You might remember that, back in January, we made a new strawberry wall out of guttering and a recycled wood trellis. I thought you'd like to see how it's performing. Here it is when we first planted it:
And here it is today:
A few plants haven't made it. I have found that the plants in the ground below are doing much better in terms of size and color, which doesn't surprise me because they are forming all sorts of associations with microbes down there, which the plants in the gutters don't have. Strawberries are woodland plants; they are probably used to having lots of forest duff around them and all the fungal activity that brings with it. Of course I have to fertilize the guttered plants frequently, using something organic and with a low nutrient level - fish emulsion is ideal. I have a dripline on the in-ground plants, but I have to remember to water the ones in the gutters every other day, and thoroughly, because they dry out very quickly.
So, a few drawbacks, but generally I'm happy with it. In the ground would be ideal, but who has the room? And - there have been zero slugs on this wall - which is a great benefit. And I've eaten several strawberries already, and more are on the way!
Delicious. Also, pretty, which is something I really value in the garden.