Strawberry Plant Disease Diagnosis

strawberry plant disease diagnosisFew things are more frustrating for a farmer or gardener than to toil for hours in heat and rain while nurturing his growing plants with tender loving care only to see some infernal sign that a microscopic invader has set up shop among the plants.  After working for hours preparing the earth, planting the plants, and weeding out the uninvited party crashers, it can provoke feelings of desperation, despair, and disillusionment to watch once-healthy plants wilt and die.

The wilting of future dreams and enjoyment as the plants become marred and disfigured with bacterial blemishes and fungal flaws is enough to make a budding gardener hang up the trowel and garden gloves for good.  Be ye irked no longer!  You don’t have to wave the white flag of final surrender if the unseen organisms wage war upon your growing goodies.  In fact, you can identify and slay such scurrilous offenders with a little help from qualified specialists.

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If You Plant a Strawberry Top, Will It Grow a Strawberry?

if you plant a strawberry top, will it grow a strawberry

if you plant a strawberry top, will it grow a strawberryIf You Plant a Strawberry Top, Will It Grow a Strawberry?

Over the course of the years, I have had several people ask me this question, or a version of it: “If you plant a strawberry top, will it grow a strawberry?”  This year, however, I have received a noticeable increase in the number of curious questioners hoping to make good on the part of the strawberry most commonly used as a grip while the rest of the fruit is gnawed in happy contentment.  After all, the little bit of white flesh left under the calyx and stem isn’t good for much other than, perhaps, making a bit of strawberry water.  I don’t know why the curiosity has spiked, but it is a valid question.  Since curious minds want to know…

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Strawberry Pollination

strawberry pollination

strawberry pollinationStrawberries are relatively simple little plants.  Their genomes have been completely mapped, and their life cycles are fully understood.  But, as simple as strawberry plants may seem, they are still complex enough to warrant study; and, the study that goes into them continues to reveal much fascinating information.  This post is dedicated to that topic of plant fertilization that sometimes can induce somnambulism in all but the most ardent botanists: strawberry pollination.  But, once you’ve reviewed this information, you’ll be ready to tackle hand pollination of strawberries or be better able to situate your strawberry bed in the most ideal location for growing gargantuan berries!

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Strawberry Plants Benefit from Fungus

strawberry plants benefit from fungusIf you mention fungal infections to strawberry farmers, you will likely watch as faces either go pasty white with fear or purple with rage.  Fungi can wipe out whole fields of strawberries leaving the farmers with nary an avenue of recourse but to treat and replant with a more hardy variety of strawberry.  With the phase out of methyl iodide (and the banning of other fumigants that were used to wipe out fungus spores) due to public concerns and possible health impacts, strawberry farmers are looking for other ways to control or eliminate losses due to pathogenic fungal infection.  Using coconut coir as a growth medium and anaerobic soil disinfestation both may be used more widely in the future.  Another option may become viable at a time yet future as well.

When most people think of companion planting, they think of planting synergistic plant species in proximity to one another to maximize the beneficial interactions.  But, as it turns out, the mycologists may have a new reason to celebrate.  While many people have been using mycorrhizal fungi for many years to grow large garden plants, strawberry farmers have often tried to completely eliminate all types of fungi from interacting with strawberry plants because of the aforementioned detrimental effects that many of the microorganisms inflict on Fragaria species.  The University of California has fired the first salvo in changing that preconceived notion, however.  A recent study has shown that certain entomopathogenic fungi can be used with strawberry plants to kill mites and other strawberry pests while leaving the strawberries unharmed.

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Strawberry Plants with Yellow Flowers

strawberry plants with yellow flowersFew things are more exciting to a green thumb than strolling about outside and discovering a native fruit-producing plant growing wild.  I’ve had several such occurrences in just the last few years.  I was as giddy as a kid in a candy shop a while back when I noticed a mulberry tree laden with dark, almost black fruit tempting me with its heavy branch hanging over my head and almost brushing my hair on a sidewalk in the middle of a suburban setting.  I guess no one ever thought to cut down the tree growing near the runoff drain, but I harvested as many fresh mulberries as I could before I had to leave the area.  I’ve often stumbled into wild blackberry thickets in my wanderings, and just last year I discovered four wild American persimmon trees not a mile from my dwelling place.

While blackberries are generally loved and known by everyone, mulberries are less known, and knowledge of persimmons is confined to a fairly small group within the general population.  Strawberries, however, are the A-List celebrities of the fruit world.  Virtually everyone loves them.  So, many people who find what they believe to be wild strawberries in their yard often ask me, “Why aren’t my wild strawberries with yellow flowers producing any strawberries?!”  Well, here’s why:

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Strawberry Serving?

strawberry serving sizeThis is a question submitted to Strawberry Plants .org by a reader. The information provided in response to the question may benefit others with the same or similar inquiries. Therefore, it has been added to the archive page of submitted questions. See the Strawberry FAQ for more questions, or use the search box at the top right of this page to search this site for information.

Q: How Many Strawberries in a Serving / Strawberry Serving Size?

On July 21, 2012, Sara Allister asked:

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How Tall Do Strawberry Plants Grow?

how tall do strawberry plants growThis is a question submitted to Strawberry Plants .org by a reader. The information provided in response to the question may benefit others with the same or similar inquiries. Therefore, it has been added to the archive page of submitted questions. See the Strawberry FAQ for more questions, or use the search box at the top right of this page to search this site for information.

Q: How Tall Do Strawberry Plants Grow?

On October 15, 2012, cheese asked:

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Wilting Strawberry Plants

wilting strawberry plantsMore and more people are growing their own strawberries as a hobby or as ornamentals or for production in their home gardens.  Few things are as frustrating as eagerly anticipating years of bountiful strawberry harvests and then watching the plants go from apparently healthy to wilted.  Wilting strawberry plants can make even the most stolid gardener attempt to forcibly remove his own follicles in a fit of perplexity.  This post is a review of what causes strawberries to wilt.

Sometimes wilting strawberries can be salvaged if the underlying cause is discovered and remedied.  Oftentimes, however, once the wilt sets in, there is little that can be done if it is caused by a pathogen.

For the sake of accuracy, it is good to distinguish between non-infectious wilting and blight.  Both look similar and can be easily confused, but they are actually different.  Blights can lead to wilting strawberry plants, but wilting is a symptom only.  Wilting is evidence of a problem, not necessarily a disease (blight).

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Nitrogen Deficiency in Strawberry Plants

strawberry plants with yellow leavesNitrogen deficiency in strawberry plants can cause rather significant problems for the longevity and vitality of strawberry patch.  If your soil is low in nitrogen, you can expect consequences.  This post will cover the basics of what to look for to determine whether or not your strawberries lack sufficient nitrogen-containing soil for optimal health and vigor.

What Indicates Nitrogen Deficiency in Strawberries?

In order to confirm nitrogen deficiency in strawberry plants, one ultimately must take a few tissue samples from affected leaflets that are “middle aged.”  The leaflets that must be sampled cannot be the old ones toward the bottom of the plant or the new, bright green ones emerging from the crown.

Once samples are collected, they must be tested for average composition.  The baseline measurement for nitrogen sufficiency is 2.6% to 2.8%.  Should the measured percent composition of nitrogen be below 2.6% for the tested sample, it is very likely that the soil is nitrogen deficient, resulting in less-than-acceptable levels of nitrogen in the foliage tissue of the strawberry plants.

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Strawberry Compound Fisetin Could Help Diabetics

strawberry compound fisetin could help diabeticsNew research is being done that could merge forever the delightful and humble strawberry with the diets of individuals beset by diabetes.  Studies are being done on mice at the Salk Institute which are examining the effects of fisetin, a naturally-occuring flavonoid in strawberries, on diabetes and other conditions.  Investigators at the Salk Institute’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory (CNL) are discovering that this compound can protect the organs most commonly damaged by diabetes.  Additionally, early data show that neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s might also be positively affected by fisetin.

For the entire story, see this article.  To learn more about the amazing strawberry plant, simply search this site for the specific area that interests you (here’s how).  There are quite a few Medicinal Uses of the Strawberry Plant, many useful Compounds in Strawberry Plants, and promising evidence that strawberries may help prevent cancer.  It is no wonder that the strawberry compound fisetin could help diabetics!

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