Sunday, May 22, 2011

Protecting strawberries from slug and snail damage

We have a small number of strawberry plants that are in their second and third year of growth. Each year they produce well but the fruits are susceptible to damage from slugs and snails if we are not careful. Up to now we have relied on organic slug pellets, crushed egg shells or wood ash to help protect or to form a barrier around the plants. This has worked, up to a point.

This year we acquired a few bales of straw and decided to try using some to protect the fruits. Not only does it help keep them free from rain damage but it has been a great success in keeping the slimy creatures at bay. The organic slug pellets act as a second barrier but as these are not available here in Spain, we use them sparingly.


  1. My grandmother had a wonderful strawberry bed which was always strewn with straw to keep the berries off the soil and away from pests. She always had masses of fruit for eating and jam making, so I guess it must have been effective. The beds were also covered in heavy black strawberry netting to keep the birds off - actually picking the fruit was quite a palaver!

    The only time I've grown strawberries myself they got awful whitefly and had to be binned, but I'm having another go this year with some wild strawberries grown from seed to go in my "woodland" patch at the bottom of the garden. Must pot them out soon...

  2. Anonymous7:34 pm

    This is the first year I have used straw as mulch for my strawberries and it is also the first year I've noticed slugs! I was actually wondering if the straw bed made a welcoming home for the slugs but not according to the above info.

  3. Oh...I hope it wasn't the straw - it always works for us but they are devious little creatures so who knows?


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