Guarding your garden against various pests is a never-ending task if you expect to benefit from your labor. Before adding this netting over the strawberry plants, the squirrels were getting them before we were. They still get one on occasion when they can reach through the netting, but most of the strawberries are out of their reach. While a pellet rifle with a good scope does a fine job of thinning the population of “fuzzy tail tree rats”, it just doesn’t compare to netting when it comes to results. It may be more satisfying to see the little thieves fall from a tree, but it doesn’t even put a dent in the population. Netting is far more effective.
The down side to using netting is that if I’m in a hurry in the morning, it’s easy to just take a quick look for ripe strawberries to pick rather than removing the netting and looking carefully under the leaves. I’ve lost some by letting them get over-ripe.
This year, we just had 4 strawberry plants. We will definitely be increasing the number next year.