You might recall last summer’s efforts to build new strawberry beds after having some dirt work done.
Back in May/June this year, I finished putting shale on the paths and transplanted 500 of these little babies from the overcrowded original beds. They haven’t grown much in size, but they have taken root and are putting out flowers and runners. I’m clipping runners.
Plants in the old beds are big and loaded with promising blossoms.
A couple of weeks ago, I was excited to see the first berries beginning to turn pink. I watched the pink spread and turn orange-red. Finally, Mike and I decided two could be picked the following day. Our first strawberries of 2010!
The next day, as I weeded the old berry patch, I discovered one of the two ripe berries wasn’t there. Crumb! When I got down to the second ripe berry, I noticed it was partially eaten. Double crumb!
I make an effort to keep critters from eating my produce, and keep a pretty close eye on things, so what was eluding me?
I took a break to pout and gulp some water. From the deck, I saw my pal, Mr. or Ms. Robin, flutter into the strawberries where I had just been. I’ve watched it munch up insects in those beds all spring/summer.
You see, a pair of robins has been hanging around all spring. One flew into a window, and I kind of aided it as it recovered for three hours on our deck, providing shade, water, relative peace, and safety. The pair built a nest on our wood pile while I was gone for a few days, but decided to move out when I returned. Still, one visits when I’m out in the garden, and I see them often.
When I returned to the strawberries, the beautiful, ripe, partially-eaten berry was gone.
Do robins eat strawberries?!
I got online to find out.
Robins love ripe strawberries. That changes everything.
Scarecrows, pinwheels, dangling pie tins or cds, cheesecloth, right? Sure, except I don’t have any of those things. Then some advice from a former director of the St. Louis Zoo came to mind.
See that scary black thing winding through the strawberries?
Bungie cords! They’re a substitute for rubber snakes. They may not work on Alaskan birds because what do Alaskan birds know from snakes, right? We don’t have snakes. But robins migrate. They should know what snakes are.
But I don’t have that many bungies, so I rounded up some old pieces of electric cable (building materials saved for craft purposes). One bit has a yellow stripe running down the length of it–a nice touch, I thought.
Pre-bungie strawberry score:
Post-bungie strawberry score:
Jen: 10 (8 in the freezer, 2 in the belly)
That’s more like it!
There are a lot of berries out there. I won’t mind sharing some.