Saturday, June 7, 2008

Defensive Gardening

I love strawberries. I love them in salads. I love them in cake. On cereal. Or just plain. In my garden, not so much.

Every year, the round green leaves of my strawberry plants are the first to pop-up and vine out in my garden bed. I have tried to relocate these invaders to pots, yet they still make their way back into the raised vegetable garden. Commanding a bit more real estate than they should, they flower and bud with the promise of a juicy red harvest. Only to disappear right before I come to pick them. I feel like Charlie Brown and the ever illusive football he attempts to kick.

This year is going to be different. I have developed a new strawberry defense system.
Step 1: Create a "forest" around the plants to foil attacks from above.
I left some dead, woody plants ( dill & pepper ) so that if a bird swooped in they would get poked by a stick. I also have a forest of fresh dill that helps hide the ripening berries.

Step 2: Create a border of Garden Animals. I gathered up all my bunnies and turtles to make a menacing gauntlet to scare off chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits and any other critter that normally approaches from the ground.

Step 3: Gather up any empty spare clay pots for the ripening fruit to overhang, creating another layer of protection. Fortunately I have tons of these, primarily from 8 years of Mother's Day gifts that the kids created at school.

So far it seems to be working pretty well. I have had about a dozen, delicious strawberries so far with more on the way!


Jenny said...

Whoah. That is A LOT of work for strawberries!!!! I'm impressed, and considering every time I buy some at the store then find mold when I try to eat them, I may have to try growing my own. I'll keep this "garden coup" in mind. Maybe they make garden bunnies with glowing red eyes????
Congrats on all of your school news for your sons!!! AMAZING! And yes, we do have some similarities, don't we?
And I must say, I never lack in hearing "I love you Mom", but I'm just not sure they always LIKE me.
That means I'm doing something right...right???

Tara R. said...

Good luck with the strawberry guerilla tactics. Hope you get bumper crop this year.

Tenakim said...

My husband wants me to start planting food- because of rising cost- I can't keep the rabbits from my flowers- I know I don't have a chance with fruits and veggies!

Bad Momma said...

Jenny: I like your idea of Garden Bunnies with Glowing Eyes. We could sell it on the Home Shopping Network and make a fortune!

Tara: So far this is the best strawberry crop ever for us!

Tena: This would be a good year to plant some food; especially tomatoes.
Tricks for rabbits:
1. Garden Animals
2. Fluffy plants like dill
3. steel wool border ( never tried it myself )
4. crumble eggshells ( mostly for slugs - may work for rabbits)
5. Human hair atound plants ( use from hairbrushes or scraps from haircuts
6. Pepper Spray ( make your own or pick up at a garden store )
7. A fence or mesh cage
..... I'm sure there are more tricks.