Maximising growing space is a bit of an obsession with me.
That’s not to say that we have the garden overrun with plants in every possible corner, but where there is an opportunity to grow another edible crop in a way that is both functional and attractive, I’ll grab it.
Containers, planters, tubs and barrels make it easy to add more growing space into your garden. And it’s a great way to soften and beautify decks and balconies.
We have a huge wooden deck around one whole side of our house and it was just the perfect space to add more plants, and decorate what would otherwise be a useful, but pretty boring feature of the house.
So, we purchased 12 half wine barrels and filled them up, then planted out a whole bunch of different dwarf variety fruit trees.
We’ve got Peaches, Apricots, Cherries, Apples, Feijoas and Citrus.
They look amazing!
But there is one problem, plant containers can dry out quite quickly, and it can be a challenge to know whether the trees are getting enough water.
So, here’s a quick tip for how I solved this problem, and how you can too.
So that I could have a visual gauge of whether the tubs were wet enough, I underplanted the trees with Strawberry Plants.
Because in the Summer, when the trees need the most moisture, so do Strawberries, to flourish and fruit, so you’ll need to keep up with the watering. If your berries are growing and ripening nice and juicy, your trees will be good too.
And in the Winter, when most of the trees go into dormancy and need less water, Strawberries only need enough to keep their foliage happy, so as long as they are still green and alive, there should be enough water.
Which makes Strawberries kind of perfect for underplanting and using as a sight gauge for moisture levels.
Plus, they look pretty good, and you have even more edibles, growing with the other edibles.