|Inspecting the strawberries for pest damage.|
|"Ow, ow, owww!" Desperate slugs sliding over dry gravel yesterday.|
|Our other big strawberry pest is on the mooch...|
|Nibbled and mauled but still usable|
So what's the difference between this plant and my other strawberries?
The latter is in fact a "wild" strawberry variety of the sort that has been growing free in Irish and European temperate woodlands for thousands of years. The slug hammered varieties (see the picture above) - are all from the most commonly grown commercial varieties in Europe (like Elsanta) which happen to have their relatively recent origins in the USA and South America. These have only arrived here in the last few hundred years.
What it does illustrate is that mother nature has provided the local varieties with all the necessary defenses against the slimy predators. Which of course begs the question: Why do we bother at all growing "higher yielding" imported varieties that can't defend themselves - especially if we either end up losing most them to pests or else spending huge amounts on pest control? Perhaps wild strawberries demonstrate that the answer to proper pest control might just have been on our doorstep all along.
|Wild boys! Too much for gravel hardened slugs to handle..|