Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Strawberry Disaster

I watch lots of garden shows and read lots of gardening magazines for tips and ideas. This one sounded good in principle but has not worked at all. This has been one of my failures. The idea was to line a pallet with hessian or something similar and fill it with compost. Next step is to make pockets and plant the strawberries in the pockets.

I thought it sounded great in theory and would solve the millipede problem and be easy to net. Wrong! Well it would be easy to net and I don't have millipedes because I don't have much fruit either. When we first put it up we had it too upright. So whilst the top plants got water the rest missed out. Then I put it on more of an angle then the top doesn't hold much water and the rest still didn't get much water. It hasn't worked. 

If I had used my brains I would have realised that unless you put drip lines inside the pallet water was never going to get there. And it would waste water so I will be dismantling this and planting the strawberries in containers. 

Ah well, we live and learn!

I do however have lots of strawberries growing in other parts of my garden but they are not netted and I think they are the birds share of my garden bounty! However the biggest problem is Spanish millipedes.

These loathsome creatures were accidentally introduced to Australia about 20 or 30 years ago and have devastated many crops. As soon as the strawberries show any colour they invade. They hollow the strawberry out so there is just a paper thin shell left. 

They have no natural predators here, the birds won't touch them and they live in soil and mulch as they love damp places. So I have planted my strawberries in containers so that they are off the ground (easier for picking too) and I can net them. These are in the upside down lid of an old barbecue. And it is working well!

Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't but gardening is always a learning process!

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