Tuesday 20 May 2014

Protecting the Strawberry crop

Many of you will know that I have taken to growing Strawberries in black plastic crates. This means that I can move them around when necessary - e.g. to protect them from severe frosts when the flowers are forming, or as now, to protect their ripening fruit from the depredations of voracious Blackbirds and Squirrels. The Blackbirds in particular are a menace in the garden - ingenious and persistent in their search for food.

I have constructed a temporary fruit cage using my "Build-a-Ball" kit, some aluminium rods and a net. With this combination it is easy and quick to build a suitable structure, like this:

I have a set of 12 balls, and a selection of different lengths of aluminium rod. You just push the rods into the ball, which is made of rubber, and it grips the rod firmly.

Once the cage was assembled, I put the Strawberry crates inside, draped the net over the top and weighted the edges down with a few bricks. Et voila - a perfectly acceptable fruit cage assembled in a few minutes! Incidentally, the net has a one-inch mesh diameter, so it will keep birds out but let bees in.

I'm hoping that the Strawberry fruits will ripen and be finished before the Blueberries come on-stream, because I don't have enough stuff to make another cage. If the two coincide I will have to knock-up something a bit less "professional". One way or another, the Blueberries must also be protected, because if there is something that Blackbirds like more than Strawberries, it's Blueberries! [Though, come to think of it, they are pretty fond of Redcurrants too.]


  1. A great solution. I wasn't sure how my strawberries would do this year having just inherited the plants and not knowing how old they are, they seem to have plenty of flowers so we may be in for a decent harvest.

  2. It looks good, the blackbirds tend to ignore my blueberries (mustn't be as good as yours) I have spotted them dive off the fence into the red currant bushes though!

  3. I've got to get my cover on my strawberries too. They are starting to from fruit. But it is the squirrels and the gorundhogs that seem to eat them here.

  4. Our strawberries will need covering soon as will the redcurrants.


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