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strawberries get eaten if touch ground

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strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  kauairosina on 1/20/2014, 1:43 am

I have a four by eight raised bed (to my waist) that is now covered in strawberry plants.  Other than lifting each strawberry onto leaves so it does not touch the ground and get nibbled at by whatever is down there, does anyone have another idea?   I'm wondering about straw but think it might give the eaters a hideaway.
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  camprn on 1/20/2014, 6:24 am

Yes, a fluffed straw mulch would work well to lift the berries away from the ground.

http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/extn_pub/fruitpubs/Strawberries%20for%20the%20Home%20Garden%20-Oahu%20County%20Leaflet%20No.%2019.pdf

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/higard/msg120427497841.html

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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  yolos on 1/20/2014, 8:18 pm

@camprn wrote:Yes, a fluffed straw mulch would work well to lift the berries away from the ground.

http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/extn_pub/fruitpubs/Strawberries%20for%20the%20Home%20Garden%20-Oahu%20County%20Leaflet%20No.%2019.pdf

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/higard/msg120427497841.html

I was told by an old time gardener that you should put STRAW under the berries, that is why they are called STRAWberries.  Don't know if that is true or not.
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strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  kauairosina on 1/20/2014, 8:32 pm

Thanks Yolo, that's one I never heard.  Gonna get that straw under them tomorrow morning.
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  walshevak on 1/20/2014, 11:51 pm

Commercial growers use a black plastic mulch to keep the berries off the soil.

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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  plantoid on 1/22/2014, 5:18 pm

@kauairosina wrote:Thanks Yolo, that's one I never heard.  Gonna get that straw under them tomorrow morning.


The straw not only makes it uncomfortable for slugs and snail when it's dry it also helps reflect the light & heat back  under the plants to ripen shaded fruits .


 If the slugs aren't slugs but turn out to be small mice eating your strawbs use break neck mouse traps set inside tubes made from clear  Soda pop bottles with the ends cut off  laid & pegged onto  the ground so you don't get any birds or pets. You will soon see if the trap has been sprung . Always reset the trap if you make a catch for they're will likely be zillions more in the extended mouse family .
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re straw vs shavings

Post  kauairosina on 1/22/2014, 5:37 pm

My straw was getting funky and difficult to put under strawberries so I used the pine shavings that we use for the chickens.  The berries sure look pretty on their nests.  We'll see how this works.
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  plantoid on 1/22/2014, 5:45 pm

Sounds a reasonable substitute , can you post any pictures of them on the site please?


Last edited by plantoid on 1/22/2014, 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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posting pictures

Post  kauairosina on 1/22/2014, 5:47 pm

Would love to but I do not know yet how to post to this site.
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  plantoid on 1/22/2014, 5:52 pm

Putting pictures on site ,
Click on the word " Home " at the left hand side of the green headings line which is towards the  top of this page .

Look into the fourth subject down the list  .... " How to "

it is in there .
 If you have a printer print it off.



 There may be another  days wait to fulfil the mandatory 5 day waiting period for newcomers before you can post a picture  . I say this because I've just noticed your recent joining date
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  sanderson on 1/22/2014, 9:34 pm

Plain wood chips.  ??
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  malefacter on 1/22/2014, 10:23 pm

carefull pine will slowly acidify your soil
 you may want to scratch around for cut worms they hang out just under the soil and will eat berries
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  donnainzone5 on 1/23/2014, 12:53 pm

I wouldn't worry about pine straw acidifying the soil.

First, it takes a very long time to decompose. Secondly, I understand that fully decomposed pine needles have little remaining acidity. And third, strawberries like slightly acidic soil.
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  camprn on 1/23/2014, 7:29 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:I wouldn't worry about pine straw acidifying the soil.

First, it takes a very long time to decompose.  Secondly, I understand that fully decomposed pine needles have little remaining acidity.  And third, strawberries like slightly acidic soil.  
+1

I used pine straw on my strawberry beds. All is well.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  grownsunshine on 4/7/2014, 3:22 pm

I had a few strawberries I was letting get nice and ripe. Went back a couple of days later and they were eaten. No evidence left, no small morsel hanging off the plan. I know I have squirrels, mice, lizards and probably other possible culprits. I have to make a cover for that box. It's nice to do a search and see what it could be that's eating them and what I need to so. Thanks for the info everyone.

Question - I was going to put up a chicken wire fence, but mice can easily get through the holes. Do you think the culprit is mice and should I use the type of wire with smaller holes like the type used for sifting worm compost?

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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/7/2014, 3:30 pm

I use a mulch of mixed wood chips 2-3 inches thick.  These aren't bark chips, but the kind of wood that's been chipped from small branches w leaves and needles on them.

I had great success with my strawberries not being eaten last year except occasionally by pill bugs so I use Sluggo Plus each month and am getting them under control.
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  southern gardener on 4/7/2014, 3:34 pm

@grownsunshine wrote:I had a few strawberries I was letting get nice and ripe. Went back a couple of days later and they were eaten. No evidence left, no small morsel hanging off the plan. I know I have squirrels, mice, lizards and probably other possible culprits. I have to make a cover for that box. It's nice to do a search and see what it could be that's eating them and what I need to so. Thanks for the info everyone.

Question - I was going to put up a chicken wire fence, but mice can easily get through the holes. Do you think the culprit is mice and should I use the type of wire with smaller holes like the type used for sifting worm compost?
A couple of months ago I posted a thread about making some covers out of hardware cloth. If you do a search I'm sure you can find it. I gave step-by-step instructions along with some pretty decent pictures. Let me know if you can't find it, I would be glad to help you up. I am on my phone so have limited access right now
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  sanderson on 4/7/2014, 3:39 pm

SG, It would be great if you could locate and post the name of the thread with your photos. Or bump it so Newbies can see them. The thing is, topics don't always stay on the original subject and only the photo poster can possibly remember in which topic the photos might have been posted. Thanks  Very Happy 
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  southern gardener on 4/7/2014, 4:53 pm

I found it!! boy was it buried!!  It's in "Moved our Beds" page #3.  Here is the link.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t16843p30-moved-our-beds

If someone wants to make a thread of it, it's ok with me. or I can if it's OK.  I've had a lot of people ask me about these. They're so easy to make, long lasting, you can water through them, see what's going on, the bees can get through also.

Good luck!!
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  sanderson on 4/7/2014, 4:57 pm

A separate topic would be nice, something like "durable critter cages for SFG boxes." I made one for Gwennifer's table tops because I think they are so attractive but smallish. Great for patios.
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  GWN on 4/7/2014, 5:32 pm

I used the wood chips like Audrey around my strawberries and it not only kept the critters away, it kept them very clean. So that when it rained (or watering)  there was not dirt all over the strawbs  
I did use straw for a few years, but I really preferred the chips. MORE DURABLE
OH and one thing about the straw.... it came from a farm up in the hills near here and oddly enough, we got Morel mushrooms in there the following year that I think were a transfer with the straw... BONUS
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eaten strawberries

Post  kauairosina on 4/7/2014, 6:05 pm

I have the same thing happening to my strawberries.  The evidence points to little slug like varmints that hover under the leaves and probably in the ground.  I am going to put more pine shavings down but if the strawberry is isolated from the ground they are just fine.
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  GWN on 4/7/2014, 6:29 pm

You know the odd thing that gets mine in the summer, that is WASPS.... so weird.
But I also have those tiny slugs that seem to do more damage than the larger ones.
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  TxGramma on 4/7/2014, 7:26 pm

Birds love them too. The ends of my strawberries were being eaten as they ripened and then I caught the culprit one morning. As I was enjoying just relaxing and looking at the garden I saw the prettiest red bird walking around in my strawberry box just waltz over and help itself to nibbles of my sweet, juicy strawberries. As long as they don't eat too many I share but if they do like they are my figs and eat them all then it's time to cover them up.
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Re: strawberries get eaten if touch ground

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/7/2014, 8:01 pm

I wouldn't mind sharing crops so much if the critters could just eat one or two, not take little bites from a different dozen each day.
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