Friday, May 30, 2014

A "Prettified Version" of the Do it Yourself Strawberry Tower

So Here is the Cute one!!!
Total Cost $25.00! 

So if you joined us Yesterday, You got to see the "Proto-type Redneck Version"!  It is Fantastically Functional- but Oh-So-Ugly!
I made it out of an Old Laundry Basket- for just the cost of the Strawberries:)

Once I got my Feet Wet- I decided to try one that I could put Proudly out in Front of the House.  So I started the Search for a Container.  
I SCORED these brand new wheeled Trash Cans for $11.95 each at Ace Hardware....I was so excited I bought three!
The advantage is I can 'Roll' them into the garage over the Winter!  BONUS!

Next....I gathered my supplies!
You'll need:
A Drill
a 1/4 inch Drill Big
1 Ruler
Duct Tape
A Sharpie
A Circle-Cutty-Attachment-Thingee for your Drill...Mine is 2 1/2 inches
Some Recycled Plastic Gallon Containers
A Long 'Pipe'....I used a 4 inch PVC pipe from the Trash:)

I Actually went out and Treated myself to this Circle Saw thingee....Be advised- you need a 'Base' for these...I had to make a 2nd trip to town for it.  Thank Goodness my Ace Hardware Guys speak "Clueless Chick Speak"

My First Step was to Drill a whole bunch of 1/4 inch Holes in the Bottom of the Barrel.  At least 20 of them.

Next- I had to Decide where I wanted my Holes.  I chose a 2 1/2 inch Circle and LOVE that it looks so Clean and Uniform....well worth the $20 for the Drill Attachment.  

I started at the Front/Center location.  I kept the holes at about midway up the Barrel with fewer holes on the bottom row.  I used a Strip of Painters Tape- I marked off the distance between the circles AND where the Center of the Hole would be so I could mark where the Center of the Drill bit would go.

I messed up a few be sure to "Measure Twice, Cut Once"!

Make sure to wear safety glasses when you Cut your holes- those little Plastic Bits go Airborne!
They looked like this at first....

So I grabbed some Sand Paper and smoothed it out. I think it was "80 Grit".

Notice I didn't go ALL the Way  around- I left at least 1/3 of the Back of the Barrel solid for Structural Integrity.  And I learned my Lesson from the Ugly One..I taped the liner down so it wouldn't blow all-the-heck-over-the-place...

Now- the FUN Part!!!  Girl- you know I love Spray Paint!!!

 It took TWO good Coats:) I was suprised how easy the Paint went on.... It's starting to Look like Something!!
So Next- I lined it with some more of my Weed Control Fabric.  I had it laying around- you may want to get a Roll as it is Great for a Lot Different Uses.

NEXT-  Thanks to the Marvels of Pinterest...I filled the Bottom 1/3 of the Barrel with Empty Recycled Milk and Detergent Containers!!!  Brilliant!  It makes the whole thing Lighter and uses less Precious Compost!  Woohoo!  I filled the back area where there aren't any holes:)

NOW- the Coolest Part of a 'Tower System'...the Central Watering Tube.  I picked up a Broken Piece of 4 inch PVC Pipe with an end cap at a Thrift shop- was 'junk' to them.....(Score!) I got all of this for $5.00...and yes- that's an 'Already-A-Cute-Color' Trash Can just waitin' for some Love!

I Put a few well spaced 1/4 inch holes along the lower half of the Pipe and then spaced some on the Parts that faced the Holes.

I filled it up to the base of the first holes.  Then it was Strawberry time! I was Lucky and was able to get 3- 6 packs of Strawberries so I didn't have to break up the roots like with these.  Forgot to Snap a pic of those! If you have the Larger Pots- you'll need to seperate the Wittle-bitty Roots...

Next- I made a Horizontal Cut in the Center of each hole and pulled the Weed Control Sheet out a bit to make a little "Shelf"....then I stuffed the Little Roots in and kept the Leaves on the Outside. The roots were just lying on the top of the Compost on the inside.  Then I added some Potting Soil around the roots for Moisture Control and then more Compost up to the base of the next row of Holes.

And Here is what She Looked like All filled Up!!!


Then I planted some more plants on the very Top of the Barrel and Voila!  Done!

Here are a Few Tips I would do Differently Next Time:

1.  I would make the Central Pipe Shorter- This one went almost to the Bottom and I felt like it drained too fast- so I filled it up a bit with Sand and Gravel and that slowed it down a bit- but I would go with a Pipe that was Half as Tall as the Barell to maximize Watering on the bottom holes.

 2.  Put your Barrel in a somewhat 'Shaded' area for a few days while the roots take.  Our Arizona sun was a bit too much and I lost a few Baby Plants from Scorch.

 All told- it was a really Fun Project and I was able to do it All by Myself!  AND- I could even move it because of all the Empty Containers in it:)  AND- I can Roll it into the Garage and Cover it up for the Winter and Bring it right back out next year! 

So- what do you think?  Would you try this one out?
Let me know! 

Love to all!