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i'm quite new to growing fruit and veg and continue to be baffled by the things that happen in my veg patch!

i've had some great advice from this forum which has helped me no end. so i've come back to ask some more questions which i've been unable to solve.

so somethings going on with my strawberries. it's only happening to about half of them but i can't work out if it's a pest or rain damage.piccys attached. they look diferent when first picked to when they've dried a little so i've taken piccys at both stages.

i've also managed to grow a mystery plany from seed but now it's bigger i suspect it's just a big weed! before i got rid of it i wanted to double check though. i've grown lots of things from seed and this just seems completely different. pic attached.

any help would be greatly appreciated.



p.s. if anyone has read my past threads, the parsnips that appeared in our lawn are doing really well, the leaves on some are 6ft tall! they've now got yellow flowers on.







That looks like typical slug damage on the strawberries.

not sure but it looks like some sort of lettuce, could you ask at a  nursery at all ?


thanks both for your quick replies.

pesky slugs. great to know what it is though. been trying to buy some organic pellets for ages but everywhere sold out. could i use salt?

it could be lettuce, it is one of the things i have planted. seems a bit leggy to me though?



Don't throw salt on the garden-you can use salt on a slug but it is not a pleasant sight!!

Wildlife friendly pellets are available now on Amazon-just checked- if you don't like the chemical ones

The very few ripe strawberries I have had look very similar to the picture, in my case it definitely is not slug damage, the strawberries just appear to have split, I am putting it down to all the rain we have had.  I am just hoping that it doesn't happen to all of them!

Looks like slug damage to me too. The first pic seems to show soggy patches..that's probably due to all the rain. We grow a lot of strawberries,and whilst the yeild is good this year, the quality ain't!  Many of the berries are rotting on the plant from all the rain. Slug damage not too bad, but I do lay a very thick layer of straw.

If that leaf is salad, it might be mizuna, or maybe a variety of rocket?

I think your mystery plant is a rocket (lovely in a salad!)  We suffered a bit of  similar damage to strawberries and discovered it was the pigeons so all the plants are netted up now.  I have to say I have suffered an attack of woodlice in one our strawberry barrels and this is a continuing problem - any ideas please - we are just using ant powder - not sure if this the right thing to do.  By the way have you put any straw for the berries to rest on, this helps prevent some of the rotting


ahh great advice thanks all. will definately try some straw for the berries. i did use some sticks to try and lift them off the soil but the rain hasn't helped. we do have an excess of woodlice in some of our pots, so could be them. i read in a garden mag that slugs dont climb pots but somethings def going on!

will try the mystery leaves and see if it tastes like rocket! good to have a bit of a clue before eating something that could be a weed!

in terms of soggy patches, we've had lots of those. i did think it could be splitting like tomatoes do if over watered but the lines are a bit too wiggly on some. trying to pick them as soon as they ripen which has reduced the amount that are attacked. we've had some funny shaped ones too. not had that before. may be due to the rain again where we've had spells of very heavy rain followed by dry spells.

thanks to everyone for your advice.


Woodlice will not do damage to the strawberries in the first instance-they wait for birds ans slugs to do the dirty work first then move in-they are the hyenas of the insect world- a secondary predator if you like

They eat plant debris and such like- so are quite useful in that sense-not really a pest- more of a nuisance. 


woodlice only eat dead and rotting wood.



I stand corrected but they do eat dead and decaying wood as well.



Be careful where you source your straw for your berries.  I had some trees delivered a few years ago, well wrapped in nice dry straw.  So I used it - on the grounds of waste not want not - and grew the most incredible amount of weed grasses I had ever seen. Some 7 years later they are still pesting the area, no matter how much we dig and pull to get rid of them.  Sometimes cork type mats are a safer option as far as not introducing weeds is concerned.  You can also cut up some weed suppressing membrane, makes good collars for strawberries and other crops. 

Wood lice cannot eat your strawberries unless something else has started the damage.  They have extremely small mouthparts which only allow the ingestion of liquid food, they will suck out the juices once the dkin is broken on the fruit, but cannot do that themselves.  There really is no need to kill them, they are harmless - but can be a bit horrid in vast numbers.  You could brush them up in a dustpan and take a bucketful to the local woodlands for release.  I expect they will get eaten by the birds, but that is natural and I can live with that. 

I've also heard that you shouldn't use oat straw as it can carry eelworms. I always use barley or wheat straw. I am lucky as I buy it for £2 a bale from a local farm, and it is always good quality.

Dont know what gardening mag you read that says slugs dont climb pots !! Very wrong. Slugs can climb almost anything, even had them in hanging baskets. I am always removing them from in my pots of bedding plants...whats left of them ! You can try copper bands around pots, that will help but if there is any leaves overhanging that they can climb on they willand munch munch munch.

We must have very acrobatic slugs here too, as a pot doesn't seem to stop them. I even had one climbing up the bathroom window..presumably he could smell the little gem lettuce seedlings on the windowsill! LOL!!