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The sweet and aromatic strawberry, unfortunately, is prone to many diseases and pests. Most often, we fight with them in the spring or immediately after fruiting, but in vain. After all, strawberry processing in the fall can be carried out with the use of rather strong pesticides. Most of them will safely decompose into safe elements by the time the new harvest comes.
So the time allotted to us by nature after fruiting strawberries before frost should be used with maximum benefit to combat diseases and pests, and not be limited to loosening the soil and watering.
The main pests and diseases of strawberries
Each fruit plant has its own enemies. Some, such as tomatoes or strawberries, have a lot of them, you have to work hard to get a good harvest. Others, for example, irga, in our conditions practically do not get sick, and pests bypass them.
Strawberries have enough diseases, and insects ready to feast on a sweet berry before us too. But it is not difficult to deal with them (if not to start), and if proper agrotechnical measures are observed, troubles can be minimized altogether.
We will very briefly describe the main pests of garden strawberries, so that, if necessary, you can figure out what you are dealing with.
These pests are very small worms almost invisible to the naked eye. They suck the juice out of the strawberry cells and introduce various enzymes that cause metabolic disorders. This is manifested in the swelling of leaves and petioles, tissue death. Due to infection with a nematode, the yield decreases, and heavily affected bushes die.
Nematoda is a quarantine pest, the affected plants are burned, the soil is disinfected with lime and kept under black steam. Strawberries are not planted in an infected area for several years.
Strawberry and spider mites
Small pest, the easiest way to see it with a magnifying glass. Strawberry mite affects only strawberries, while many garden plants, both fruit and ornamental, suffer from spider mites. Several generations of insects develop during the season.
Pests suck the juice from the leaves, live under a thin web. With a strong defeat of strawberries, the leaves turn yellow, die prematurely.
Gray root, strawberry-raspberry, flower beetle and other types of weevils are brown-gray beetles up to 6 mm long with a short proboscis. They hibernate in the ground at a depth of 3 cm, under mulch and even inside plants. White legless larvae live at the root system at a depth of 4-10 cm. At the beginning of the growing season, pests begin to eat the edges of the leaves, as well as gnaw at the roots, stems, and flowers.
Important! Weevils pose the greatest danger during dry periods with poor watering.
These mobile black beetles, about 1 cm in size, move to strawberries from weeds, eat its seeds and surrounding pulp, which greatly disfigures the berries.
Caterpillars 0.5 cm in size, entangle the leaves with transparent cobwebs. Pests feed on greens, less often berries.
There is no person who does not know this harmful insect. There are many species of aphids that feed on the soft tissues of plants. But the main danger is that this insect is a carrier of viruses.
Slugs and snails
Strawberries suffer the most from these pests - their berries are juicy, moreover, they are located close to the ground.
Strawberry bushes are attacked by pests and also suffer from diseases.
Gray berry rot
It affects many crops, including strawberries. It hibernates in the ground and on plant debris, spores of gray rot are carried by wind and insects. All organs of the strawberry are affected, dark gray or brown rotting spots are formed on them. The berries are covered with a gray dense fluff, which is the causative agent of the disease.
Important! If you find infected fruits, take them away and then destroy them. Don't throw them on the spot or in the compost heap.
The disease affects leaves, berries, petioles, on which a white powdery coating appears. The edges of the leaves are bent upward, wrinkled. In winter, the fungus remains on diseased greenery, the wind carries its spores throughout the garden.
Perhaps this is one of the most common strawberry diseases. The fungus damages leaf plates, antennae, flowers, petioles, stalks. The affected areas are covered with rounded reddish-brown spots, whitening over time, surrounded by a dark red rim.
The disease develops in the second half of summer on old strawberry leaves. It looks like large, rounded or veined spots, which are first reddish-brown and then brownish in color. Leaves appear dry. The disease significantly reduces the next year's harvest.
Black root rot
In summer, the lower leaves first turn brown and then die off. Bushes are easily removed from the ground. If you look at the roots, it turns out that the taproot is cracked, and the young roots have died long ago.
This disease is spread by aphids, and can also be brought in with dirty garden tools. Most often, in the spring, a virus is active on strawberries that causes curly leaves, in autumn - manifested by yellowing of the edge of the leaf plate. From spring to autumn, the mosaic virus infects strawberries, it deforms the leaves, on which yellow spots also appear.
Important! Today, viral diseases are incurable and require the destruction of the affected plants.
Autumn strawberry processing
Pest and disease control on strawberries begins in the fall.
- After harvesting, with a strong infection of the plantation, we can apply chemicals without fear that the processed berry will end up on our table.
- Many pests and spores of pathogenic fungi hibernate in the ground, on bushes or among plant debris, including mulch.
- Often in the fall we simply have more time to fight diseases than in the spring, when every day is dear.
Why cut off strawberry leaves in autumn
Strawberry is an evergreen plant. During the growing season, new leaves are constantly formed and grow, and the old ones die off. They are the main, and the only organs of photosynthesis, the harvest depends on them.
The active vital activity of the leaves depends on the phases of development, the age of the strawberry plantation. In spring and autumn, their growth is most active, in summer, under the influence of high, and in winter - low temperatures, it decreases. Fungal diseases, usually brown or white spot, powdery mildew, spread on old leaves, and ticks or other pests on young leaves. Most often, strawberries are affected, starting from the age of two.
To stimulate the growth of young leaves, as well as the relative release from pests, diseases, after harvest, the leaves must be mown. Remember that pruning strawberries too early, when the outflow of nutrients from old leaves into the stems is not complete, is unacceptable. Plants are weakening, wintering poorly, and the next year's harvest is declining. Late pruning leads to poor bud formation, which occurs in the second half of August - September.
Important! Leaves should grow until the second half of August.
After trimming the leaves, it is necessary to carry out comprehensive measures to combat pests, diseases, soil treatment, and strawberry feeding.
Pest and disease control with chemicals
Toxic chemicals are used in the form of solutions, which are used to treat strawberries from small-drop sprayers. This is by far the most common method of combating diseases and pests.
Important! When using chemicals, especially insecticides and acaricides, remember that they are dangerous to humans, warm-blooded animals and bees. Always follow the instructions, use personal protective equipment.
Autumn is just the time when the use of pesticides on strawberries is safest. In order to choose the right drug, carefully monitor the berry plantation throughout the season. Record your observations as needed. We will not tell you how to process strawberries - there are many drugs, their prices are different, and the effect is about the same. Here are just a few recommendations.
- For ticks, use acaricides, a formulation made specifically to fight this tiny insect.
- Use insecticides for larger pests.
- Spray carefully with contact poisons.
- Systemic poisons act directly on the plant, the pest dies when eating its parts. But here you need to carefully read the instructions and make sure that the chemicals used are not too toxic.
- For diseases, you need to spray the plant with an appropriate fungicide.
- A very good result in the fight against both pests and diseases is given by the autumn treatment of strawberry bushes and soil on the plantation with any copper-containing preparation.
- Treat pests and diseases in calm, dry weather.
- In order for the drug to work better, add 2-3 tablespoons of liquid soap to the bottle from which you are going to spray the strawberries.
- Follow the instructions carefully.
- Wear personal protective equipment.
Important! For use on a personal plot, choose drugs for pests and diseases, according to the degree of toxicity belonging to a group of at least the third.
Biological products for strawberries
Nowadays, a sufficient number of biological and organic preparations are produced to protect strawberries from pests and diseases.
- Effective microorganisms ("EM" -reparations), allowing to reduce morbidity due to soil health.
- Fitosporin, a bacterial fungicide and biological pesticide.
- A whole squad of drugs that stimulate the own defenses of plants, for example, Epin and Zircon.
- Other drugs for pests and diseases of biological origin: Bitoxibacillin, Aktofit, Fitoverm.
Strawberries are treated against pests and diseases with drugs of biological origin, as well as with chemicals.
Processing strawberries with folk remedies
Even if you grow strawberries without using chemical fertilizers and preparations, folk remedies for processing in the fall are appropriate only in the absence of significant damage to the plantation by pests and diseases. In the case of a more or less severe infection of the plantings in the fall, it is better to use chemical or biological preparations.
As a preventive measure, at the end of September, spray the strawberries with the following mixture:
- 10 liters of warm water;
- 3 tablespoons refried sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoons of sifted wood ash;
- the same amount of vinegar and liquid soap.
Destruction of strawberries
Of course, this is an extreme measure. But with a strong infection with a nematode or virus, you will have to destroy the entire strawberry plantation. The dug out plants will have to be burned, the soil should be disinfected with lime or copper preparations. As an additional measure, it is good to leave the plot under black fallow for a year, and then grow siderates on it for several more years.
Of course, if only a few bushes are infected, you can limit yourself only to their destruction. But next year, the strawberries planted in this garden must be closely monitored and not neglected sanitary measures.
Attention! Sometimes we ourselves are to blame for the appearance of a nematode, knocking out the soil from the pots in the garden in which the indoor plants grew.
Prevention of contamination of strawberries
Of course, prevention is better than cure. What measures can we take against pests and diseases in strawberry beds after cutting the leaves?
- The correct choice of planting site, as well as the previous plants when laying a strawberry bed.
- Use only healthy planting material.
- Timely, sufficient fertilization.
- Regular weed removal.
- Loosening the soil.
- Growing strawberries in narrow beds (about 50 cm wide) makes it easier to care for them.
Strawberries are not an easy berry to care for. But subject to agricultural technology, it will certainly delight you with a good harvest.