When we lived in a suburban setting I long fantasized about having the space to have my dream alpine strawberry bed. This year it occurred to me it was the perfect thing to put in near the fruit orchard, where it wasn’t feasible to put in “normal” crops due to being so near the well head. I needed a crop that didn’t need fertilizers on a regular basis, if ever. Strawberries and herbs? Perfect.
And while we have a bunch of plants near the blueberry bed, they barely produce enough to satisfy the boys!
Walker happily picking berries.
(Side note: Sitting in the middle of that large bed had been 4 wooden pallets with 150+ alpine strawberry plants, growing just for the project)
Some of the other bed near the blueberry bushes. The robins love to get in there.
Kirk plowed up the land with the tractor.
Once done it was time to start rocking, and we pulled out many big rocks and as always a ton of small ones.
Using landscaping fabric, we laid out the bed. While pinned lengthwise, we used rocks to ensure no tripping on the edges, and to keep any fabric flying down.
The boys working on rock picking, from all the ones tossed to the side.
The first things to go in were Victoria and Rhaptonic Rhubarb plants on two sides. These did not need to be behind a fence.
Based on how the deer treat the strawberries (they seem to ignore them mostly), to save money I put in a 3 foot high fence, with stakes going up to 7 feet high, zip tied on. We then strung garden twine along the stakes, which gives the illusion of a higher fence. Your mileage may vary of course, and if you have larger deer that are aggressive just use full fencing!
The first plants going in.
The first five rows nearly completion.
First five rows done. On the left we put in a row of four varieties of lavender we grew from seed. Second row in is two types of basil, sage, and more. In the front are six Helichrysm plants.
A lot of hard work, but worth it.
We added two more rows, bringing it up to seven rows. There is room for two more rows to go in. I will be adding in more herbs on the right side as I have time.
There is 17 varieties of alpine strawberry plants (all are random, for a fun berry picking experience).
- 217 strawberry plants
- 20 lavender plants
- 14 basil plants (cinnamon and blue spice)
- 6 helichrysum plants
- 5 sage plants
- 6 oregano plants
- 2 thyme plants
- 21 rhubarb plants