How to Grow Food In a Greenhouse: Planting Strawberries in Gutters

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Yesterday’s forecast called for rain off and on all day, so I decided to go ahead and install the second set of greenhouse gutters.  The first set I installed a few weeks ago went well, so  I decided I might as well go ahead and install a few more.

After the gutters were in place I filled them with 1/4″ of pea gravel.

Then I added moistened potting soil.

I ended up planting 65 strawberry plants in 40′ of galvanized gutters.  I think it will be interesting to see if there is a difference in the yield of berries I am able to harvest from inside the greenhouse vs the ones I planted outside the other day.

I have 1 more “berry project” on my list I’m going to try and complete this week, and after it’s finished I’ll be on berry maintenance mode until the end of June.

Can you feel it?  Spring is almost here.

Totally Strawberries Cookbook

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Comments

  1. Mavis, I am loving your blog. But I can’t find an “about you” tab or anything and both my mother-in-law and I are curious…how many are you trying to feed for $100.00 a month? I am still trying to wrap my mind around 120 tomato plants!

    • 2 adults and 2 teenagers. :) 120 plants… Ha Ha Ha. I can’t wait for summer. Maybe I’m a little crazy to plant so many, but you never know if they are all going to make it or not. :)

  2. Mavis, how deep are the gutters that you installed? 4″ or 5″? I’d like to install some in my greenhouse to grow strawberries, but I am worried about them being too shallow.
    I love your blog, I love reading your posts, thanks for sharing!
    Heather

    • They are 4″ gutters. At first I thought it was a bit shallow too, but the company I bought the greenhouse from had them installed in theirs and they grow just fine. You’ll just have to remember to snip the runners. :)

  3. and where did you get your greenhouse? More info please:)

    Love our blog and all the information you have been sharing. Thanks!

  4. I love this idea! I’m thinking of putting strawberry gutters on the end of my house, beside my greenhouse instead of inside the greenhouse- hoping that maybe the rain will help reduce the maintenance.

    I’ve enjoyed seeing how you’ve got your greenhouse situated. We’re working on getting ours all set up (finally got a real roof on our greenhouse-from-salvaged-windows this week), and your layout if my favorite so far!! Thank you so much for sharing all of these beautiful pictures!! :)

  5. Kinda late to ask this but what kind of strawberry plants do you use?

    • Tri-star strawberries are my favorite. They sell them at Fred Meyer around March/April or you can order them online through Rain Tree Nursery.

  6. I have seen other tutorials for this, did you not put any drainage holes in the gutters?? I’m assuming you substituted the pea gravel instead for drainage? Also, with this method you snip ALL the runners and rely on the original plant only for berries?
    Thanks, Melinda

  7. So no drain holes just the pea gravel. What are the chances of too much water? Mine will have drain holes as it will be outdoors. Could you capture the runners into another pot and when they root then snip them for another strawberry plant? Unless of course you have enough plants and don’t need them. I was thinking of trying some radishes and lettuce in gutters as well.
    How did your Strawberries make out last year? or is this the year for fruit?
    Thanks for posting and sharing!
    Tim

    • There were plenty of berries last year, I just planted them too close together. :) Let me know how yours turn out.

  8. How did you pollenate the strawberries in a greenhouse? Did you have to do it by hand or was there a way for bees to get into the greenhouse?

  9. HELP!!! I planted my bareroot strawberries in my gutters 3 weeks ago and they still look dormant/dead. Any advice?

  10. Melissa says:

    Great idea. I have a few questions about carring the palnts through to another growing season… Did you cut the plants back once they finished producing or wait for winter? Also, how well did they winter over in the greenhouse, did you water them throughout? Any other tips?

  11. Word OF Advise If You Are Planting These Outside On A Fence, Water, Water, Water! I Love My Gutter Berries, They Are So Easy, But They Have To Be Watered Daily! Since The Gutters Do Not Have Too Much Depth They Dry Out Very Fast. But I Would Not Hanged Them For The World!

  12. What do you do in the winter for the gutter Strawberries? Do they make it to next season?

    • Mavis Butterfield says:

      You can leave them in there and they’ll do fine or transplant them to the garden. I’ve done both. :)

      • I live in Fairbanks, Alaska. I have a small greenhouse frame at the house that I just bought and I’ve been thinking of growing strawberries in it this summer. We get really cold here in the winter. Sometimes as low as 50 below zero. Do you know if there are any very VERY hearty plants that would last through the winter? I plan on making my gutters removable so I can place them on the ground and cover them with a blanket or sheet or something like that during the winter. But I think a hearty plant would be the best idea. I just don’t know enough about strawberries to know what varieties are good and what are bad. I just know enough to know that I love eating them and making jam!

      • Darl Salisbury says:

        If I set up a strawberry gutter system outside will it be ok to leave the plants in the gutter over the winter. The temps can get down to wind chill -20 sometimes. I live in north Missouri.

        • Although strawberries are pretty hardy, that’s pretty cold. They won’t survive on their own, but you can insulate them to help them survive. A mulch of straw or pine needles 3-4 inches thick should be sufficient.

  13. i love this idea and have incorporated it into my own greenhouse. we are getting a little bit of mold, im assuming from overwaytering ( the kids love to water) any suggestions to removing the mold. i have just scooped it out of the dirt and replaced with drier dirt for absorption… i also used the pea gravel and soil.

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