Wednesday 1 June 2016

Making a Strawberry cage

Lots of my Strawberry plants are beginning to set their first fruits now, so it won't be long before they deliver their harvest.

When you only have a few Strawberries, every one is precious, so you need to cover them with nets of some sort. If you don't the birds (and in my case probably the squirrels) will grab the fruit before you can harvest them.

My few Strawberry plants are in black plastic crates, so they are easily moved around the garden when necessary. They are also relatively easy to protect. This is my method...

I use bits and pieces left over from previous generations of plastic mini-greenhouses - metal rods and plastic corner-pieces. The corner-pieces are especially useful, and I would never throw one of these away unless it were broken!

I assemble a cube-shaped structure, like this:

I would prefer the structure to be lower, but I don't have any short rods. Hmmm, maybe I should cut some up?? No, that's a bad idea, because I will need long ones for when I use the same approach for Blueberries.

The structure is then placed over the conveniently-arranged plastic crates. Notice that mine have been put in a position that provides dappled shade, with not a lot of direct sunlight. This area gets sunshine first thing in the morning, and then again in the evening, from the opposite direction. This helps to prevent them drying out too rapidly. I still water the containers very frequently during the flowering and fruiting season though.

The final part of the procedure is to cover the structure with a suitable net, and weigh it down with bricks, making sure that the net is well away from the plants.

It's important to use a net which does not have too fine a mesh, because you still want the pollinating insects to be able to get in.

Just a final thought: have you noticed how much of what I write on this blog is about protecting my plants from pests? Scary, isn't it?


  1. Nifty idea - like the idea of growing them in plastic crates.

    The previous tenant left some of the larger plastic bread delivery crates on my plot so I may re-purpose them into a movable strawberry feast!

  2. I really like that cage - I'm hoping to do something similar at some point by creating a frame with a hinged lid to cover the strawberry bed as removing/replacing the netting during harvest time is a bit of a pain with my current method.

    And not only do I notice all the netting/covers on your blog, I notice it more and more in my garden - seems like every year I'm covering just one more bed or plant. So far this year, we are at the same level as last...but the new raspberry/blackberry canes are just starting to flower, so I'll have to figure something out for those.

  3. What a great idea, I'm growing them for the first time this year so I've much to learn. Such excitement yesterday, I could not resist trying the first one to ripen. It was so sweet,I'm determined to get them before the birds. The squirrels, however ,have dug up my baby Spring onions, I guess I will have to find some protection for them.

  4. Your strawberry plants look very healthy. I would really like to build something like that for the broccoli bed.

  5. Our Strawberries are at the same stage so this is a job we will have to do soon. I did read that if you were after too much when the plants are fruiting that it waters down the flavour. Have you found this to be true?

    1. No, I have not found this. All the ones I have grown have had amazing flavour - but then it doesn't have any time to fade before the fruit gets eaten!

  6. A great idea and one of the benefits about having a smaller plot. With regards to your comment on my last post - yes my new raised beds will be exactly the same as yours. I'm having six raised beds built of sleepers doubled up. The expense means some saving up needs to be done first as I will need soil and stone a0t the same time too. I've been very impressed by your beds.

  7. That is a great idea Mark, to often the birds get to ours first! Sarah x


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.