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My poor strawberries

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My poor strawberries

Post  sjbutts on 5/30/2013, 8:24 am

Something is eating my strawberries. I have them growing but as soon as they are look close to being ripe I go back and they are eaten. One problem I have read is I need to cover the ground so the fruit doen't sit on the soil. What do I cover it with mulch? What do I do to save my precious berries?
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Re: My poor strawberries

Post  camprn on 5/30/2013, 8:54 am

A lot of folks find straw (not hay) a good thing as mulch under strawbs. As to the pilfered fruit, netting may be your friend. Good luck.

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Re: My poor strawberries

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/30/2013, 12:08 pm

What a bummer! Easy enough to remedy though. I use pine needles under my berries and netting laid on top. You could also use sheer curtains or tulle if you have some.



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Re: My poor strawberries

Post  littlejo on 5/30/2013, 3:41 pm

If it's hunks out of the berries, then it's prob. birds, but, soft spots or small holes/bad spots, it's prob snails/slugs, with roly pollies and pill bugs and milipedes, which finish them off. I put bird netting over the bed, and finally got some sluggo plus, which has really worked. I was worried about the sluggo near the berries, so I put it down under the mulch.
The bugs/snails were so bad and so smart. I put the sluggo plus in the beds, so the bugs and snails crawled up the outside of the box, and got to the strawberries hanging over the edge. I had to sprinkle the sluggo all around the outside of the boxes too.
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Re: My poor strawberries

Post  llama momma on 5/30/2013, 3:52 pm

Mine is a table top.
Last summer I noticed ants all around some chewed-looking berries that were touching Mel's Mix. Did the ants cause it or move in after something else attacked? Or when the berries touched the soil and rot set in were the ants attracted? I don't know for sure.

So I used pine straw all last winter and refreshed with more this Spring. The results of using pine needles is like night and day. The ripened berries are sitting dry and pretty on top of the pine straw. So far there is zero berry damage and no ants either. I'm guessing the ants moved in last year when they got a whiff of the tiniest rot on a few berries. (?)
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Re: My poor strawberries

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/30/2013, 3:58 pm

I read, in Mother Earth News I think, that soft bodied creatures like slugs don't like pine needles. Could be true as I haven't had a problem with them.

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Re: My poor strawberries

Post  sjbutts on 5/30/2013, 9:02 pm

Thanks so much! I will be off to buy pine needle tomorrow.
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Re: My poor strawberries

Post  llama momma on 5/30/2013, 9:54 pm

sjbutts wrote:Thanks so much! I will be off to buy pine needle tomorrow.
Do you have a local park nearby? You could ask the ranger or naturalist if you can take some. Free is always best.
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Re: My poor strawberries

Post  littlejo on 5/30/2013, 10:18 pm

I think there are different species of slugs/snails. My berries are beneath a pine tree, plenty of needles. Seems like mine 'love' pine needles. One thing I've learned, pick berries, then water. Ripe berries will rot quickly when wet.

Mine are plain snails, not 'hot pink".
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