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strawberry vandal.

strathclyde, United Kingdom Gb

im a brand new gardener in my first garden. I spent all afternoon planting strawberries in big pots and in the ground it took longer than i thought it would but i was pleased with myself. The next day i could not believe my eyes. something pulled up every single one of my strawberry plants and tossed them all around the garden, they were everywhere. What on earth would do this? First i thought it was someone having a sick joke! I tried to plant them again but they were damaged and i would just keep finding them tossed on the grass again. Out of about 50 strawberry plants 2 survived. This year i want to catch or outwitt this criminal. Please share your expertise this gardening lark is so much harder than i expected!

On plant Fragaria



Hi Hedgehogg and welcome to GoY.
I am SOooo sorry you have had such a bad experience with your strawberry plants.
I am by no means an expert at this gardening lark but seems to me some critter, be it human or otherwise (more likely) has as much interest in strawberry plants as you, albeit for a different reason.
In your shoes I would try protecting them with fleece, sealing it down firmly round the edges either with pegs and/or burying the edges in the soil.
Hopefully this would give the plants a chance to put out new roots and establish themselves, making it more of a challenge to uproot them.

13 Apr, 2008


thanks! i will go to get fleece this year how long should i leave the fleece on? There are squirrels and magpies in garden which one (if any) would your money be on as culprit?

13 Apr, 2008


Hello Hedgehogg,
If you know of anyone with a camcorder you could use or if you could rent one, it might be worth you while. If it's a 2 legged critter, he could at least be charged with trespassing and vandalism.
I might be too blonde, but I don't understand how that would be any fun to damage plants for goodness sake.

14 Apr, 2008


Hi Hedgehog! My money would be on the culprit being a blackbird. Have you ever seen a blackbird picking up dead leaves and hurling them over its head to look for insects under the leaves? They do this naturally and if the leaves they are looking under happen to be attached to newly planted plants, then the plants come up too! I have a (very tiny) plant nursery in the corner of my garden and I have had problems with blackbirds actually pulling young plants out of the pots - I find recently potted plants (minus their pots) all over the place, empty pots hurled about and compost scattered EVERYWHERE. It's very disheartening. But it's easy to deal with - Xela's suggestion of fleese should work. Once the plants are well rooted and anchored down, they should be safe! Good luck!

14 Apr, 2008


thanks for your help everyone sids story of blackbird sounds very like what ive been experiencing, my garden is walled so dont think its a human and theres no footprints or mess. i always believed it was an animal of some sort but never realised a blackbird could be so distructive. i havnt seen any blackbirds up to mischief but ill keep a look out and will cover them this year with fleece.

14 Apr, 2008


I've watched blackbirds tossing bark chippings all over the place, I have to "sweep" the lawn quite often when they have finished. They are messy devils.

15 Apr, 2008


I would agree with the others that say it's a blackbird I'ave seen the tactics these guys can do and I have to say it's really amazing how big and how many lumps they can move if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it!

I bet you are relieved Hedgehogg that the culprit is a naughty blackbird as to imagine it might be a human being is very disheartening although some people can damage others gardens just for the hell of not on the meanies!

15 Apr, 2008


May be late the answer but i'm new to this . i had the same problem for 2yrs , then put the plants in windowboxes , finally caught the squirrel happily munching at roots and base of plants and throwing away what he didn't want.

13 Aug, 2009

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