Strawberry barrel

At the greenhouse (Millennium Farms) where I purchase many of my heirloom veggies, the owner has a barrel filled with strawberries, a bigger version of the clay strawberry planter.
He used a 50-gallon barrel with the top cut out of it and several rows of holes drilled in it in which to plant the strawberry plants. Then he put a piece of PVC pipe down the middle of it after drilling holes in it to distribute the water throughout the height of the barrel. He put landscaping fabric against the sides to hold the plants in place with a hole cut for the plants' roots. As he filled it, he put gravel directly around the pipe to discourage dirt from plugging the holes.
It's a great idea, a good way to get a lot of yield from a small footprint, an entire strawberry patch in a 5-foot circumference circle. I cut the barrel for one today with two dozen 2-inch holes for plants (and the top). I will make one with fewer holes for herbs, planning parsley or basil on the top. I figure placing a cover over the basil as the weather cools will prolong its growing season.
For the strawberries, once they are established (when I actually get fruit!), it will be an easy matter to construct a "cover" to keep out birds so we get the berries.
I'll keep you posted as to how this works, confident that it will work very well. Any suggestions about what, other than strawberries and herbs, might do well in this type of planter?
Glenna
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snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote in message

My father offered up something of a similar nature for potatoes:
Buy a cheap, tall plastic garbage can, a bale of clean straw, and some sand and plant soil. Make several drain holes in the bottom. Put a 2" deep layer of sand on the bottom, then cover that with about 3 inches of good, rich soil. Then plant the eyes of about 3 seed potatoes in that soil. Make sure it gets plenty of direct sunlight during the day and water it often, but do not overwater. Just make it good and damp. When the Potato sprouts are about 2-3 inches tall, cover them over with a couple of inches of straw. Continue to water just like before. In a few days, the sprouts will poke thru. Let them grow until, again, they are about 3 inches above the straw, then cover again with a couple of inches of straw. Continue this process until the level of straw is about 3-4 inches from the top. At that point, let the plants grow through the straw and continue to develop into full grown plants. Water them and let them grow until they run their course and begin to die in the late season. At that point, carefully turn over the garbage can and dump out the straw. All the way through the straw you will have potatoes and if things have been done right, they will be good sized and absolutely clean with no dirt to wash off.
Cinnamon L - Cincinnati OH
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Don't forget to rotate your barrel so it gets sun on all sides.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com writes:

:-) Yes, thank you. I did think of that and will be putting wheels under it. In fact, last evening, I seeked the advice of a neighbor as to how I should do it. I was thinking of attaching the wheels to the barrel (with a sheet of plywood under the barrel). He suggested keeping the casters separate so they could be used with other barrels which is probably what I will do.
Glenna
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