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Help getting the best out of our strawberry planters please???

Hi all, I really hope That someone can help with our strawberry problem. As you can see we’ve got two really nice size strawberry planters with loads of strawberry bushes in that have been in a few years now and we get lots and lots of strawberries but I would say 95% of the crop always seem to get eaten/destroyed before we get to enjoy any of them.  They seem to get eaten from the bottom tip of the strawberry up to the stem that holds the berry. 
 
We think it is probably multiple problems, I am sure I have seen a mouse going into the planter one morning, birds dot in and out of there and we do get a lot of slugs in our garden.  Over the last couple of years we have just been too busy with babies to sort this problem but now we want to get the most out of the crop for goodness for the family.

If anyone can offer any advice then that would be wonderful as it is so frustrating to see all the big berries go to waste! 

Kind Regards
Dave

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,630
    edited March 2020
    Strawberry plants are at their most productive in their 2nd and 3rd years so I would think about removing all those plants carefully so you can save the younger ones.  Then beef up the soil in there with some well rotted manure and garden compost or old, spent compost with slow release fertiliser.

    Mix it all up, level it and water.   Then try covering it with either weed proof membrane or cardboard and then replant the best plants through individual holes.   As the plants grow and start to fruit, pack loose straw under the foliage to keep the fruits of damp surfaces.   

    Scatter a few wildlife friendly slug pellets to deal with the slimesters and maybe set a few mouse traps for rodents.  You could make a separate loose frame to fit the bins and stretch nylon netting across it to keep birds off but give you easy access.

    To keep a succession of healthy plants pot up some of the new runners they will make and grow them on but don't let them fruit this year.  Use them to replace the oldest plants each year so you keep replenishing your crop with new vigour.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • koyukanokoyukano Posts: 72
    4 Canes one in each corner of the frame with netting on top and pinned down at the edges onto nails inserted around the base (so that u can just stretch the netting off the pins when required and tag them back on to the nails again to secure) to protect from the rats and birds, if slugs were a big problem I would be tempted to put a galvanised spike strip around the base of the beds to deter slugs climbing up if the base of the beds. 

    I personally would just stick some netting on and see how that went this year. 
  • Brilliant thanks a million everyone for your advice, I will just try netting this year and see what happens. If they start getting eaten again I will add a mouse trap, then a slug trap and hopefully get to the bottom of it.
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