicious, homegrown berries.

See our complete guide on the best strawberry varieties.

Another consideration is whether you will plant strawberries from a potted plant or from bare root plants. Strawberries are perennials and produce best after at least 2 years (especially bare root strawberries). You should plan to overwinter your strawberries.

To overwinter strawberries in a vertical planter, begin by trimming back the foliage of the strawberry plants in late fall or early winter, leaving only a few inches above the soil. This helps protect the plants from winter damage. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or wood chips, around the base of the plants to insulate the soil and provide additional protection. Monitor the moisture levels and water the plants sparingly, only when the soil appears dry. If your vertical planter is portable, consider moving it to a sheltered location, such as a garage or shed, to protect it from harsh winter conditions. Regularly inspect the plants for signs of pests or diseases, and take appropriate measures to address any issues. By providing proper care and protection during the winter, your vertical strawberries will have a better chance of thriving and producing a bountiful harvest in the coming spring and summer.

How to Care for Your Vertical Strawberry Planter

Once you have chosen your vertical structure, it’s time to plant your strawberries. Follow these tips for successful growth:

  1. Selecting Strawberry Varieties: Choose varieties that are well-suited for vertical gardening, such as day-neutral or everbearing types. These varieties produce fruit continuously throughout the growing season.
  2. Soil and Fertilization: Use a well-draining potting mix or create a blend of compost, peat moss, and perlite for your vertical planters. Fertilize the plants regularly with a balanced organic fertilizer, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Planting Technique: Gently place strawberry plants into the planting pockets, ensuring the crown is level with the soil surface. Space the plants according to the recommended distance for the specific variety you are growing.
  4. Watering and Mulching: Strawberries require consistent moisture. Water the plants regularly, ensuring the soil remains moist but not waterlogged. Apply a layer of mulch around the plants to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and protect the fruits from soil contact.
  5. Training and Pruning: As the strawberry plants grow, gently train the runners to encourage vertical growth. Prune excess runners to prevent overcrowding and maintain adequate airflow.

Harvesting and Enjoying the Fruits

With proper care and maintenance, your vertical strawberry garden will reward you with a delightful harvest. Harvest ripe strawberries when they have turned a vibrant red color, are firm, and have a glossy appearance. Simply twist or snip the stem above the fruit, taking care not to damage the plants. Fresh strawberries are a joy to eat as is, but you can also use them in delicious recipes like jams, pies, or smoothies.

Summary of Growing Strawberries Vertically

Vertical gardening opens up a world of possibilities for growing strawberries in even the smallest spaces. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can create a productive and visually stunning vertical strawberry garden.

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