THANKS TO KLAUS LAITENBERGER FOR THE CLOCHE DESIGN TO PROTECT STRAWBERRIES – 3rd wk in June 2014

A frustrated blackbird perched on a net cloche which protects the strawberry crop from bird predation.

A frustrated blackbird perched on a net cloche which protects the strawberry crop from bird predation.

A recent course held in Sonairte, the Eco-Visitor Centre and Gardens, in Co. Meath, was a good place to learn about cloche building. Organic horticulturalist and lecturer, Klaus Laitenberger taught a dozen of us how to build a simple effective cloche using wood, hydrodare rubber piping and Bionet or garden netting. Unfortunately, Bionet is far more expensive than netting, but it does last for 7 years the makers claim. It keeps out carrot root fly and cabbage white butterflies too, so it is a good product.

Hopefully the attached picture gives an idea of the cloche design and construction. Here in Tacumshin, we are getting a good crop of strawberries thanks the net cloches we have built to protect the crop from birds. The varieties planted are ‘Cambridge Favourite’, ‘Symphony‘ and ‘Eros‘. The favourite among friends so far is the ‘Symphony’ strawberry, it seems, by the way.

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