For what are not used recently plastic bottles. Craftsmen make them decorations for the interior, toys, various devices for the house, garden and kitchen garden, and even furniture, and larger structures like greenhouses and gazebos. It is good that all these plastic products are in demand and come into fashion, since it allows us to minimize their processing and, therefore, improves the natural habitat. It is especially nice if reasonable use of plastic bottles can be combined with such a pleasant and useful thing as growing strawberries. After all, strawberries are, without exaggeration, a welcome guest at every garden plot. And growing strawberries in plastic bottles can help solve several problems at the same time: an increase in the effective area of planting, and the protection of berries from many diseases and pests, and even decorating the site.
The advantages and disadvantages of this method
Why growing strawberries in plastic bottles can interest gardeners and summer residents? What are the advantages of such an unusual method?
- First of all, the use of vertical structures can significantly increase the area under planting strawberries. Even if your plans do not include the construction of capital structures made of plastic bottles, you can simply place the containers with strawberries at any places, including concrete and rubble-filled areas.
- It allows you to decorate the original and original as individual elements of the house: a wall or fence, and create a unique atmosphere throughout the site.
- It removes the need for weeding from the weeds and loosening, therefore, allows to reduce the labor costs for the care of strawberries.
- Reduces the risk of damage to berries by pests and diseases, and, therefore, allows you to do without additional measures for the processing of strawberry bushes.
- The berries are clean in every sense of the word, in addition, they are very convenient to collect.
Of course, as in any methodology, it is impossible not to note the possible difficulties that can be expected to be inspired by this idea of a gardener.
Since any plastic containers are limited in size, the soil in them is able to dry up many times faster than in the ground. In addition, it may overheat excessively, being under direct sunlight.Tip! To cope with the latter problem, the best way out is to paint the bottles for strawberry planting in light or white tones.
As for the drying of the soil, there are several solutions to this problem.
First, before planting in the soil, you can add a special hydrogel. Being in the ground, it will absorb excess moisture, and then gradually give it to the strawberry bushes.
Secondly, for continuous and regular soil moistening in plastic bottles it is possible to arrange various drip irrigation systems. The simplest such construction will be considered a little later.
Finally, for planting in plastic bottles, you can use special varieties of strawberries, which have a special drought resistance. That is, the yield and taste of the berries of these varieties will not depend on the mode of irrigation.
Examples of such varieties include:
- From early ripe grades - Alai, Alice, Vesnyanka, Zarya, Early dense, Marshal.
- From mid-ripening - Nastya, Holiday, Evi-2, Yuzhanka.
- Of the later - Arnica.
These varieties are considered the most unpretentious, drought-resistant and able to withstand some neglect in the care. Of course, their berries are smaller than regular strawberries, but they always bear fruit throughout the year and only need watering and fertilizing.
The most famous and common varieties of this category are:
- Ali Baba;
- Baron Solemacher;
- Snow White.
Also a problem when growing strawberries in plastic bottles can be the fact that the volume of soil in the bottles is small and the plants will need to be strengthened and regular food throughout the growing season. This problem can be dealt with if, during the manufacture of a mixture for planting, long-playing complex fertilizers in granules are mixed into the soil. They will gradually dissolve as a result of watering, and supply plants with nutrients.
One of the problems that gardeners often consider is such an unusual way of growing strawberries, it is the need to protect strawberry bushes from freezing in the winter. Here, too, there are several solutions to this issue:
- First, if you envisage a long-term cycle of growing strawberries in bottles, the bottle design should be light enough so that it can be transferred to a non-freezing room for wintering, for example, a basement or a cellar.
- In addition, bottles with strawberry bushes before winter can be buried in the ground and overlaid with spruce branches and straw for insulation.
- Moreover, if the bottles are not very large, they can be transferred to a living room or to a balcony and for a long time to admire and savor delicious berries.
- Finally, if for growing in bottles you use varieties of a neutral day, as the most suitable for such conditions, then it is optimal to grow them in an annual crop. Since the plants get such a load, fruiting for almost 9-10 months, they are unlikely to be able to please you with a good harvest for the next year. The scheme of growing remontant strawberries in an annual crop will be described in detail below.
- Often when growing strawberries in plastic bottles, they face such a problem as lack of lighting. After all, strawberries in bottles are often grown on balconies or near walls and fences, and not always from the south.
Despite the general love for the light of this plant, with all the variety of varieties there are quite shade-tolerant ones among them. These include, for example: Seasons, Kipcha, Suprim.
There are several designs, mainly vertical type for growing strawberries.
For this option will suit any plastic bottles from 2 to 5 liters. In the side wall of the bottle with a sharp knife it is necessary to cut a square window with a side equal to 8-10 cm. In the bottom of the bottle pierce holes with an awl with an awl. After all, strawberries do not like overmoistening of the soil, so drainage holes are required. A window is poured through the window, strawberries are planted in it and watered well. A bottle of strawberries planted is fixed on a support vertically or simply suspended from horizontal bars, thus creating something like a curtain of bottles.
If you make a hole longer in length and place the bottle horizontally, then you can plant two bushes of strawberries in it. Do not forget to be sure to do the drainage holes in the bottom of the bottle.
This option provides for the creation of structures with the simplest irrigation system, in which the soil near the roots of strawberries can be maintained in a constantly wet state, but without overflow.
Prepare a bottle of 2-3 liters, cut it in half. The cover must be screwed on, but not completely, so that water can seep through it. Then in the vicinity of the neck with an awl or a nail, it makes several holes. The earth is poured into the upper part of the bottle after turning it over.Attention! But before that, a small piece of cotton fabric is put on the inside of the bottle.
Then a strawberry bush is planted in the ground, and the entire upper part of the bottle is inserted into its lower part. The result is a fairly stable design, which has several advantages:
- Watering is carried out through the bottom of the bottle, from where the moisture itself, if necessary, goes to the roots of strawberries. Therefore, watering ceases to be a problem - strawberries can be watered much less often by simply pouring water into the pan.
- When watering, water does not spill out, and, therefore, the design can be placed anywhere, including indoors - this way you can avoid excess water and dirt after watering.
This design can be placed both on any surfaces, and on weight, creating vertical beds. As a vertical support, you can use wooden slats, metal mesh, as well as a solid wooden fence or any wall.
Also in this variant, strawberries can be planted in 5-liter bottles - in this case, two or even three strawberry bushes can fit in one bottle.
There is another interesting option to create a vertical design of plastic bottles for growing strawberries. For him, except for bottles, you will need a support, the role of which can be played by a wooden shield or a metal fence.
First, a plastic bottle is taken and the bottom is cut off. The cork is not fully wound so that water can easily seep through it. The bottle turns over down the neck and in the upper part a cut-out is made, about 5-7 cm deep. The neck of the bottle is filled with earth a centimeter below the cut-out. Strawberry bush is planted in it.
The next bottle is taken, all of the above operations are performed, and it is corked down into the previous bottle. So, you can repeat several times depending on the height of the support. Each bottle is fixed on the support so that its cork does not touch the ground surface of the bottle below. In such a design, when watering from above, water gradually seeps through all containers without stagnating. At the bottom you can make a pallet, where it will accumulate.Important! Such a system greatly accelerates and facilitates watering the entire structure.
Growing strawberries in annual crops
It is quite possible to do the following if you do not want to get involved in disassembling your vertical structures for the winter. And in the middle band it is inevitable, since the land in small containers will freeze over during the winter.
In early spring, seedlings of a strawberry remontant strawberry are purchased on a neutral day. It is these varieties under favorable conditions that can bear fruit practically without interruption for 9-10 months. Examples include such varieties as Queen Elizabeth 2, Brighton, Temptation, Elvira, Juan, and others.
Seedlings are planted in containers made of plastic bottles in option 2, described earlier. Tanks are set in any bright and warm place and watered moderately. It is possible to immediately place them on the balcony, if it is insulated. In this case, in the future, there is no need to move them anywhere, they will always be on the balcony, and please you regularly with their crops.
If you want to grow strawberries on your plot, then with the onset of warm days (usually in May), seedlings can be transferred to the plot and place the bottles as your imagination tells you: either on a vertical support, or on weight, or placed on any horizontal surface.Comment! By this time, the seedlings are likely to already bloom and even bear fruit.
All summer until the frosts you will harvest strawberries from the bushes. A month before frost, rooted sockets should be carefully separated from the mother bushes and transplanted in separate containers. This is your main planting material for the next year. They can be stored either in a non-freezing basement or on a balcony. In winter, it is only necessary to periodically moisten the earth, making sure that it does not completely dry out.
The main strawberry bushes with the onset of frost are either simply thrown away, or the strongest of them are transported to domestic conditions for an extension of the harvest period for a month or another.
In spring, everything repeats, but seedlings obtained from their own strawberry bushes are already used.
As you can see, there is nothing too difficult to grow strawberries in plastic bottles; rather, this is simply an unusual process for many. On the other hand, it provides many opportunities that must be used in order to fully enjoy the result of your work.