I have been asked the best way to keep strawberries from getting dirt on them while they grow. It’s simply mulching. Strawberries need a cool soil to produce so stay away from the black ground cover, simply use straw or pine needles to keep the berries from touching he soil .
After you plant, mulch between your plants with the straw. It keeps the ground cool, and will keep the berries off the dirt. Also throw more straw over your plants during the winter, it will protect the strawberry crows so they come back thriving the next year.
You can get straw for your garden at any local plant nursery . I also recommend a netting of some kind. Birds love berries so placing a bird net over your berries can protect them until you pick them. Easy and cheap fix for those strawberries!
Slugs are also a major berry lover and they can quickly eat a juicy plump strawberry so it’s best to keep them out. Ideas to keep them out –
- Coffee grounds or eggshells, both of which are super helpful to the soil also keep slugs away!
- Copper wire, or strips around your plants
- Pine needles
- Sand, slugs won’t go over sand so be generous and surround your plants they’ve invaded with play sand.
- The beer pan. Fill a foil pie plate with beer, set it at ground level ( dig a small hole to set it on that way the slugs can reach it better. You’ll awaken to a yard full of drunk dead slugs- yes not a pretty sight and yes you need to clean them up but it’s better than picking a strawberry with a fat slung hanging off it.
- Cornmeal, slugs love to eat it but it kills them.