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Defending the Family Strawberry Patch

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Anything better than strawberry picking in May and June?  I don’t think so.  Our family’s getting anxious for the homegrown berries that have been ripening in our garden.
Trouble is, the pillbugs keep getting the first bite just as the strawberries start to ripen!  It’s been a damp week, and that hasn’t helped matters.  In a more arid climate, I don’t think this would be a problem.  I also wonder if the same conditions that have created an otherwise healthy looking strawberry crop, such as nutrient-rich, compost-filled planting beds, are the same conditions attracting these bugs.
I tried diatomaceous earth (an all-natural flour made of crushed shells) around the plants, which has deterred pests from other plants in the garden.  Unfortunately, a hard rain came shortly after I applied it, making the dust useless.  I’d run out and buy more, but at some point this will become cost prohibitive.
So, we’re working on keeping the area where the ripe strawberries set dryer and less appealing to pests (without resorting to toxic, persistent pesticides).
Appalachian Feet offers all sorts of great information about pillbugs in the garden, so check out what they have to say.

More later…time to go work in the garden…

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