Living Picture Frames - HowTo Guide

Title: Living Picture Frames - HowTo Guide
Episode: 2
TX: 8/3/14
Presenter: Trevor.

If ever you wanted to grow a crop of strawberries and not be impacted by snails and slugs this is the best way to go. Growing strawberries in the ground leaves them vulnerable to all kinds of pests that spoil fruit before you can enjoy it. There are a lot of ways to grow strawberries in the ground but all require treatments for pests and my goal is to grow these succulent fruit chemical free, hence the living wall concept. Here is what you need to do to achieve it!

  • Grab some 50mm wire mesh.
  • Cut it to a size that suits and then cut an identical piece so you can sandwich them together.
  • You’ll need weed mat, it is cable tied to the back of the frame, and this will hold the soil in.
  • And then there is the aforementioned soil. Coco peat is great to use; it comes in a block but when mixed with water, it expands into the most fantastic potting medium for these kinds of frames because it holds between 4 and 6 times its weight in water ensuring plants stay moist longer.
  • Possibly the most important issue here is watering; a micro irrigation system is added into the frame to be linked to polytube irrigation piping afterwards for automated watering when your irrigation system comes on.
  • The pipe should be laid from end to end across the coco peat and then dug in.
  • The top frame is laid across the compressed coco peat soil and cable tied down on either side of the frame to completely sandwich the soil in..
  • Have the frame which is 50mm deep packed with richly nutritious potting soil ready to go and plant out.
  • It is always good to use strawberry runners from a virus indexed source but you might find you will have a lot of plants coming from your own mother plants you can use. Cut holes into the pockets planting every third square or 150mm apart.
  • The frame should be planted until full and then watered in using Seasol to settle the new plants into their new home.
  • They will only take a couple of weeks before taking off and looking amazing. They will produce some fruit between now and winter but come late winter the crops will be enormous.