How To Protect Strawberries From Animals



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How To Protect Strawberries From Animals

Strawberries are a delicious and nutritious fruit loved by humans and animals alike. Unfortunately, many animals see strawberries as a tasty snack and can quickly decimate an entire crop. 

This can be frustrating and disheartening for gardeners and farmers who put in a lot of effort to grow these delicate berries. 

However, there are effective ways to protect strawberries from animals, and in this guide, we will cover some of the best methods. 

From simple physical barriers to natural deterrents, we will explore various strategies that will help you keep your strawberries safe and secure. 

By the end of this guide, you will have the knowledge and tools necessary to protect your strawberry plants and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Why Do You Need To Protect Strawberries From Animals?

Protecting strawberries from animals is important because many animals, such as birds, deer, rabbits, squirrels, and rodents, love to eat these delicious fruits. 

When animals find a strawberry patch, they can quickly cause significant damage to the crop by eating the fruit, leaves, and stems.

This can lead to a reduced yield or even a total loss of the crop, which can be frustrating and costly for growers and gardeners.

In addition to reducing the yield, animal damage can also make the strawberries more vulnerable to diseases and pests. 

When animals eat the fruit, they can leave behind open wounds that can become infected, leading to rot or fungal growth.

This can make the remaining fruit unappetizing and unsuitable for human consumption.

Overall, protecting strawberries from animals is crucial for ensuring a successful harvest and maintaining the health of the plants. 

Methods For Protecting Strawberries From Animals

There are several ways to protect strawberries from animals. Here are some effective methods:

You could use bird netting or row covers to keep birds and other animals from reaching the plants. Make sure the barriers are securely in place to prevent any animals from slipping underneath.

  • Install Fences: Installing a fence around your strawberry patch is another effective way to keep animals out. Use a fence that is 2 feet tall or higher and bury it 6 inches underground to prevent burrowing animals from getting inside. Feitore Deer Fence Netting is an easy DIY option that may prove effective.
  • Use Natural Deterrents: Some animals, such as deer and rabbits, can be deterred by certain scents or tastes. 

You can plant herbs like lavender or mint around your strawberry patch to deter animals. Alternatively, you can sprinkle chili powder or cayenne pepper around the perimeter of the patch.

The sprinklers will release a quick burst of water when they detect any motion, scaring away animals and preventing them from coming back.

  • Harvest Frequently: Harvest your strawberries frequently, as soon as they are ripe. This will prevent animals from having a chance to eat them. Check your patch daily and pick any ripe berries to prevent them from attracting animals.
How To Protect Strawberries From Animals

Top Tips For Growing Strawberries

Here are some tips for growing strawberries:

  • Choose the correct variety: There are many different varieties of strawberries, and choosing the right one for your growing conditions is important. 

Some varieties are better suited for colder climates, while others are better suited for warmer climates. Choose a variety that is well-suited for your region and climate.

  • Plant in the right location: Strawberries prefer soil that is well drained and full sun. Select an area that receives upwards of 6 hours of sunlight each day and has decent drainage. 

Avoid planting in low-lying areas where water can pool and cause the plants to rot.

  • Mulch the plants: Mulching around the strawberry plants can help to retain moisture in the soil, prevent weeds from growing, and regulate the soil temperature. Use mulch that is high in organic matter like 100% Natural Cedar Shavings Mulch, straw or shredded leaves.
  • Control pests and diseases: Watch out for diseases and pets, such as aphids, mites, and powdery mildew. Regularly inspect the plants and use organic pest and disease control methods like Earth’s Ally 3-in-1 Plant Spray Concentrate to prevent problems before they get out of control.
  • Renew the plants: After a few years, strawberry plants can become less productive. Renew the plants by removing the old plants and replanting them with new ones to maintain a healthy and productive strawberry patch.

What Is The Best Time To Grow Strawberries?

The best time to grow strawberries depends on the climate and the location where you live.

In general, strawberries are cool-weather crops and can be planted in the early spring or late summer/early fall.

In areas with mild winters and cool summers, such as coastal regions, strawberries can be planted in the fall for a winter crop or in the early spring for a summer crop. 

In areas with hot summers, such as the southern United States, it is best to plant strawberries in the fall for a winter crop or in late winter/early spring for a spring crop.

It is important to note that strawberry plants require a certain amount of chilling hours (hours of temperatures below 45°F) to produce flowers and fruit.

The required chilling hours vary depending on the variety of strawberries, but most require between 200-300 chilling hours.

Planting Strawberries in the early spring or late summer/early fall, depending on your area, can ensure that your strawberry plants have the optimal conditions for growth and production.

Final Thoughts

Protecting strawberries from animals is crucial for a successful harvest. 

By implementing effective methods such as physical barriers, fences, natural deterrents, motion-activated sprinklers, and frequent harvesting, growers, and gardeners can prevent animals from damaging their strawberry plants and reduce the risk of disease and pests. 

Additionally, choosing the right variety of strawberries, planting in the right location, providing adequate water and fertilizer, and controlling pests and diseases are important factors to consider when growing strawberries. 

By following these tips and protecting strawberries from animals, growers and gardeners can enjoy a bountiful crop of delicious, healthy strawberries.

Further Recommendations:

Video: How to Easily Protect Your Fruit

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