Just curious if anyone here has tried using rain gutters as a strawberry planter and how that worked for you. I ordered a bunch of new strawberry plants this spring and the reality of preparing the beds is starting to sink in so I am looking for alternatives.
One possibility would be to grab some inexpensive rain gutters from a home improvement place, fill the gutter with soil mix and plant there. I had seen this done online, but am curious if anyone here tried it or is doing it. If so, I’d like to get your thoughts on the best way to do it. Things like what size and shape gutters are best, plastic or metal, did you drill drainage holes, etc, etc.
I plant them annually as they only last two years in such shallow gutters. These are everyday pvc gutters10’ long. Sawed them in half added the end caps, drilled only three or four 1/8” wide holes in the bottom of each gutter. Add potting or garden soil and plants and water daily!
My main concern, seeing that you are zone 5, is overwintering the strawberries grown in gutters. If you are planning on growing day neutral or everbearing varieties you can likely just replant every spring and still get berries the same summer and fall. However if you want to grow June bearers then they might freeze out overwinter.
I suppose you could store them in a garage or lay them on the ground in the fall and cover generously with leaves/straw etc.
another option I’ve seen is wall bags. its fabric pouches sewn on 1 sheet of fabric with grommets on the top so you can hang it on a sunny wall. I’m thinking of getting one with 24 pouches to put strawberries in. in fall you can lay them on the ground and let the snow burry them for the winter. I’m not good with posting things but maybe someone could find a pic and post it here.
To explain a bit further, I was over zealous in ordering the strawberry plants, and while some (maybe even most) will go outside in beds I don’t think I can get enough bed prepared in time. I was actually thinking of putting the guttered strawberries inside my greenhouse, attached to the stem wall on the S side.Should get plenty of light there, but likely will need to be watered daily.
So no concerns about overwintering the gutter system, as I expect the plants will stay alive in the GH thru the winter (my few seed grown strawberries in pots currently do).
One question for @mrsg47, does the bird netting laid loosely over the plants work for you? In the past, I had had crows who would push thru close in netting to grab berries.