Thursday, May 29, 2014

"Redneck Strawberry Tower" Tutorial

Hey everyone!  I know it's been a while!  We Freibott's have just been enjoying life 'Chemo Free' and getting our youngest boy all Graduated from High School!  Woohoo!

If you've been wondering what I've been up to- I'm gonna give you a tour of my Gardening adventures for the next few days.  

You know I am a Pinterest Addict- and when it comes to Gardening- It's just as fun for me to be 'Researching' Gardening on Pinterest as it is to be out in the dirt:)

I read about Strawberry Towers and decided that up here in the High Desert of Arizona- they are definitely the way to go.  BUT- as I am very Frugal (Read Cheap) I wanted to try it without spending the $247.00 plus shipping that they wanted for the Fancy Shmancy one online.

 SO- Gather your supplies and Let's get Dirty!

Behold the 'Seen Better Days' Laundry Basket of Much Recylable-ness...Ya- it's Ugly!

The black stuff is left over Weed Control Cloth from another failed project.

I had to lay it out to find some straight pieces- but if you have to buy it I think its about 20 bucks for a 30 foot Roll.

The "Fancy Tower" had holes on the side for the Strawberries to stick out adding more Square Inch space. SO- Here is an old cup I found while pulling weeds- I grabbed a Sharpie and a Ruler and Drew some Circles.

Perfection was Obviously not the Goal...the Circles are about 4 inches apart:)  I Grabbed my Trusty Scroll Saw Thingee....

Here are the results- Again- I was NOT looking for Pretty!  I worked as quickly as was safe.

 Yup- again the goal is Function!  Next I just drilled a bunch of holes in the bottom with my biggest Drill Bit....the ones that come in the little round holder container-y thing...

Next I decided I needed bigger holes on the side for my Plants to stick out of.  I roughly chose a few "Windows" on both sides leaving at least  inches between them for 'Structural Integrity'.

Yup....Just Get 'er Done there girl....

Ok so here I lined the inside with my Weed Control Sheet.  In the Interest of spending as Little as possible, I would have used an Old Sheet if I hadn't had this.  It's Water Permeable, but will help keep the soil in.

Ok- BIG HINT-  Duck Tape that Liner in!!  It blew all over the place while I was trying to fill it and BUGGED the HECK out of me!!!

Here it is again...Flapping in the wind...

All the Pinterest 'Towers' had a Central Watering Tube which I think is Stinkin' Brilliant!  I had this Tupperware thingee that I got for a BUCK and have never found a use for....Excellent Repourpose Fodder!

 So I just Grabbed my Drill and a 'Medium-ish' Drill bit....there's my little Drill Bit Holdy-Thingee....

I filled the bottom with some Gravel so it wouldn't drain out so quickly...

Just about this time I lost my Safety Glasses and Had to waste 10 minutes looking for them....

Next, I mixed me up some Real Good Stuff....Finely Aged Organic Goat Compost....ya baby!  If you don 't have your own Goatie Goat- you could use this's at that Store that starts with a Wal and is under 5 Bucks...

 So I put some Compost in the bottom and then set my "Water Tower" in there so the top would be just above the top of the soil line.

So here are my Strawberry Plants.  I REALLY wanted the little 6 packs, but we live out in the 'Plutacrats' as my Auntie M says....So this was the best I could do- I literally bought them out.

 I was SO stressed out dividing their little Roots- I felt like their little Plant Selves were screaming...:(  If you can, get the 6 packs!)

I just added Soil up to the Bottom holes, then Cut Holes in the Liner and laid the Wittle Baby Plants in side ways.  This was very stressful...I hear their little screams....The Seed Block Fabric is heavy enough that you can make a little ledge to catch water and support the plant.

After I added each layer of plants I added more compost/soil till it was filled to the top with the Water Cylinder in the middle.

Here it is all filled up.  My compost has straw in it so that will help with Water Retention too.  I left the lid on to keep things from Making a Home in the middle....:)

So there you have it folks!  I got a Large Boy to move it to my Front Porch....we live in the Country so there are no Associations or Nosy Neighbors...

Realize this is just the Proto-type.  Proof that you Can
 "Use what you have".  Total Cost was Under $15.00 including Strawberry plants and one bag of Organic Compost.

Join me Next time when I use what I learned to make 
This Pretty One!!!

How is your Garden Doing?  If it was Cheap- would you Grow some of your own food?  Let me know!
 Love to All!