Here’s a great tip that I learned a few years back that will make your strawberry patch a much happier place for you to be!
If your yard is anything like ours then the birds probably love hanging out in it. I really don’t mind having birds around except when they decide to eat my strawberries (or poop on my patio furniture)! And just about the time our spring strawberries start to ripen the Robin’s show up for a snack! (The funny thing is that they only bother the patch in the spring, we hardly ever lose strawberries in the fall). Early on in our gardening life we didn’t plan for or defend against the Robin’s and ended up loosing most of one years crop before we caught on and got some bird netting to protect our patch.
For a few years after that we just threw the bird netting over our patch and then fought with it every time we needed to pick berries. The berries and plants would get caught up in the net and things were still frustrating!
But then I learned this great trick. We put 2 1/2 foot wooden (preferably cedar) stakes all around our patch and then put glass pickle or tomato sauce bottles over the tops of the stakes. The stakes keep the bird netting up off the strawberry plants and the glass bottles keep the netting from snagging on the stakes when we remove the bird netting for harvesting. The netting just glides right off!! We have even used this idea with taller stakes for raspberry plants.
Almost anyone that comes through my garden asks me about the bottles. And the next question is always but don’t they break? The answer is no. We have been using this method for protecting our strawberries for 5 years now and in that time not one bottle has broken. Any that happen to fall off usually land in the soft garden soil without a problem. But if you use a good solid stake and longer, slim bottles (think spaghetti sauce bottles) then they should hardly ever fall off!
Got any great “garden hacks” of your own? Leave us a comment or better yet send us an email and we will try it out and use it in a future post!! Email to firstname.lastname@example.org