For the past three years, I have been building a fortress around my kitchen garden to keep various wild critters at bay. I put up chicken wire as soon as sprouts appear. I place bird netting over the strawberry bed as the buds drop off and the green fruit forms. This year, I added bobbing crane decoys.
Still the strawberries have disappeared. One morning I came out to find a rabbit under the bird netting. Because I had the dog in tow, I let the rabbit be and took the dog inside. When I returned, the rabbit had pulled the netting open and hopped over the chicken wire to freedom. Hmm, not exactly the effect I have been hoping for. So far, the harvest has been slim this year: one lone strawberry.
All along I have been blaming rabbits. But I'm now thinking it's the squirrels. They race back and forth on the fence row, scampering from one tree to another, and I'm guessing, with an occasional detour into the garden to help themselves to strawberries. They love the apples, why not strawberries?
For now, I've now decided the strawberries are the squirrels' domain. I don't relish the thought of squirrel saliva on my morning berries. Some things are better left to nature.