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6/15/2014

Pests Don't Eat My Strawberries!


Summer is here in Orange County. I went to the Farmer's Market
on La Paz this morning. I don't have enough produce, yet to
feed my family's desires for organic vegetables and fruit.
Squash blossoms for dinner, we have several varieties enjoying
the afternoon sunshine.
However I am already fighting pests.
Snails and slugs (beer traps, yeast and sugar traps and just
plain squishing). I wish the crows would eat them. I lined
up a few squished ones with peanuts on the front hillside
(away from my garden but the crows know me and we
have a peace treaty). They wouldn't touch the snails.
Sigh.
My other big pest is my Chihuahua Coco who eats tomatoes
and strawberries even right after she had a big meal.
Sometimes she tears the plants up out of some jealousy.
I constructed this leaning tower of wire that I can move
easily to water and gather fruit. The wire scares the dog,
and any rouge birds.
If you have a larger dog who helps himself you might
add some clanking soda cans for noise.
Our Golden Retriever likes tomatoes, but she doesn't
help herself. I read that you should not feed your
pets anything you don't want them to eat.

Inside of some of the pots I put in some of my own
climbing rose (patent not filed yet called Indestructible
Beauty) I strip the leaves off and end. Place four or five
stalks with thorns around strawberries or anything I want
to protect. Then use recycled netting, or old tulle or old
lace on the thorns. It looks a bit crazy but effective and
easy to access daily.



Tomatoes with re-used vegetable grocery netting



Squash just starting. Can you see the eggshells in the compost soil?

Strawberry without fruit yet surrounded by rosemary. Many of the roses
will take root. When the roses flower, it is time to repot. If the stalk turns
brown it provides safety for a year or two. Strawberries can fruit for about
three years. I tuck the black pots in sunny places in my garden. I'm not fond
of the look of the black pots, so other herbs or flowers hide the base, but
the pots are light, practical and were free from Plant Depot in San Juan.


Below a tomato plant in one of the blue pots from Vietnam. It has some
flowers but no fruit --- yet. Soon as fruit sets, I'll need to save this from
pests.

Any green organic cheap budget ideas how you keep pests from eating
your strawberries?


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