Now you see me, now you don’t!

Seven o’clock this morning: one or two ripe strawberries ready to eat. Two hours later, there were none. Or rather the birds had been eating them, so instead of feeding me, apart from the birds, the compost bin got the remnants.

This did, however, galvanise me into action. I had got some straw from the farm yesterday with every intention of putting it under the strawberry plants and then covering them with netting, so now seemed the moment to do it. I had been putting off netting the strawberry plants, partly down to aesthetics and partly down to the inconvenience of trying to pick the ripened fruit with it on. Anyway, this is the end result:

Image

The strawberries weren’t the only casualties today. Whilst I was outside this evening, I saw a sparrow chomping away at the beetroot leaves, which I had been planning on having in a salad later in the week, by way of thinning out the plants. So, the netting came out again and they are now nicely protected against my feathered competitors.

It is a shame that I have to deprive the birds of a food they so evidently enjoy. But I am sure that there are still plenty of other things that they can have a go at and which might be to my advantage as well. Like the slug that I saw having a meal of my radishes. At first, I had thought it was just a leaf going brown, but was glad I investigated and removed it from where it was in the tub under one of the cloches.

On the subject of birds, I was actually delighted to see a chaffinch sitting on the fence earlier. It’s the first time I have seen one of these in real life and I am ever so pleased that they and other birds are attracted to my garden, even if there is a downside, too.

Other pleasures today have been seeing that the mangetout I sowed the other day are starting to come through. And one of my pumpkins is now quite a robust little plant on the windowsill. Some of the tomato plants are almost big enough to plant out and some of the potato plants are starting to flower, so hopefully it won’t be too long before I can dig the potatoes out of the ground.

Last but not least, I managed to dig a few more dandelion roots out of what was once the lawn. So, surely I must be have cracked that part of the new vegetable garden now?

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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12 Responses to Now you see me, now you don’t!

  1. I have ground cover under my strawberry bed, netted it too….but I forgot that ants also love strawberries. They have chomped their way through some of the biggest strawbs I have ever seen in my garden! So watch out for them too. I am going to have to put down ant dust or white flour around each plant. Good luck with yours too 🙂

  2. PJ Girl says:

    I’ve had my brassicas netted for a while to stop the pesky Cabbage White butterflies laying their eggs and I’m going to net my fruit this weekend. Chaffinches are ground feeders and we often see them at the bottom of the bird feeders waiting for dropped seed!

  3. pzdesigns says:

    OMG your post has just reminded me to net the strawberries!!! :O

  4. Your veg garden sounds fantastic and the strawberries will give YOU some fruit next time! I haven’t thought about birds eating my beetroots…one for me to look out for.

    • I think the birds are attracted to the soft new leaves on the beetroot. They have also had a go at the broccoli seedlings through the netting, so I’ve readjusted that to make it harder for them to get at them.

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