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Chunks Missing From My Strawberries

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by Mitzi on May 21, 2006 06:44 PM
I am missing chunks from my more ripe strawberries. I read about netting, CD's and fake snakes. Is the dish soap/water combo in the spray bottle a good idea as well?
by Patty S on May 21, 2006 07:12 PM
quote:
I read about netting, CD's and fake snakes.
CD's? [dunno]

The chunks that are missing out of my Strawberries, I thought were from Slugs... but there aren't any of those slime trails, so I'm thinking that Sow bugs are doing it, because I saw some of those in the Strawberry bed today. [Eek!] (Some people call them Pill bugs; my Grandkids call them Potato bugs... but those are NOT Potato bugs.) Anyway, I don't know what to about them, & I don't like using Sevin or anything like that on plants that produce food.

I too, am hoping someone will have an answer for this problem.

(You know, since you mentioned netting, I'm thinking that YOUR problem might be birds. Are there bird droppings on or around your plants? I know that MY problem isn't birds, because I have netting over mine.)

By the way, welcome to the forum, Mitzi!  - You'll find the friendliest people on the Internet here, & they're all willing & happy to help with gardening problems of all kinds, & share their knowledge & experiences. We also have forums for pets, recipies, crafts, different types of plants (including houseplants), & for just sharing pics & bragging about our gardens! We look forward to getting to know you! [Smile]

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by Firstyeargardener2006 on May 21, 2006 07:39 PM
I was told to use some kind of cover because birds love strawberries also. So that might be your problem. It's some kind of plastic cover with holds so your strawberries can still get water and sun and air. It's called Bird-X protective netting for fruits & vegetables. It's around $6.00 at Walmart.
I hope I was of some kind of help.
Nicky

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by Patty S on May 21, 2006 08:59 PM
Thanks for the tip, Nicky! [thumb] I know that the chunks missing from my berries aren't from birds, but I'm wondering if that's what Mitzi might be dealing with, & covering them IS the best way to solve that problem, as far as I know.

I've seen the covering that you're talking about, but haven't had to get any of it yet. When my daughter got married a few years ago, we bought yards upon yards of netting from the fabric store which was used to decorate tables with at her reception, & that's what I've been using over my Strawberries! Clothespins hold it down fine, against the breezes that try to send it across the yard... it doesn't do much damage to a leaf or two, to clip the clothespin here & there at the corners & edges of the Strawberry beds & planter boxes.

Last year, the netting that I used had lasted the whole growing season, but was pretty weather-worn by the time the plants were ready to take their winter nap. (I was surprised at that, as I was prepared to have to change it after a month or so of being out in the sun & rain, but it was sturdier than I thought it would be!) This year, I unpacked some more of it & am using it again, & probably have enough left for next year, too!

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by thistledown on May 21, 2006 11:15 PM
If they are sowbugs/pillbugs, this might be helpful:
http://tinyurl.com/kchqr
This book, Tiny Game Hunting, has been a GODSEND! Not only has it helped me identify a lot of bugs in my home and garden, but it's full of environmentally-friendly traps, repellents, and such for everything from aphids and wasps to raccoons and deer!
For sowbugs and pillbugs, it lists two things as major repellents: an onion spray made of 3 onions and 4 cups of water run through the blender then strained, you can spray the plant, or sprinkle it in the earth around the plant..or..sprinkle lime in the vicinity.

They also suggest trapping them and then collecting them and dropping them into soapy water to kill them, or dropping them in the compost heap! You can trap them by dampening a clay pot and leaving it upside down with one edge propped up. Put a corncob or a sliced potato inside.

I LOVE this book!
It's helping me TONS with our paper-wasps!

[Smile]
AT

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by Mitzi on May 22, 2006 03:49 AM
I forgot to mention that my strawberries are in containers. Do containers filled with purchased soil make a difference with bugs v. birds? Or are they both still a potential problem?
by Patty S on May 22, 2006 07:00 AM
Wow, thanks for the heads up about the book & the Onion-based repellent, Thistledown! I'm going to try that on the Sow bugs, cuz we have LOTS of them around here! I'm REALLY curious about the answer about the wasp thing, but we should take that up in another forum (Plant pests and problems), so we don't get off topic here.

Mitzi, birds will find berries no matter where they are, & it doesn't make any difference what they're planted in! I've found, however, that Strawberries in containers are virtually weed-free, & the Slugs (& most bugs) can't get to them.

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by weezie13 on May 22, 2006 12:07 PM
Even little field mice like them
and woodchucks too..
I would go with the snails or birds...
Is there a slimey~glisteny trail anywhere's you can see around or on your pot/container?
*sometimes the sun has to hit it just the right way for you to see it*
*or go out at night at about 11:00pm, and see if
you see snails, they can get on anything for anything if the food is tasty...
Keep us posted...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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by Wrennie on May 23, 2006 01:37 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Firstyeargardener2006:
I was told to use some kind of cover because birds love strawberries also. So that might be your problem. It's some kind of plastic cover with holds so your strawberries can still get water and sun and air. It's called Bird-X protective netting for fruits & vegetables. It's around $6.00 at Walmart.
I hope I was of some kind of help.
Nicky

Birds and small mammals can get caught in this netting and choke to death. Dont buy it.
You can use tulle (the netting used alot in wedding decor etc) or floating row cover. Much safer and more effective.
Chipmunks love strawberries too. i never get any of my wild strawberries, well maybe 1 or 2 cause the chippys, voles and mice get them first.

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by weezie13 on May 23, 2006 02:02 AM
That's true, and I do use the tule on the
outside of my garden... *a store was going out
of business and we bought a couple of bolts*
Works good...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by ranger on May 23, 2006 02:35 AM
Squirrels love strawberries as well. You can get construction wire in sheets 5' X 10' make 2 bends so you have a tunnel, then take the netting anr wire tie that over the tunnel. I use these all over the garden as I have chickens wandering around. It sonds like a lot of trouble but I'm using the same one for the third year.
If you watch construction sites as they finish the excess material like this can be free or a little coffee money for the job superintendant.
ranger
by Mitzi on May 23, 2006 09:42 AM
Would getting a bird feeder help as well to distract them from my plants or be an invitation to lure even more birds to my garden?
by Wrennie on May 23, 2006 09:53 AM
Most birds that go to feeders are seed eating birds. Although there are some that eat seeds and fruit, as well as insects. You'd attract more birds which are a great pest (insect) control. fruit eating birds, mockingbirds, orioles, etc arent very likely to go to a seed feeder.
Definitely feed the birds. You'll become quickly addicted to the hobby. But cover your berries with tulle or row cover.(None of that bird netting stuff)

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