Produce > Edible Plants

Netting cloche tunnels for outdoor strawberries

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Galette:
Hello friends. This year I'm growing strawberries in raised beds to protect them from just about everything apart from pollinators...I think. So, firstly - do they actually need pollinators? If so, what size mesh tunnels do I need?  The tunnels I have are fine mesh so bees can't get in, if I leave the ends open the mice, birds, cats, etc etc could get in so I think I just need coarser mesh, but I don't want the make-your-own stuff I want the ready-made tunnels with the hoops sewn in. Any suggestions would be really appreciated  :happy7:

Beersmith:
Strawberries definitely need pollination.  Some of mine are already in flower and some fruits have set. I won't be netting until the fruits begin to swell and show signs of ripening.  I've never had any problems with mice or cats but slugs and birds especially pigeons are an incredible nuisance in my area.  I use a bird mesh from gardening naturally which has a mesh large enough to allow bees easy access.  I've never seen any ready built mesh tubes however.

ACE:
A load of sticks stuck in and around them, bottles on top of the sticks to stop the net snagging then a loose cheap netting thrown over the strawberry patch, perhaps weighed down at the edges. Stops the birds, allows the insects and feeds your pet slugs. Just lift the net for cropping. Pick daily to keep them coming.

Deb P:
You have to get your timing right for sure, blackbirds are my worst enemies for pecking off both ripe and unripe fruits so I net mine as soon as the fruits are set or I donít get a crop!

Galette:
Thanks, this is what I expected to hear. I have covered my blackcurrants and gooseberries as you suggest Ace and I may have to do this to my strawbs and in the meantime look out for some ready made tunnels with coarse/large gauge netting

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