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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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strawberries, critter cages Toplef10strawberries, critter cages 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

strawberries, critter cages I22gcj10strawberries, critter cages 14dhcg10

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strawberries, critter cages

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gregrenee88
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llama momma
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Post  llama momma 5/12/2012, 10:15 am

Is a critter cage with 1 inch chicken wire going to allow any small birds inside who would eat strawberries? I haven't grown fruit before and don't know how motivated birds are. Embarassed Right now I have just little green berries.
llama momma
llama momma

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Post  Mikesgardn 5/12/2012, 12:19 pm

I've used 1" chicken wire to protect my strawberries. I didn't notice any birds getting in. Good luck.
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Post  llama momma 5/12/2012, 12:31 pm

Thanks for your response. I appreciate it!
llama momma
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Post  quiltbea 5/12/2012, 12:31 pm

After being wiped out in 2010 by birds that harvested before me, I used both a hooped netting I wanted to try that I got online (20 bucks for a 10' length) and a lightweight row cover. They both did the job keeping out bugs and birds so that last year I got some lovely strawberries.

strawberries, critter cages 06-11-15

Above: Here's a view of both at work. I left them uncovered until the blossoms started forming tiny green berries, then covered them against the grasshoppers and birds. The lightweight row cover is much easier to toss aside when one wants to harvest some berries and works perfectly against beasties and you can cut it to size.
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Post  llama momma 5/12/2012, 12:42 pm

Excellent QB, Thank You!
llama momma
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Post  laurainwinona 5/25/2012, 9:57 am

I use bird netting over PVC frame to keep out birds and critters. It works well, but you have tro keep it tight to the ground and not let loose netting sit on the ground, otherwise birds get caught and stuck in it. The birds around our yard have learned to steer clear of it.
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Post  quiltbea 5/25/2012, 10:09 am

I just wanted to update on the covering over my strawberries. I covered the whole row with lightweight row cover when I saw all the small grasshoppers that were infiltrating the bird netting. I don't know how badly they can damage a whole crop, but I don't want to take any chances.

strawberries, critter cages 05-23-12

Above: The covered strawberry bed in front, now safe from even the grasshoppers.
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Post  llama momma 5/25/2012, 10:29 am

Omg, grasshoppers, I hope your covers work well for you. I haven't had those critters on the tabletop, at least not yet, knock on wood, (they can fly sort of I think?) but I removed two armyworms munching away on leaves. Maybe they came in with the compost. Also, two strawberries had mini bites taken out of it and it wasn't me. Someone said 2 different bugs can cause that but I forget what it was.
llama momma
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Post  gregrenee88 5/25/2012, 3:45 pm

My neighbor went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and bought netting and used that. Cool
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Post  CapeCoddess 5/25/2012, 3:54 pm

I couldn't find the netting for the trellis that Mel recommends, but I found some weird black stuff that worked great on my trellis. I had some leftover and threw it over my TWO strawberry plants and so far *I* have eaten all the strawberries, no birds. But I just read above about birds getting caught and I'm thinking that untangling a bird is about one of the last things I want to have to do. Sad

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Off to JoAnnes this Sunday...
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Post  CindiLou 5/25/2012, 10:05 pm

I bought netting in the fabric secton at walmart for $1 a yard. I used about 20 yards on this bed. But as I take it off after strawberry season I can reuse. I also put it on hoops over my broccoli and brussel sprouts. Hoping no worms this year lol..
I just clip it on with little clips. And I put bricks around the edges

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Post  JustMe 5/25/2012, 11:57 pm

Would the netting work just as well if it is not white? I'd like to protect the berries but keep it as least obvious to the neighbors and from the street as possible.

Our neighborhood association is being challenged by some neighbors about what is/isn't allowed in backyards, and I don't want anyone to challenge my 'temporary' (even though I leave it up year 'round) deer fencing on a role that protect my SFG.
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Post  Coelli 5/26/2012, 1:44 am

I think that netting is just tulle (it's what I use to cover my basil, which has been thriving now that it's not getting eaten), so it comes in lots of colors if you don't want white. Mine was 108 inches (9 feet) wide at $1.50 a yard at Joann Fabrics; normally $3/yard but I had a 50% off coupon. For $15 I now have enough tulle to cover the state of Rhode Island.

You should be able to order tulle online if you can't find it locally. Just keep in mind that pollinating insects can't get through it. (In fact, nothing gets through it - I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing aphids on the outside of it, staring wistfully inside. Laughing )
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Post  CindiLou 5/26/2012, 1:58 am

Actually I use the larger sized netting...not the tulle..but the same thing basically...on my strawberries I leave the ends with about a foot open at the bottom. Bees go in but no birds..
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Post  CapeCoddess 5/26/2012, 8:03 pm

I forgot about the bees. Sounds like the chicken wire cages are the way to go. I made some of those when I first put my garden together...if I could only remember where I put them.... strawberries, critter cages 601593
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Post  quiltbea 5/27/2012, 7:23 am

Anytime you use lightweight row cover over plants, you want to be sure to uncover them when they blossom so the bees can pollinate, unless you do it yourself with brushes or dabbing male flowers over female blossoms.

Some plants, like your brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, etc), carrots, chard, herbs, and others that don't normally have flowers til they bolt, don't need to be removed at all except for weeding beneath or adding a cupful of compost tea.
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Post  Coelli 5/28/2012, 1:53 am

@CindiLou wrote:Actually I use the larger sized netting...not the tulle..but the same thing basically...on my strawberries I leave the ends with about a foot open at the bottom. Bees go in but no birds..

That's a good idea. We actually don't have a ton of bees here right now (which is kind of sad) as we live in a semi-desert climate. We're in the process of removing some of our really invasive landscaping, like bougainvillea, and the poisonous oleander too, and once they're gone I guess I'll need to plant some more benign things to attract beneficial pollinators.
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