Have you ever freshly planted a beautiful batch of strawberries in your strawberry pot, only to find that they’re practically impossible to water?
Watering through the opening on the top only hydrates the top layer of plants, and trying to water through the holes in the sides results in soil spilling out onto your patio.
While strawberry pots are a wonderful invention for growing lots of plants in small spaces, they can be really hard to take care of without the proper tools to help you!
We’ve come up with an easy, DIY watering system for your strawberry pots that insures every plant in the pot gets sufficient water, without spilling soil all over the ground.
This watering system can be made by anyone with very few tools and supplies. If you can operate a power drill, you can make this watering system!
The supplies for this project can be bought at any home store, for very little money. You may even have these supplies on hand already!
- 3/4 PVC Pipe, approx. 2 feet long
- Strawberry Pot – if the terracotta strawberry pot isn’t available, then this fabric strawberry planter is a more than viable alternative.
- Potting Soil
- Sharpie Marker
- Power Drill
- 5/32 drill bit
- Hand Saw
Step 1: Measure
Take the PVC pipe and insert it into the empty strawberry pot so it reaches all the way to the bottom. Making sure the pipe is in the dead center of the pot, hold it upright and use a sharpie marker to put a mark about 1/2 an inch shorter than the lip of the pot.
Step 2: Cut
Lay the PVC pipe down sideways on your work surface and use the hand saw or an electric saw to carefully cut through the pipe on the mark that you made in the previous step.
Step 3: Mark holes
Using the sharpie marker, put dots on the pipe where you’ll be drilling holes. The dots should be placed every two inches from the top of the pipe to the bottom, and should be staggered in position for every row.
This way the holes will be evenly spaced and allow even water flow from every side of the pipe. This step doesn’t need to be measured precisely, but do make sure the holes are as even as you can get them all the way around the pipe.
Step 4: Drill holes
Place the pipe down on your work surface and using the power drill fitted with a 5/32 drill bit, drill holes on every mark. Remove all the little bits of plastic from the drilling, sometimes a nail file helps with this part.
Step 5: Start planting
You may want some help with this step, as it’s a little tricky to keep the pipe centered in the pot while pouring soil. It’s very important that the pipe stays in the middle during the whole planting process, as it won’t be moveable once the pot is full.
To start, place the pipe inside the strawberry pot, in the dead center, and use one hand to hold it in the center while you pour potting soil around the pipe, up to the level of the first planting holes.
I like to cover the top of the pipe with my hand while I do this step, because it’s imperative that you don’t get soil inside the pipe.
Carefully put the strawberry plants into the soil, with their leaves and stems poking out the planting holes.
Pour more potting soil in over the plants, again being careful not to get any into the pipe and keeping the pipe centered in the pot. Continue planting strawberries and adding more soil until you’ve filled up the whole pot.
Step 6: Water
Now that your DIY strawberry watering system is set, it’s time to try it out!
Using a watering can or a hose on the ‘jet’ setting, pour water into the pipe in the center. The pipe may initially fill up quickly, but you’ll find it empties back out just as quickly as the water flows out of the holes to water the plants at the bottom of the pot.
With a little practice, you’ll find just the right watering speed to keep the water flowing easily into and out of the pipe.
For the first week after planting, water the plants every day or every other day until the roots get settled. After that, keep up with watering your strawberry plants at least once a week or whenever the top layer of soil gets dry.
Meredith Skyer is a writer, artist, and homesteader residing in Western New York with her husband and menagerie of farm critters.
She has spent the last 12 years learning and implementing a myriad of homesteading skills, specializing in growing food and animal husbandry. Her biggest passion is working in conjunction with the natural world to harvest healthy, organic food from her own backyard.
Meredith is a freelance writer and founder of Backyard Chicken Project, a place for crazy chicken people to gather, learn, and share in their love of chickens. She also contributes articles to Mother Earth News Online, From Scratch Magazine, and Grit.
Meredith works from her woodland homestead where she spends her days writing, creating animal-inspired art, and chasing after her flock of chickens.
You can visit her at www.backyardchickenproject.com