I've been diligently working my way through the ten strawberry beds, weeding carefully around the fruiting plants. To recap, last year I foolishly mulched the beds with hay, which then grew. We were infested with weeds, particularly buttercups, which root in cheek-by-jowl with strawberries and even send out runners like strawberries. It's been an arduous task to weed out the buttercups without damaging the strawberries.
Because of the delicate work, it takes about three days to weed each bed... and there are ten beds. Needless to say, at this point I'm feeling proprietary about the strawberries. We've all been waiting patiently for the season's first candy-sweet fruit to ripen. So when I saw this, I was NOT pleased.
Who's been eating my strawberries?
The culprits, it turns out, are robins. I know this because I caught this fellow red-handed. Er, red-footed. Winged? Feathered? Whatever. He was gobbling my berries, the greedy thing.
See him watching me?
Here he's torn a piece of strawberry off and is eating it.
This is what it looked like when he was done.
Now robins are hands-down one of my all-time favorite birds, but I'm not about to sacrifice my strawberries to them. What to do? The answer was simple: bird netting.
I went around and put in eight screws at compass points around each tire.
Then Younger Daughter and I stretched out the batting of net, cut it to size, and anchored it down with the screws.
So far it's worked beautifully, and I can just imagine the neighborhood robins gnashing their beaks with frustration. So near and yet so far!
But look at all this incipient fruit. No way am I losing it to robins. Sorry boys.