Whether the strawberries are grown for pleasure or profit, the presence of insect pests reduces the likelihood of success; pests that feed on the leaves of strawberry plants cause a number of problems. Keeping the strawberry plant free of harmful pests is key to a good crop in the summer and fall.
There are a variety of pests that affect strawberry plants, including slugs, aphids, earwigs, crown borers, leaf hoppers and tarnished plant bugs, according to the Colorado State University website. These insects feed on the leaves of strawberry plants, causing them to become yellow or brown at the edges. The damage done to the leaves of the strawberry plant also make it more likely to contract diseases and produce a smaller harvest of berries.
The use of pesticides on strawberry plants is one effective way to control insect problems. A spray schedule that begins in the early spring and lasts until harvest helps control pests at all growth stages, from eggs and larvae to full-grown adults that invade the garden to lay new eggs on the strawberry plant. Apply pesticide sprays to the strawberry so that the chemicals cover the plant. Follow all directions when spraying pesticides for the best results.
Companion planting helps reduce the number of pests in a garden naturally, without the use of harmful chemicals. Some plants that, when grown near strawberries, help reduce the number of harmful pests include plants like borage, beans, cabbage, peas, spinach and thyme, according to the Golden Harvest Organics website. These plants offer a number of benefits, including reduced pest populations, greater disease resistance and overall garden health and biodiversity. Reducing the number of chemicals in the garden helps keep all plants healthy.
Keep the growing conditions of a strawberry plant optimal to reduce the likelihood of attracting pests to the garden. Pinch off and remove weak, dead or diseased leaves on the strawberry plant, as these draw pests. Keep the soil around the strawberry free of decaying organic matter or standing water, both of which have the potential to bring harmful pests to the plant. Maintain the growing condition of the strawberry plant throughout the growing season to reduce the number of pests in the garden.
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