Strawberry Pyramids

Posted by Kitty Sharkey , Thursday, April 26, 2012 1:59 PM

After numerous requests over the past year, and following my Container Gardening class last Saturday for The Institute of Urban Homesteading, I've decided to post a pictorial instruction guide for my pyramid strawberry planters.  I didn't need to construct another one, so instead I deconstructed one of my existing boxes.  Truth be told, it's been three years since I built them.  It was time to empty them both out, amend the soil really well, and replant.

Tools:
  • Measuring tape
  • Square
  • Marker
  • Saw (preferably a circular saw, but a hand saw would work just fine)
  • Drill
  • Screw driver bit for drill
  • 1/4" drill bit
Materials:
Cutting Guide:
  • Board #1 = 2 pieces 18" long and 2 pieces 15" long
  • Board #2 = same as board #1
  • Board #3 = 4 pieces at 9" long and 2 pieces at 18" long
  • Board #4 = 2 pieces at 18" long + 36" left over for another use or a second pyramid
  • Split one of the 18" long pieces lengthwise into 2 pieces approximately 2-1/4" wide.  Don't worry about getting this exact as it won't be seen so it doesn't have to be perfect.
  • You should end up with the following:
    • 7 pieces 18" long x full width of board
    • 2 pieces 18" long by 1/2 width of board
    • 4 pieces 15" long
    • 4 pieces 9" long
Assembly:

I'm assuming some basic skills here, like how to screw two boards together and use a square to make sure the box isn't lopsided.  If you need help with this, I'm sure you can find a handy friend to lend hand (or even construct the entire thing for you).

1)  Build the bottom box.  This requires four 18" pieces for the sides, and three 18" pieces for the bottom.

2)  Add the two 18" long strips to the bottom to help with drainage.  Drill several 1/4" drainage holes on each bottom board.  Although it's not shown in the picture, now is a good time to put a strip of Corry's Slug and Snail Copper Tape Barrier all the way around the bottom of the box

3)  Assemble the first riser using four 15" pieces.  Offset each board so that the part hanging out is 3" long.

4)  Assemble the second riser using four 9" pieces.  Again, offset each board so that the part hanging out is 3" long.

5)  This picture shows the placement of the first riser on the bottom box.

6)  This picture shows the placement of the second riser.
7) And this is what it should look like once it's built.
8) Place the bottom box in the location that you want the pyramid to be.  Fill the bottom box full of soil.  Tamp it down a little bit, but don't compact it.
9)  Place the first riser on top of the bottom box as shown and fill it with soil.
10)  Place the second riser on top of the first one as shown and fill it with soil.
11)  Plant 3 strawberries on each side of the bottom box, 2 strawberries on each side of the middle tier, and 2 strawberries in the top.  Alternately, as long as you add a support cage or some type of trellising you can plant one determinate tomato plant in the top as I did.
12)  Water regularly at all levels when the soil starts to dry out.  The plants will fill in nicely and most of the berries will hang over the edges rather than lay in the dirt.

TA DA!!!!  That's it!  A simple, elegant, space saving solution for growing strawberries.

12 Response to "Strawberry Pyramids"

FARMcurious Says:

I love this idea - thanks so much for sharing it!

Lynne Says:

LOVE it! I have sent this post to my boyfriend so we can build some in his yard next year!

Anonymous Says:

What else could be planted in the strawberry pyramids?we rent so when we do move we want to be able to take with......

Anonymous Says:

Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Gordon Says:

To the person who wanted to know what else could be planted: How about Bush Beans. You will need wider tiers and a larger base. I'm going to give it a try next year.

Anonymous Says:

I just pinned this to pintreset hope you dont mind

Mrs. Loritz Says:

Awesome and I think it is easy enough for my son to build one for me. THANKS for sharing!

Anonymous Says:

Thanks built two to start our garden.

Anonymous Says:

love the idea, second year of strawberries DO too...thank you

SJ Smith Says:

Beautiful idea! I have trouble growing strawberries. Desert heat & water evaporates so quickly, bugs and animals get crop before we do. I love this though. I think it might be just what we need here.

Anonymous Says:

Built one for my Mom this year, she's 85 and has always had a HUGE garden until 3 years ago because of surgery. She really missed it until now, with a few of these and some tomatoes and green peppers in pot she back in business. Thanks a lot!

Kitty Sharkey Says:

So happy folks are finding this post inspirational and useful in so many ways. Love love LOVE that an 85 year old woman can garden again.

What can you grow besides strawberries? They make awesome herb towers. If you add a little support structure of some kind (sticks, bamboo, tomato cage at top) then the options are endless. Just keep in mind the root depth of the plants you want to grow.

Some examples for any level:
Bush Beans
Bush Peas
Radishes
Leaf Lettuce

Top level ideas:
Determinate Tomato (I've grown cherry tomatoes!)
Swiss Chard
Kale
Collards (Ooooh! A tree collard?)

Okay - Now I'm getting inspired. With winter coming on, I think I'm going to try a multiple crop box. Lettuce on the bottom, bush beans and/or peas in the middle using bamboo sticks to provide a little extra support / structure, and either chard or a tree collard on top.