[nafex] Chipmunks Go Awry in Berry Patch

Ginda Fisher ginda at concentric.net
Sat Jul 14 10:23:38 EDT 2001

Doreen, I gave up on my strawberry patch because of this, and plan to
rip the plants out this fall.  I tried bird netting.  It doesn't stop
the bees at all - not even the big bumblebees who look bigger than the
holes.  (They sort of rest on the netting and walk through - it always
amazes me how persistent they are.)  More important than how many bees
walk through, my netted fruit consistently has excellent set.

BUT, it doesn't stop the chipmunks, either.  One year I tried to pin
down the edges of the netting all around the plants, to keep them out. 
I snared a lot of chipmunks, but all the berries disappeared anyway. 
Somehow, there were always more of them.  I didn't see any holes
emerging inside the net, but that may have been their entrance.

I didn't enjoy disentangling dead chipmunks from my nets, and it upset
the kids, so I've stopped pinning the nets to the ground.  

The chipmunks don't get any of the raspberries, and seem to have left my
currants alone now that I staked them up.  They can climb, but they
don't seem to, much.  My next attempt is going to be to grow
strawberries off the ground (with nets) in the hopes of harvesting some.

Ginda Fisher,
strawberryless, but with a real harvest of currants and raspberries!

p.s.  plaster of paris does not need air to set.  I used to make figures
in rubber molds, and it hardened at the far end at least as fast as at
the top.  The figures were still damp when I took them out, but fully

Doreen Howard wrote:
> I have a large strawberry patch filled with everbearers and day
> neutrals--all planted in April.  I removed all the flowers from the first
> flush in late May and have snapped off runners, too, forcing multiple crown
> production.  The technique worked great, and now I am being rewarded with a
> full bed of huge plants that are flowering like crazy and setting fruit.  I
> have wire hoops spanning the bed, too, so I can drape bird netting over if
> needed.  Here is the problem.  The first berries are starting to ripen.  I
> saw two yesterday that I figured I'd pick today.  Wrong!  This morning they
> were gone.  The flower stems on which they were, and that also contain other
> developing berries, were tossed aside.  I found them on the concrete block
> path next to the bed.  Obviously, Chip and Dale, the local chipmunks, have
> been busy.
> What are my options?  Do you think the bird netting will keep them out?  If
> I put it up, though, the bees can't get to the flowers.  Any suggestions?
> Doreen Howard
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