Holes in the strawberries

imraineyMay 15, 2009

I've had strawberry plants for about 5 years and I don't think I've gotten a whole, unblemished strawberry from them yet!

I mulch them with straw but the critters still get to every single one. And I don't want to spray them. What's the point of growing your own if you can't get something free of chemicals?

I think slugs and earwigs are the main culprits. Any ideas on how to keep them away until the berries are ripe enough to pick?

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I gave up the strawberry patch. Growing some in containers may be an option.

In my case I don't know if it was rabbits, mice, gophers or what else, but around 2/3rds of the strawberries would have a single, small bite taken out of them.

If you think slugs and earwigs are what is bothering the berries in your garden there are some strategies you can try.

Any iron phosphate bait such as sluggo is deadly lethal to slugs and it will wipe them all out. It's practically non toxic as the iron phosphate is a normal soil mineral. It's safe to use around edibles and dogs/pets/kids wouldn't be harmed by ingesting a small amount of it. One of the safest pesticides there is. Just make sure the active ingredient is iron phosphate.

Earwigs can be trapped and removed, but I don't know if you will control them enough. Just take a newspaper and roll it up loosely and dampen it. Set in the garden and remove in the morning. The earwigs like the moist/dark confines so will gather there and can simply be burned or otherwise disposed of each morning.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 12:57PM
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tammysf(9b/10a or sz15/16)

I have been growing them in those strawberry pots (they have about 12 spots for plants) and I have not had an issue with bugs or critters. Prob because the plants are off the ground. I am thinking of getting another pot as my toddler eats them before anyone else can.

Here is a link that might be useful: pic of my strawberry pot

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:51PM
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Some times if they are on the ground, the rolly pollys will get them,
But my biggest problems with my strawberrys is the birds. :)
I have caught them red handed many times.
And they don't eat just one, they will eat a little off of the end or the side, them move on to another one.

The only thing I have found that helps is to put nets over them.
Oh yes, I know, some will say the birds will get caught in the netting, maybe so, but I'm in my garden every day (Unless it's to wet) and I have never seen one entangled in the netting, and if they were I would get them out, but outher wise tough luck.

Least you misunderstand I love birds, and I have feeders all over the yard, including things mocking birds would eat.(Mocking birds are the worst culperts)

At some point, after we have tried outher ways to keep them out we have to make a decision which we like better, birds or strawberrys.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 5:58PM
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