The most dangerous pest of garden strawberries is the strawberry mite. These are tiny white or yellow insects with an elongated oval body. They damage strawberry leaves in early spring. The mites are dangerous because they lay eggs on plants and suck out the juice from the leaves. As a result, the leaves become depleted, wrinkled, oily, and the berries are smaller.
To prevent the appearance of this pest in your beds, we recommend, first of all, checking the seedlings you are planting. Before the flowering of strawberries, as a preventive measure or to exterminate the mite, the treatment with usual infusion of onion peel is done. The most damaged plants are removed from the bed (in August).
In spring, a greyish black weevil, about two millimeters long, emerges from under fallen leaves and lumps of soil. It begins to gnaw through holes in strawberry leaves, and female weevils lay larvae on strawberry buds, which later gnaw the leaves and buds.
In beds that are in places with insufficient light and excessive moisture, such pests are very common. To protect your plants, treat them with metaldehyde (three grams per one square meter) before flowering. Repeat the treatment after you have gathered all the berries from the bed. To control ants, it is more effective to spread the product in places where insects congregate.
Fungal diseases are also common due to improper handling of agricultural machinery in the open.
The Following Errors Can Cause Diseases:
If the leaves of your plants have brown spots with a visible velvety grey taint, it indicates the spread of a pest known as grey rot on a plantation. This berry disease spreads to buds and fruits. It can cause them to wither away, as a result of which the whole shrub may die.
To prevent grey rot appearance, the following measures are helpful: crop rotation, timely weeding and berry picking, as well as the immediate removal of diseased parts of strawberries as soon as the first alarm signs are detected.
After heavy spring and autumn rains, the roots of garden strawberries may be affected by phytophthora wilt, which leads to the death of the fibrous roots. Strawberry bushes affected by the disease slow down their growth, look weak, small grey leaves appear on them, and the old leaves wither quickly during the ripening of berries. In a year, the fruiting of infected plants stops, and the next year, they die at all. You can fight against phytophthora wilt of strawberries by maintaining an optimal soil moisture and by timely removing of damaged plants.
Such a well-known disease of garden strawberries as powdery mildew is spread by air. It can be easily brought to the plot with infected planting material. Diseased plants are covered with a greyish taint, the berries have a mouldy smell and acquire a bluish tinge. Before planting, select and inspect the plants thoroughly. Choose well-lit, ventilated areas for your beds. If you notice a grey tinge on strawberries, be sure to immediately remove the affected parts of the plants.