Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Battle for Strawberries

Spring started off with a bounty of strawberries.  I had about 3 1/2 lbs of oh so yummy strawberries.  I even had enough to make strawberry sauce for an angel food cake.  Life was good.

Then the strawberries started disappearing.  First it was the ripe ones.  Then even the green ones were pulled off and often abandoned.

A war had begun.

I assumed my enemy was the squirrels.  They run along the back fence and hop into the garden.  I have definitely caught them in the strawberry patch before.  My strategy was to build a squirrel proof cage so I could have delicious strawberries again!

I bought 1 inch plastic hexagon netting and used rebar and plastic piping to make the structure (this is what I use for my cold frames, so I had it available).  With a bit of cutting and zip ties to hold the pieces together, I had my squirrel exclosure:

I anchored the edges with retaining wall bricks and prepared to have tasty strawberries again.

I would love to say this story has a happy ending- the war was over and I won and celebrated by eating lots of strawberries.  Sadly that is not what happened.  There was a ripening strawberry in the center of the cage:

I watched and waited for the strawberry to ripen and one morning it almost looked ready.  By the afternoon it was gone!  Vanished! 

The war continues.  Perhaps my enemy was not the squirrels and is a vole living under my strawberry bed.  I now have a mysterious enemy, which is making the battle for strawberries difficult!


  1. Sorry about your strawberries but I do love a good mystery, I hope you find out what it was soon - I need to know.

  2. So sad. I've never had the voles steal my strawberries. At my last garden the chipmunks ruled so they always did. And they would pick them half ripe and take one bite and toss it away. I so hated those chipmunks.

  3. Great improvising! I bet the netting will keep out most birds and squirrels. I would suspect chipmunks are the thieves. They can get through the smallest opening around the edges of the netting. Do you have more bricks?

  4. Save those strawberries! Homegrown strawberries are the best.