Strawberry Plants and Fruit bushes - weed control
I have a few raised beds ( old pallet collars) which I have planted some fruit bushes in - Gooseberries, Currants and some rhubarb. I also have some raspberry and blackberry canes too, running along the fence.
The problem that I have is that the slugs and birds seem to get most of the strawberries and the every cat in the neighbourhood seems to see my raised beds as the local toilets, which means that the kids cant go and pick the fruit as I am worried they will stand in cat mess.
I was wondering if I could put some weed control fabric down and spread some gravel over the top, this would hopefully stop the weeds and might deter the cats and the slugs etc. I don't want to use Slug pellets or chemicals but I really need a solution which will be safe and effective.
I did try bark chippings last year but the strawberries didnt seem to like them and l lost a few plants and did not get many strawberries. I wonder if I put gravel round them would they rot?
Any advise would be grateful. Was also thinking of a fruit cage or a net which would stop the cats and birds. But I guess the slugs would just find a way in through the bottom.
Thanks for reading