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My Strawberries are all being eaten

I have got a raised bed containing Strawberry plants in my garden. There is quite a good crop of Strawberries & in the last few days some have started to turn red, but it seems every Strawberry that turns red is getting eaten by some pest.

I'm not sure what is eating them whether its slugs, snails, birds or something else. I have searched the bed & struggled to find any slugs, but they could be hiding. we had put down some slug pellets previously.

The same thing happened last year, has anyone any ideas on how I can save my Strawberry crop ?

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  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,974

    It's usually birds, or so I've found. Netting them is the answer. Birds always seem to eat fruit just before it's ripe enough for us.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Doogie72Doogie72 Posts: 62

    It could be birds perhaps?  I have the same issue.  You can put netting over the top.  I believe you're supposed to put some staw underneath the ripening strawberries and I would imagine that would deter slugs and snails. 

  • richtricht Posts: 4

    Thanks. we have got quite a bit of straw underneath the Strawberry plants. But I will try covering them with some netting to see if that helps.

  • shazza3shazza3 Posts: 106

    if the strawberries have holes in them but are still left on the plant then it's slugs/snails. if you have straw then they'll be hiding under that during the day and feasting on your plants at night. the only way to identify them is to go out at night with a torch and catch them at it. my fruits are left without straw as this made the problem worse. at least when the garden is dry they don't attack so often.  

  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 802

    If it's birds, the berries will have beak- shaped peck marks. If  it's mice, they tend to mess up the whole bed, squashing some of the berries into the soil, and leaving some just torn off the plant,while eating up the best ones.

  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 9,340

    I'd agree with Shazza...........straw makes a comfortable bed for the slugs.......it is an excellent idea but if the slugs are just beneath the soil surface, they will enjoy the warmth and protection the straw offers.  Young Blackbirds (and there are lots of them about now ) are really keen on Strawberries..........usually just before they are ripe enough for you to pick !  You just have to learn to share I supposeimage

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,773

    As said, likely blackbirds but it could also be squirrels.  Netting works against the birds but if they still disappear it's squirrels I'm afraid and they will scoff the lot no matter what defences you put in place (I speak from experience!) image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    I have my strawberries in a walk-in fruit frame, but despite that protection from the birds, many of the strawberries I cropped today have been chewed by slugs.  The birds don't seem to eat any of the raspberries though, and none of our allotmenteers need to cover those in netting for protection.

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,289

    Mine were being eaten by my dog.  I wouldn't mind but she took then end off loads of them rather than filling up on a couple! 

  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 802

    I think strawalso provides a comfortable footing for mice. The first time we put straw around, last year, was the first time we had mice. But they returned this year, even without straw.

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