Growing berries has become very popular for many home gardeners as the enthusiasm for growing edibles moves beyond vegetables and herbs. While growing berries is rewarding, it can have its problems.
I’ve found some excellent videos on solving berry problems, focusing on the most popular ones: strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Some of the videos are geared towards commercial growers and may be a bit technical, but the information is spot on.
Contact your local Cooperative Extension or Master Gardeners in your state for details on specific diseases and insects in your area and their control. Now go grow some berries!
Selected and described by horticulturist/Vermont gardener Charlie Nardozzi.
“Do Organic Slug Controls Really Work?” by Stephen Legaree of Alberta Urban Garden. Stephen dispels a number of slug control myths, such as egg shells cut slugs when they crawl over them and salt is a good slug control product. In his own garden Stephen focuses on keeping a balanced ecosystem, using yeast/sugar traps and hand picking.
“How to Protect Strawberries from Insects” by Country Living Experience. Good video on keeping slugs and snails away from strawberries using Diatomaceous Earth, with good information on how it keeps these pests away, but it needs to be dry to be effective. The speaker also covers elevating strawberries off the ground to prevent damage, which he claims will work. It may be helpful in a small-scale garden, but I’m not sure what would stop a slug from crawling up the wire to the berry.
“How to Deal with Slugs & Snails in the Vegetable Garden” by GrowVeg. A good English video reviewing ways to control slugs and snails without using chemical or organic slug killing pellets.
“Organic Grey Mold Control in Strawberries” by Oklahoma Gardening. Kim talks about using Bacillus subtilis (Serenade) to prevent grey mold fungus, plus proper sanitation, preventive methods, and when and how to apply the fungicide. We found this photo of grey mold on strawberries for you – the video doesn’t show one.
“Protect Strawberries from Birds for FREE“ by Luke Marion at MI Gardener. Luke describes a fun way to fool birds – painting rocks the color of strawberries and placing them in the strawberry patch to frustrate the birds. It’s a fun family project, but oriented towards small strawberry patches.
“Keep out Birds and Butterflies with Portable Netted Hooped Crop & Plant-Protecting Cloche” by the Allotment Diary This English video has relevant information on building a simple netted portable cloche that can be placed over strawberries and other low-growing vegetables to protect them from birds.
“How to Use Bird Netting for Strawberry Containers“ by Gary Pilarchik at My First Vegetable Garden in Maryland. Good tips on protecting strawberries grown in containers from birds using stakes, netting and clips.
“Scouting for Tarnished Plant Bugs in Strawberries” by the government of Ontario. This Canadian video has good information on the tarnished plant bug, identifying the pest and the damage it creates. Click here for Ontario’s help with controlling these pests.
“Bird Protection for Fruit“ by Charlie Nardozzi. Yup, that’s me. I talk about devices to hang in the blueberry patch to scare birds away. I also talk about using netting, by building a cage and draping the netting over the cage so as not to harm the plants.
“Blueberry Disease Management, Part 1: Cankers & Stem Blights” by the Nicole Ward Gauthier for the University of Kentucky. Nicole provides good information on the common diseases on blueberries in her videotaped talk geared primarily for the commercial grower (but helpful for home gardeners, too). In Part 1 she covers cankers and stem blights, in Part 2 leaf spots and fruit rots, in Part 3 leaf scorch, and in Part 4 root rots. These are relatively short videos, and easy to watch.
“Show to Use Netting to Keep the Spotted Wing Drosophila Fly off Plants“ by Oregon State Extension. Entomologist Amy Dreves talks about how to use netting to prevent spotted winged drosophila flies from laying eggs on maturing blueberry fruits. Next, in “Making a Spotted Winged Drosophila Traps” she covers how to make a trap to monitor for this fly to find out if it’s in your yard. (She also has a webinar on controlling this pest using alternative methods.)
“Correcting Blueberry Problems“ by Oklahoma State. The host talks about and shows us problems with blueberries related to a high pH, plus how to bring the pH down using sulfur-based products.
“Truth or Gardening Myth: Do Pine Needles Make Soil More Acidic?” by Patrick Dolan for One Yard Revolution. Patrick dispels the myth that pine needles make the soil more acidic. He interviews Stephen Legaree, the biologist at Alberta Urban Garden, about pine needles’ effect on the soil.
“Coffee Grounds to Lower the pH around Blueberries: Fact or Fiction?” by Rob Bob’s Aquatics and Backyard Farm in Australia. Rob does a good job dispelling the myth coffee grounds lower the soil pH around blueberries and other acid loving plants. (Continuing this conversation between outstanding YouTubers, Stephen Legaree at Alberta Urban Garden also covers whether using coffee grounds to reduce the soil pH and as a fertilizer is worthwhile.)
“How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles“ by the University of Maine Extension Service. Good general video reviewing Japanese beetles controls, including using a car vac, organic sprays, traps, nematodes, and milky spore disease powder.
“How to Identify Spotted Winged Drosophila Fly on Fall Raspberries“ by the University of Maine Extension Service. Covers identifying the SWD insect by using traps to catch them and shows some gruesome images of rotting berries filled with maggots.