How to Modify Strawberry Topsy Turvy





Introduction: How to Modify Strawberry Topsy Turvy

About: Just a normal guy trying to make it in life .Good paying job but mindless sometimes .I enjoy making things in my garage to keep my mind going .. Its fun making something new but its more fun taking somethi...

.This picture shows the first time i used a Topsy Turvy. It didn't grow any Strawberry's that i could really eat .I started realizing a few things as the growing season went along. The first thing i noticed was  as the season went on the soil on the bottom of the Turvy got really  hard and compacted .Even though i used very good  soil with peat moss and miracle grow to help, it still would get compacted.
 So as i watered it .The water would only  get  down to about half way down the Topsy Turvy  So not all the plants were getting food and water .So i got a idea and this is how it all worked out .

Step 1: Feeding Tube Drawing

This is a drawing of the feeding tube i made to  held feed the strawberries in  a  Topsy  Turvy..

Step 2: Cutting the Feeding Tube

Picture #1 shows  me cutting a piece of 1 1/2 pvc tubing 21 inches long..
#2 and #3 shows me putting a mark every 1 1/2  inches all around the tube.

Step 3: Drilling and Capping the Tube

1st pic Shows drilling all the holes with a 1/8 inch drill bit .
2nd  and 3rd pic shows gluing a 1 1/2 end cap to plug the end of the tube.
4th pic shows it all finished and ready to insert into the Topsy turvy.

Step 4: Inserting the Tube to Finish the Job.

 I inserted the tube into the Topsy Turvy and filled  it with  soil . Now all the plants can get the proper water and nutrients it needs to grow Yummy and plump strawberries!



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    29 Discussions

    Few questions.. I bought a topsy a few years back, only has the one hole.. can slits be cut into to it for more plants or should I just buy new ones?.. I really wanna try the strawberries.. Now I know tomatoes can be grown all year round, indoors, due to they don't need bees to pollinate them, so question is, do strawberry plants need bees?.. I have very sunny south windows so sun for growing isn't an issue.. I see kits now for topsy that come with the plants..( has them) Do these grow well or buying plants from a nursery better off?..

    I found this instructable last year and I am a week or so away from making it. Any last minute comments/advice?

    1 reply

    This is one I'm going to do and also tell my next-door neighbor,
    as the squirrels have been having a feast on ours.

    2 replies

    Thank you so much for this as I have a mainly square foot garden and am expanding but need all the space saving ideas I can get. Think I'll start adding a units though I'm not sure for what yet. I grow strawberries so now I can share more.
    Thank you all for your ideas too. I'm just getting into using a couple of shop tools again and not fond of power tools but guess that drill and saw use is closer with these ideas. Retired but not retired from learning.
    Thanks folks.

    I'm so excited for this instructable . I just checked the views .I got 2800 views just today alone !!! he he he he he I feel like a little kid in a candy store!! I wish there was a way to tell exactly where all the views come from......

    Good idea!
    However, I found that the "Topsy Turvey" plastic soil container degraded after one year's use. I am keeping the parts to make one out of treated canvas or something sturdier than the plastic stuff they are made from. I am sure part of the problem is that I live in the high desert sort of area...111 or more in Summer and full sun and dry. Plastic Buckets didn't work either...they crumble from the sun exposure. Oh well, I keep trying new we all should, eh?

    7 replies

    I think the best advise for this no matter where you live is to used a fabric of some kind that will let the access water out and most importantly all plants need to breath and get oxygen also.......

    thanks coolbeansbaby68- Yes drainage and oxygenated roots are important, yes. Plants do well in plastic as long as they can drain. they don't like sunlight on the roots, or overheated roots, hence my comment on white or light coloured duct tape and containers.

    Another thing I was going to do an intructable on was putting grommets around the top of a turned inside out and folded at the top Dog Food Bag. I put a heavy screen in the bottom to permit drainage thru holes cut in the Bag "fabric", then hung it from the grommets by rope to the eaves. Worked great, grew Tomatoes fine (used sponges for the tomatoes to keep the soil in and all). However, this only lasted 2 years in the sun.

    That stuff (dog food bags) can last-I filled dog food bags with dirt and used them to make a levee of sorts that has lasted over 5 years. The fabric in this use was only in partial sun, however.

    Hey Nick, they're not the cheapest, but have worked well for me, the "UV resistant" black plastic buckets from Grainger that have lasted me for years (though I'm in not as extreme conditions, same summer temps, but never too dry,)

    Thanks lordzamiel. I will check into them. I had food-grade buckets around-they don't take the UV well!

    Mine degraded too, so I wrapped them with white duct tape and now I'm on my third year... Duct tape them while they are still full of soil at the end of the first summer. ~ worked for me ~

    Fantastic solution to this problem. We use something like this when we plant fruit trees. Use a 2" PVC tube about 3 feet long, but don't cap the end. Bury it when you plant the tree leaving about a foot sticking out of the ground. To water the tree, just fill up the tube, and the water goes to the roots, not just the surface of the ground. You can cap the end that's out of the ground to keep out debris between watering. Just don't glue it. You want to be able to take it off to water.

    1 reply