Strawberries in stock tank

Debbie Polson
by Debbie Polson
I want to know if anyone has had good luck creating a strawberry bed in a stock tank. I'm in western CO and the ever present bind weed seems to invade on the ground level no matter WHAT I do. We have old tanks that were, get this, used for stock water, that now have holes in the bottom. Any advice or opinions would be really great!
  8 answers
  • Leona G Leona G on Jan 31, 2015
    Haven't tried this but I would think since you already have drainage you could set the tanks where you have access to water and then fill with sterile soil, (No weed seeds) and plant your strawberry plants. You might want to check with your extension office to find the best strawberries to grow in your area. I would plant them in two rows on the outside edge of the tank and as they put out runners put those into the center area. When I lived in a zone 7 area the plants over wintered so I would be able to have ample plants the following year and didn't have to buy more plants. Your first year plants are good for at least 2 seasons. Good luck
  • Debbie Polson Debbie Polson on Jan 31, 2015
    Thanks so much, and I'm hoping they will overwinter here as well as we rarely fall below 0.
  • Dave- Birch Dave- Birch on Jan 31, 2015
    I have and it works great. The biggest thing is to find something to fill most of the space and then top with a foot (?) of good top soil or garden soil. If I were to do it again, I would put straw bales in the bottom, crushed up paper bags or anything that will decompose in the cracks and then top off with garden soil. When the "filler" decomposes, you have to dig your plants, add more soil and replant your strawberries. It works really well, but you do have to water excessively until you get the straw-bale filler moist. We are located in NE Missouri, but we do get a really cold spells in winter from time to time. If it stays frigid for too long, sometimes they have not wintered over. My guess is placing straw bales around the outside of the tank and a thick layer of straw over the top of the tank, they would probably make it OK.
  • Debbie Polson Debbie Polson on Jan 31, 2015
    Thanks Dave. I did think that I would put straw at the bottom of the tank. It should help with drainage and be something that can decompose to add nutrients.
  • Debra Debra on Feb 01, 2015
    Only thing is, as your bottom layer decomposes, the soil level will sink. There's quite a bit of air in a bale of straw. My mother-in-law, in Oklahoma, had someone build her a strawberry 'table'. It was a shallow box on legs. The berries had maybe 6 inches of soil in which to grow. I didn't think it would work, but she had oodles of berries! Come to find out most varieties of them are rather shallow rooted. So you could probably fill the bottom of your tub with sand for good drainage or whatever drains well and is cheaper and save the good organically enriched soil for the top foot or so. I bet you have oodles of berries too!
  • Dorothy Collett Dorothy Collett on Feb 01, 2015
    Concrete blocks or rock, old fence panels cut to fit, and landscape cloth would work to raise up your bed in the stock tank. I would use a foot of soil mix with moisture retaining ingredients to get through the drought of summer with out to much watering. Another consideration is how to pick the middle of the tank that is beyond your reach of three feet. Don't plant there but use for runners and new first year plants. Move these the next year to fill in gaps at the edge or to a new bed.
  • Carole Alden Carole Alden on Feb 01, 2015
    I used tractor tires but I wanted a stock tank for sun flowers but never lucky enough to get an extra one. Tin cans might work for fill at bottom.
  • Toni Van Meter Toni Van Meter on Jul 05, 2017

    I just filled my stock tank with dirt. Ready to plant my strawberry plants for next years harvest. Middle of tank is reserved for perennial flowers..can't reach middle for berries.