By Jack Burton
The Topsy-Turvey planter is a commercial product that is advertised extensively on television. The marketing promises an easy way to grow a variety of vegetables, fruits and other edible plants by hanging them upside down in a specially made sack. It was an immediate success when it came out and has since sold millions of units both directly and in stores. Setting up a Topsy-Turvey strawberry planter is easy but the location should have full sunshine.
Open the top of the sack and full it with a mixture of half potting soil, half compost and 1/2 cup of all-purpose vegetable fertilizer to the fill line. Shake the bag downwards to remove any air pockets and refill it as necessary. Strawberries grow best in soil that has a large amount of organic material and are heavy feeders requiring high levels of nutrients, according to the Purdue University Extension.
Insert the roots of the strawberry plants through the slits in the bag until the fleshy part of the plant just touches the soil.
Hang the sack with the supplied hardware on a sturdy, well-connected hook. The bag is quite heavy so ensure that the hook can bear the weight of the soil and the water.
Water the plant by filling a plastic 1-gallon milk jug and pouring it into the top opening. The sack looses water rapidly from dehydration so it must be watered frequently, even as much as every day during hot, sunny days. After the first month, add 1 tsp. of liquid fertilizer designed for strawberries to the water.
Pinch the first flowers from the plants to encourage stronger growth.
The best fruiting will come in the second and subsequent years.