The Missing Strawberries!

As many of you may remember, I planted strawberry plants in early May. They were bare root plants and I watched as they grew beautiful green leaves, flowered and finally produced berries. I waited patiently for the berries to ripen and I have been enjoying luscious red berries for the last few weeks. I got everbearing plants. You don’t get a massive harvest all at once, but instead they trickle out over the summer. Not enough for jam, but perfect to put on your cereal every morning or to make strawberry shortcake.

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Well this morning, when I was out with Fergus, I saw this…

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Someone has been eating my strawberries! And not just the berries…..the entire plants!

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And not just one plant….all of them!

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One of the borage plants was knocked over.

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And they sampled a few potato plants as well!
Who would do this? A close look at the grass revealed small indentations…..

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I don’t know if you can see them in the photo, but they are hoof size. I suspect deer. Though I do not know. Deer sometimes pass through the yard, but they have never bothered my gardens before. Of course I never had strawberries before. Well, I hope they enjoyed them. They left a few leaves so I am hoping the plants will recover.

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There is even a flower on one.

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And they missed a couple of plants that were near the peonies.

So it is not a total disaster. But the strawberry shortcake that was planned for today has been cancelled. 😞

Hopefully the blueberries will be ripe soon!

About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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11 Responses to The Missing Strawberries!

  1. Oh well.. I hope they don’t wipe things out as they ripen, now..

  2. pattigail says:

    Agreed. Between the humid wet weather, the ridiculous number of bugs, and now other “predators” I fear my gardens are going to struggle.

  3. wspines says:

    Hi Patti,I wonder what is doing it. I have been loosing mine too, I think its Mr. and Mrs SKunk It might be deer in your case as they are eating the plants tool. I agree the gardens are struggling this year.

    • pattigail says:

      I think it is definitely deer because I noticed they got a few tomato tops and the green beans growing up the poles. I don’t think skunks can climb poles! They got my scarlet runner beans too. I hope they don’t make a habit of eating at my “restaurant”…..or I won’t have anything left!

  4. It seems like a good time for a deer fence.

  5. pattigail says:

    I am afraid so. We’ll see if they come back tonight for “seconds.”

  6. My first attempt at growing strawberries resulted in a similar vanishing act. I blamed possums but it could have been bandicoots. I think strawberries are universally loved by animals the world over. If it gives you any hope, subsequent years the plants were left alone. I still lose berries but whatever it was is not eating the whole darned plant!

    • pattigail says:

      Thanks. I hope most of the plants recover. I did discover later they had also sampled the green beans…climbing up poles. So I am pretty sure it was deer or some other ” tall” animal. I seem to have a salad bar out there for them….I hope they leave a bit for me!

  7. hobacaitbe says:

    Ahh! Strawberries. My nemesis. You have deer. I built a screen cover for my strawberries to keep out the deer and the chipmunks when the berries ripen. One time I didn’t cover my plants and the deer ate every leaf that night. The plants did recover . That was 3 years ago and I can report today that July 3 rd this week I picked about 3 quarts of strawberries. AND, I told the nice lady at the U-Pick Strawberry Farm, when I paid for the berries, that I would be making some strawberry-rhubarb jam. I don’t have to buy the rhubarb.
    Ed

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