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How do I protect my strawberries?

(11 Posts)
hippipotamiHasLost29Pounds Sat 30-May-09 11:39:04

Novice gardener here. I have 9 strawberry plants just coming into fruit. [very excited!]
Went to Wisley gardens last weekend and they have their strawberries in 'cages' with straw on the floor and netting over the top.
I have none of that.

Sooo, a bit of reading reveals the strawberries need to stay off the soil - hence the straw I guess. But then I read (on MN) that straw can encourage mice. We have the odd mouse in the house so they are most likely in the garden too.
What to do, what to do?

Teh netting I assume is to deter birds? But what about wasps, we have a lot of wasps and bees and they will make their way through the netting anyway won't they?

[plans a locked fort surrounding the strawberries with armed guards]

What do you do to protect yours?
(if anything)

Fillyjonk Sat 30-May-09 14:55:18

I use fleece

seems to work ok. Shouldn't work though-should stop ripening-less sun. But does, which is the main thing.

I use cardboard to protect strawberries, and 400000000 beer traps. Had a lot of sucess with bran round plamts last year.

hippipotamiHasLost29Pounds Sat 30-May-09 15:45:21

Thank you smile

ChasingSquirrels Sat 30-May-09 15:50:25

they don't need to stay of the floor, just stops them getting muddy (and rotting - depending on the weather I suppose).
My parents have much more problems with birds getting in, therefore have to net all their beds, but don't have any protection on the floor.

hippipotamiHasLost29Pounds Sat 30-May-09 20:32:45

Brilliant, thanks CS.
According to dh birds will be an issue, much more so than wasps or mice, so will head out to buy some netting tomorrow. Dh has knocked up a wooden frame for said net. smile

snorkle Sat 30-May-09 20:59:03

slugs are the other reason to keep them off the floor.

candyfluff Sat 30-May-09 21:46:19

i use straw underneath them to keep them off the soil and some slug pellets around

ChasingSquirrels Sat 30-May-09 23:44:34

didn't think of slugs, we don't have much of a problem with them here, certainly not on the strawberries. But this is East Anglia and pretty dry.
Wasps/bees don't appear to be a problem.
Went round to pick my mum up to go shopping at lunch time and had a walk round the garden/allotment with my dad. Strawberries nearly ready and managed to find a couple which were just about ready.
Sun-warmed just ripe strawberries - om nom nom.

TubOfLardWithInferiorRange Sun 31-May-09 01:35:57

I have a pretty big raised bed of berries-I keep a layer of rocks under them with periwinkle. Over them we have a hockey goal net and a lacrosse goal net. I didn't really plan it that way but worked with what I had and the berries seem to thrive-I live in a very dry climate as well-but do have slugs in other parts of the garden-mostly those with mulch.

hippipotamiHasLost29Pounds Sun 31-May-09 11:05:25

Love the hockey and lacrosse nets - sadly don't think we have any of those...

What is the advantage of periwinkle under the strawberries? What does it do? [ignorant novice emoticon]

TubOfLardWithInferiorRange Sun 31-May-09 16:03:16

Someday you may have giant goal nets lying about and you'll need a place to put them! When we moved into this house there were just beds of rocks everywhere with some beds covered in periwinkle. So I took out the periwinkle and removed the rocks, prepared the soil, put in strawberries, and put a light layer of rocks back. The periwinkle came back though over the years-so I probably didn't do a great job of digging it all out. I would think the two plants would compete with each other but they don't seem to-the berries stay clean and really thrive. Maybe I can get a picture together. hmm

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