I went out to the strawberry patch this morning only to see some critter had eaten half of every strawberry in the patch that was even close to ripe! Seriously?!?! At least eat the whole thing! So, I figured it was time for reinforcements! This is how we keep the critters (birds, raccoons, mice, etc) out of our strawberries…and it works like a charm!
We have our strawberries in boxes so this is a real easy fix. My husband used some 1″ PVC Pipe and hooped it from one side of the bed to the other. He made three hoops and secured the ends to the lumber on the boxes with the brackets you see above from Lowes.
We purchased some bird netting and draped it over the hoops. You will want to make sure to cover the ends to the ground + a few inches extra on each side. We pulled it tight and secured it at the top center of each pvc hoop with a zip tie.
Then to keep the netting from blowing around it needs to be weighted down on the sides. We used 1″ PVC again. We wrapped the bird netting around the pvc and secured it every few inches with zip ties. Then, when you want to pick the strawberries you just lift the PVC pipe up and place it on the opposite side. The zip ties in the center and the PVC on the end keep the netting from tangling. You can pick the berries and easily replace the bird netting. All while protecting the berries from predators!!!
If PVC pipe is not your thing, you can always follow the resourcefulness of my neighbor (Cathy’s Dad). He used scrap lumber to elevate the bird netting in the center of each bed. I am sure he secured the netting along the center with staples or zip ties. Then he used scrap lumber again to secure the ends of the netting along the sides/top/bottom of the strawberry beds. He just removes the lumber along the sides in order to pick the berries and replaces it when finished!