For the last month I have been taking advantage of our mild winter weather here on the westcoast, and have reconstructed several garden beds. Uppermost in my mind, was which bed to designate as the new strawberry bed. Every third year I have two beds for strawberries-the new crop and the final year of the old crop. I am already challenged for space so having two strawberry beds puts a squeeze on the demand for beds.  Anyway, for months now I have been looking online at examples of alternative ways to grow strawberries. While I like the idea of growing strawberries in gutters or long narrow raised boxes, I just don’t see how the plant can grow vigorously that way without a lot of inputs and frequent watering. Also, how do you net them?  Not netting is not an option here. I was also quite drawn to the tiered style of growing strawberries. There are some great ideas out there but I struggled to think how I could fit a tiered bed into my garden.   I looked at the two remaining beds that were on my ‘reconstruct’ list. These beds are snugged up against a stone embankment and I thought,  maybe.

After dismantling one of the raised beds and part of the adjoining one, I built the main level of the new strawberry bed with stones, which I am increasingly using for my beds as we have an abundance of them. Then I constructed two additional levels made out of 2 x 8 lumber. I love it! I think the bed is going to work just great. There’s tons of soil and compost in the bed and it’s not too high so hopefully won’t dry out too quickly. I do only grow june bearing strawberries because the spring rains are generally reliable and when the rains stop, the strawberries’ water needs are also greatly reduced. Admittedly, this bed will probably only hold 40 plants which is not quite enough to put 25 pounds of berries into the freezer,  so in the fall I will take one of my smaller beds, tier it as well and plant it up then.  So off to the nursery now to get some strawberry starts.tiered strawberry bed1, gabriola

tiered strawberry bed2, gabriola

tiered strawberry bed3, gabriola

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