Tuesday, April 19, 2016

This Animal Has Eaten My Strawberry Patch!




Well, not this one in the picture but rabbits have eaten my entire strawberry patch with the exception of 5 plants and I'm puzzled as to why they left those.

A few weeks ago I went out to fertilize and weed my patch.  I was so excited because from the side I could see they were beginning to bloom.  It was time to remove the protective covering of grasses I let die over them in the winter. There was straw but it has been a battle with grasses and weeds here even in the raised beds.


I began pulling and thinking where are the plants, I must have lost a lot during the heavy rains last October here in South Carolina.




The more I pulled the more I began to see raised tunnels little burrows and only the five strawberry plants left!  What in the world has happened?  The four by fours had been pushed off on all four sides of the raised beds.  I don't know why or how that happened.  



These pictures show a few of the holes leading into the burrows.  I am amazed and sad.  Oh well, what to do now?




I will replant. I have to find some protection from little critters.  I have seen rabbits running and playing in the yard around the bed. You know I had a ground hog there once before that was enjoying the berries at least. Hey, maybe it is a groundhog?  I'll see and let you know!  Darn critters!  

This was the third year on those plants well some had 2 years and they were beginning to make more and more and the bed was filled with runner/plants ready for fruit. You wait for the best of crops and when it is about to come on darn it something destroys it.

UPDATE
I sound like a farmer don't I?  Oh well I have new plants on the back porch that arrived yesterday so will work on getting them planted.

I decided to clear and clean the same bed.  I did so carefully because I didn't want to harm anything be it bunny or whatever. The cleanup began:




I truthfully don't know what I'd do without my mama's old garden shovel!  I love it.  It works! Check out this sandy soil, that is pretty good for berries and peas.




These plants were wedged in between the landscape timbers.  I guess they are lucky and were runners from last years crop. Whatever ate the entire strawberry patch didn't want to touch these. 





Found two little beauties and had two cute grands here to enjoy them.  They want more and I don't blame them.  We will find some in our area of course until these and the new crop make beautiful berries. 




One of the loads of grass and weeds pulled from that bed.  Hard work but I guess without a covering of plants the grasses went wild!




Bare root plants taken out of the bundles and a bag of Black Cow to mix in sandy soil. I'm ready to set them out.







Timbers fixed, fifty-one plants in and putting down the soaker hose for easy ground level watering. Whew, this lady is tired!




New pine straw spread, irrigation going.  We are off to a new start!  The plant pictured above is a Tribute, one that does well out here and produces the largest tastiest berries!  I ordered another variety called Albion and one of a Toscana hope they do well. I have a little space left and think I'll order a few Sweet Charlie Plants, I know they are good!

I have no idea what ate my strawberry plants but will hope they have moved on.  If it happens again will raise the bed on legs put up a fence and cover the top.  I hope that these will survive and flourish.

Someone mentioned to me on Hometalk that it could be Voles eating them.  I'll be on the lookout for more tunneling and signs.  I didn't even think of that.  I know a few years back bunnies were being born in that spot a lot and recently seeing them play around at night out there I thought of them first. I just might be wrong.

I'll leave you today with a woodchuck eating strawberries.  Cute little critter.





The rabbit in the first photo above is from How to Keep Rabbits Away From Strawberries!  


Until next time,



4 comments:

  1. You're doing a lot of hard work there my friend. I think I'll tell Chablis to grow strawberries for her bunny. She just planted an herb garden for him.

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    Replies
    1. They seem to love them over here! Carly and those have some bunnies too and she grows herbs for them too!

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  2. I had a problem with squirrels getting into my garden until I came up with a solution. I purchased one of those big plastic owls from walmart and hung him from a long hooked plant hangers, the kind that stake in the ground. The owl swings around in the wind moving constantly. Once a week I move him around the garden to a different spot. NO MORE SQUIRRELS! Hey, it may work with the bunnies!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa and I want to thank you so much for sharing this great advice, and jogging my memory. I had forgotten about that and it just might save me a lot of time work and heartache! Thanks again!

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