Our Homemade Strawberry Hanger

After I wrote about the hanger my husband made to hold our upside-down strawberry planters, I got a request for a picture.  Here it is:

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The angle of the picture makes it look like the planter on the left is resting on the ground, but it isn’t.  They’re both about eight inches off the ground.  We were using a tree stake as the main support (it was about 5 or 6 feet long) and we wanted to pound it into the ground as far as possible.  We decided that a short but very sturdy hanger was better than one that was taller but not as stable.  This one is in the ground about three feet, so it’s not going anywhere.

Here’s a close up of the end, so you can see how he just welded a hook to the end of the rebar, which I thought was pretty clever:

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We have some spray paint left over from another project, and we’ll paint this little structure soon.  It was all made from scraps that we got for free, and took my husband about 20 minutes to put together.  I saw a metal stand for holding upside-down tomato planters the other day, and it was $100.  It looked a bit fancier than ours, but ours was free and is getting the job done.  We have it in a sunny spot next to our house that is protected from the wind, and we’re hoping to get a nice crop of strawberries this summer.  Fingers crossed!

Last night it got down into the 20s overnight, and I was concerned about the zucchini plants in one of our cold frames.  I wasn’t sure how well the cold frame would protect them, so I boiled a big pot of water and set it inside the cold frame (with a lid) just before we went to bed.  When we got up this morning, there was frost on the glass of the other cold frames (they have frost-hardy plants in them, so that’s ok) but the glass over the zucchini was nice and clear.  And the plants look great.  Hopefully I can continue to baby them for the next few weeks until we can take the glass off, and we’ll have a nice early zucchini crop this year.

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Comments

  1. says

    That is a smart idea!

    FB, Do you have any recommendation for us newbies in gardening – either forums or a blog or books?

  2. Kaytee says

    FB – do you anticipate any issues with birds or small mammals nibbling your strawberries before you can? Last year I planted about 14 strawberry plants on the stairs to our apartment, but the chipmunk that lives under those stairs kept getting to them before I did. Fortunately, he didn’t touch the blueberries. Are any of your berry bushes gooseberries?
    ~Kaytee

  3. FrugalBabe says

    Kay, We’ve been reading a book by John Jeavons titled “how to grow more vegetables than you ever thought possible” and are finding it very helpful. I’ve also found lots of good tips on this site:
    http://www.gardenguides.com/
    Mostly, I think we’ll be learning by trial and error, since every situation is a little different – we have to find what works for us. We’re newbies too!

    Kaytee, We do anticipate issues with critters and bugs. Our yard is a strictly organic place, but we’re planning to be proactive with pest control. We’ll be putting bird netting over our berry bushes (and maybe over the strawberry planters) once they have finished flowering and started growing berries. We’re planning to pick all the buds off of our fruit trees this year in order to make them focus on developing their roots – we won’t let them fruit until next year, so we have time to figure out what we’re going to do for critter control with the trees. In the veggie patches, we’ve got marigold plants started that we’re going to mix in with the veggies, and we’ll also be planting lots of garlic around the beds. We’ll also be making a mixture of hot pepper and garlic that we’ll be able to spray on the plants to ward off pests. This year will be our learning year, so we’ll see how it goes!

  4. says

    Babe dear,
    Why not keep bottles of water in your cold frame, near the zuke plants? They should warm up during the day, then gradually release their heat at night near your babies. That way, you don’t have to schlep kettles of water out there.

    I’m going to try planting zuke seeds in a Wall O Water this weekend. It should keep the ground warm enough for them to sprout…then protect them for the next month.

  5. says

    What is the benefit of having hanging plants? I am trying to start off having a garden, but my rabbits escaped their cage and ate up all the plants. Now that they’ve been rounded up again, we may be moving, so I don’t want to start off with plants that I may need to leave behind. Should I plant or not? What do you suggest?

  6. FrugalBabe says

    PP – Good luck! This is our first time trying hanging planters for edible plants. We’re hoping it works out. It makes sense that there won’t be any weed problems, and we’ll also eliminate a lot of the slugs/grubs/mold that sometimes cause problems with strawberries on the ground. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve had friends who have had great success with hanging tomato planters, and my husband built some great containers last year that we used to grow tomatoes and peppers; we were able to move them to our new house in the middle of the summer.
    You could probably plants stuff like lettuce and radishes that can be harvested soon. And maybe try some pots or hanging planters if you think you’d be able to move them (it was a pretty major job to move our full size tomato plants last summer). I hope it works out for you!

  7. Eric says

    I just went strawberry picking this morning with the family. It was a lot of fun! It also inspired my wife to do some strawberry planting to see if she has a green thumb in that area. Great pic and great idea with the homemade planter. Thanks for the idea.

    Keep up the good work,
    Eric

  8. says

    I’ve got one of those upside down tomato things but I must admit that it’s much easier growning stuff in the ground (at least for me). That way i don’t have to do all the thing mother nature does.

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