strawberry bed protection

Expert Garden Tip; Strawberry Bed Protection

Strawberry Bed Protection

I recently built two new raised strawberry beds here on the farm and I’ve been very excited about getting all of my strawberries transplanted. However, before the transplant, we needed to have a solid plan in place for strawberry bed protection. …because critters love strawberries too!

No More Strawberry Towers For Me!

Last year, I grew my strawberries in towers. While it was beautiful, I really am not fond of this method. The plants tend to hang over and cover each other making it very hard to do all of the tending and trimming that is necessary. Also, you have to regularly spin the towers so that all sides get plenty of sun. I decided that was too much extra work, hence the new strawberry beds.

When transplanting strawberries, you have to make sure that you have properly amended and well draining soil, proper spacing and full sun. All that in place, we started pulling plants from the towers and planting them into the new beds. (Good thing I have built in helpers!)

Design Your Protection Plan

With the strawberries planted we began our plan for strawberry bed protection. It truly is a very simple project. We used 1/2″ pvc, cut to 7 feet. Our beds are 3 feet wide and the bird netting that we used is 7 feet wide. The arc that it created ended up being a perfect fit.

Add Framework

We went down the sides of the beds, and marked pipe placement at every 2 feet. Next, we used pipe straps to attach one end of the pipes in place on one side of the beds. After that, we simply bent the pipes over to the other side and clamped them in place as well.

In the next step, we added additional stability by securing 2×2 lumber done the center top of the hoops with the same strap/clamps. This ties them all together and offers more rigidity.

Cover With Bird Netting

When all of this framework is in place, the next step is adding the bird netting. You can get bird netting at your local garden center and it is easy to work with. We laid it out down the length of our beds, plus 3 feet on each end to be able to wrap the ends as well.

There are a variety of ways to attach it to the frame, but we opted for zip ties – super quick and easy! We pulled it taut down the length and zip tied to each pipe at the base. Next, we wrapped the netting over the top and zip tied it again to the top of the frame. …strawberry bed protection in place!

Create Access

The last step was to create an opening from which I could access the planted area for maintenance and harvesting. We spliced 2 pieces of 2×2 the entire length of the beds and zip tied the netting around it. This added weight to keep the netting down as well as giving us a ‘handle’ to use for opening. We put 2 screws into pipes a couple of feet up in order to rest it.

And that was it. Super simple, very quick and it looks neat and tidy. This project cost us very little, but it will save us a great deal of time and frustration losing our berries to critters and maybe we will end up with a terrific harvest! …MMMM ….Strawberry Jam!

For other ideas, inspiration and information concerning farm construction projects, check here!


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