For months I’ve seen photos circulating on the web of strawberries grown in gutters. The plants always look lush and the berries are huge and plentiful. So of course I decided that we should grow strawberries in gutters. Of course we should. Over the weekend Jonny attached fifty feet of gutters to our garden fence and drilled drainage holes in them. (He mentioned as he finished up, that this project was not on his list.) Yesterday I planted fifty strawberry plants in a mixture of well rotted compost and horse manure in the gutters. Planting was quick and easy because I did it standing up. The gutters are right at arm level for me. I watered the plants once I was finished and then added a layer of old chicken bedding as a mulch on top.
Despite all of our work, I’m pretty sure that growing strawberries in gutters is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had. Only time will tell. I think that most of those photos I saw of strawberries looking so great in their neat gutter homes were taken in greenhouses with very controlled conditions. Other people who try this set them up to be self watering. I’ll be the one watering these strawberries by hand, every day I am sure. Hopefully once per day will be enough. In the heat of summer though, it may not be. At least I have kids to help.
So we’ve gone from “too cold to garden” to “so hot I’m totally behind and will never catch up I haven’t even planted English peas yet.” Ah, Virginia. We never know what to expect.
Most importantly of all, the violets are blooming.