I love having a vegetable in my yard. Partially I love having fresh food – especially cucumbers – free from the wax and other preservation methods you find on store bought produce. Partially because I grew up watching my grandparents garden. It allows me to feel close to my grandfather again and it gives me something to talk about and show off to my grandma and I like to think I am helping make those memories for my own kids now.
There are a few things I plant every year – cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries. And every year I add some new things – this year we are adding blueberries and rhubarb to our yard and I went a little overboard with the onions so I ran out of room in the garden for my lettuce and my new strawberry plants needed a suitable home (I somehow mange to kill all of mine off every winter).
Enter my in-laws recently replaced deck.
My husband decided to take all of the material from their and put it in our garage – I thought he was crazy until we decided to use the stairs flipped on their side for a strawberry planter.
The stairs had these little legs on the back that made a perfect support – my husband cut them down to be the right height and I got to work.
Here are the materials I used:
I stapled the chicken wire to the back of the stairs as a support for the weed fabric. This holds the dirts to make each stair it’s own little planter.
I then lined these newly formed ‘cubbies’ with the weed fabric and stapled those into place too. I suggest over doing it on the staples because more support is better in the long run right?
Once I finished those steps it was just a matter of flipping the structure back ‘up right’ and filling the newly formed plant boxes with soil and plants. I finished it just as it was starting to rain so the plants have perked up a bit.
One thing I both like and am a bit worried about it the drainage from the boxes. It is going to be nearly impossible to over water these plants but I worry that it will be easy to deprive them a bit. I also am a little less than happy that the plants are less protected than in my fenced in raised garden bed … but if others can grow strawberries in unprotected rain gutters this should be fine!
In this new planter I have managed to reclaim 20+ year old deck stairs, planted 5 romaine lettuce plants, 3 already fruit bearing strawberry plants and about a dozen strawberry plant bulbs – those have been hanging around for a year so I am not sure they will work but it can’t hurt.
Share your favorite gardening and reclaimed projects below.
Until next time,
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