Author Topic: Strawberry planter  (Read 243 times)

lottie lou

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Strawberry planter
« on: August 19, 2019, 19:49:27 »
I have been given one of those barrel strawberry planters. I was told that they had problems keeping the compost moist. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to overcome this problem. Thanking you in advance.

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Strawberry planter
« on: August 19, 2019, 19:49:27 »

Tee Gee

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Re: Strawberry planter
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2019, 19:55:59 »
Place a vertical porous pipe in the centre of the pot and fill the compost around it.

I used a rainwater pipe with holes drilled in it as this was easier to get water into it!

But any similar arrangement would do!

Vinlander

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Re: Strawberry planter
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2019, 11:37:37 »
I think the problem is that the upper layers dry out while the bottom becomes waterlogged if you water too often. Soil-less composts also shrink away from the sides, and crack too, so the water can bypass them but using a rose helps and so does making the surface deeply concave. Sharp sand on top can help to fill cracks.

Dry soil-less compost doesn't ever wet easily - you could use a specialist wetting agent (surfactant /detergent), or maybe water crystals where it dries most (not tried), but a small well-distributed percentage of powdered clay will do exactly the same job. Normally mixed with sharp sand before mixing into the compost you use for the upper layers. Increase the drainage of the lower layers with grit and the whole thing will be more balanced.

Using a drainage tube as well is still a good idea - it allows you to water more frequently without soggy bottom (boys).

The same effect can be created by using a plain tube (eg, single gutter downpipe or two for big pots) and building up the planting around it, then fill it with grit & gravel, then slide the tube out.

Putting grit at the top and more gravel at the bottom will tend to encourage the water to go sideways into the drier upper parts.

The advantage is that the plants get more root room (they don't block the drainage), the disadvantage is the extra weight.

Incidentally, if you eventually get vine weevil it's a lot easier to drown them in the pot than rebuild the pot. A week completely submerged in a tub of water will kill the lot, and often the plants that weren't killed by the weevil will also survive the dunking.

Oh, and if you have or get a tub, then any time the layers won't wet you can guarantee to wet the whole thing by dunking it. 

An amusing solution (not yet tried) is to put the tub on one of those pop-up cylindrical baskets - if you brail it to a few cm it's a drip dray, if you let it spring up fully its a dunking tub. I would keep a slightly wider circle of black plastic sheet between it and the pot to keep the sun off it when it's down - and reduce abrasion.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

lottie lou

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Re: Strawberry planter
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2019, 21:02:34 »
Thank you TeeGee and Vinlander for your replies

 

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