Follow along for the best way to protect your strawberries from animals. This is a simple but effective way to keep your precious strawberries safe from pests!
There is nothing worse than anxiously waiting for your fresh strawberries to ripen up only to come out and find that a bird, squirrel, or even your dog has got to it first! So disappointing! What if I told you that there is a easy way to protect your strawberries from anything scurrying around your garden?
Well there is! Here’s to keeping all those precious ruby red, delicious berries all to yourself. Well, that is unless you have kids. It is the daily morning task for my little youngsters to head out to the garden and hunt for the perfectly red (and maybe not so red) strawberries to devour themselves. And I love it.
What material should you use to protect your strawberries?
I have seen a few different materials used to cover strawberries, but the most common are either bird netting or chicken wire. I went with the chicken wire as I wanted something that was more durable and less likely to fall or get ripped.
I also wanted my cover to be easily moved so that I (and my kids) could move it and grab a strawberry. I have seen some elaborate bird netting covers, but they looked a little cumbersome to move when you want to harvest the strawberries.
So in this article I am going to focus on protecting your strawberries using chicken wire.
Supplies needed to protect your strawberries.
- 2x4x8’s. You will need to measure your strawberry bed. If your bed is 8’x4′ long you will only need 3 boards. I used skinnier boards and wished that I did 2×4’s instead.
- Staple gun
- Staples (the gun listed above comes with staples). Just make sure they are sized for the staple gun you have.
- Wire cutters
- Chicken wire: 25-50 ft depending on the size of your garden bed.
- Zip ties or bailing wire
- Wood screws
Tips for making your strawberry cover
- Make your cover a few inches wider and longer than your garden bed. Strawberry plants tend to spread and grow. They will expand past your cover if you let them. Give them the extra space and also remove any runners that try spread past your cover.
- Use wood that can handle the elements of being outside. Some people avoid pressure treated wood in their garden because of the chemicals used in that wood. If you want to use cedar or a strong wood that will keep your cover lasting longer.
- When arching the chicken wire over the strawberries make sure you give the plants a few inches of space to grow up. Strawberries don’t get too tall, but you just want to make sure they have room to grow up a little bit.
- When stapling the wire to the boards make sure you keep the sharp edges away from the bottom. That way you can grab the board and lift the cover without getting scratched.
How to build the frame of your strawberry cover
- Measure your garden bed.
- Cut two of your boards the length of your bed.
- Cut two boards the width of your bed
- Line up the long boards at the corner of the shorter boards and drill them together at the corner. You should end up with a rectangle that will outline your garden bed.
- If your bed is really long it may need corner support boards. Just get a small scrap of wood and place it at the corner of the frame. Drill each side of the frame into that support board.
How to add chicken wire to the frame
- Line up the end of your chicken wire along the longer board of your frame.
- Staple it into place
- Unroll the wire until you get to the other side of your frame working across where your strawberries are going to be. Unroll enough wire so that a dome or arch shape is formed.
- Cut the chicken wire with your wire cutters and then staple the wire into place.
- Now repeat this process working just next to the previous arch of chicken wire. You want each arch to be so close that they are almost overlapping.
- Connect each arch using zip ties or bailing wire. I just used the wire that came with my roll of chicken wire. You will want to attach the arches in 2-3 places.
- Custom cut a piece of chicken wire to cover each end of your strawberry cover. It Will be arched at the top and flat at the bottom. Then staple this piece to the wood at the bottom using staples. Attach to the arched wire using the bailing wire or zip ties.
How to use your strawberry cover
What I love most about this cover is that all you have to do to pick your juicy strawberries is to lift the board, reach in and pick your strawberry! When I want to weed my strawberries, I will lift the entire cover and lay it on its back while I pick weeds. You can also use a stick to prop up the boards as well. This is so easy that my two year old can do it herself!
This is the best way that I have found to protect your strawberries from animals. The chicken wire is strong enough to support birds or squirrels crawling on top of it. We even had a groundhog try his luck at sneaking one of our precious strawberries.
Now you are ready to make your own cover to protect your strawberries! Pin this to reference and get your garden protected!