See the extract below and download the full technical advice sheet at the bottom of the page.
As the weather is starting to warm, now is the time to start looking at your strawberries and check their condition before the season starts. Get up to a high view point and look out over your whole crop – look for a healthy, uniform green colour and watch out for any dry patches.
You should also check your drippers to make sure none are blocked, and you should begin to monitor the electrical conductivity (EC) of your feed water and runoff daily. As you start feeding the water in the slabs will be displaced so you should see a steady rise in EC – you should be looking at 1.5m/S (or 1500µ/S) in the runoff, and certainly above 1m/s. You should aim to record this often, and keep a record to track changes over time.
If crops have been overwintered on the ground these should be lifted up and put on tables. Check for vine weevil larvae, and treat with a nematode drench if required.
The current situation is having a wide range of impacts on the sector, and while farm shops are reporting an increase in trade pick-your-own growers may be facing limited access to customers.
Social media can be used for selective advertising (especially if PYO growers are selling punnets) and may also be useful for managing crowds once we return to normal. PYO growers may wish to delay their crops (either by delaying plantings or checking the crop by leaving tunnels uncovered).
You may also wish to check that you have adequate supplies and order ahead of time, particularly of chemicals and biologicals, to make sure you can keep control over the season.
Start to think about your pest and disease management strategy. Good spray coverage and an early start to regular weekly sprays can be key. Early applications before the canopy has developed can also improve efficacy. You may also wish to consider preventative sprays (e.g. Charm and Luna Sensation) although you should check for a mixture of FRAC codes to prevent resistance development, and watch out for maximum treatment numbers and harvest intervals.
Download the full fact sheet here: Technical advice sheet - Strawberry April 2020
Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information and recommendations given in these notes. All applications of crop protection chemicals should be made in accordance with label recommendations, which should be consulted before spraying. Some of the pesticides mentioned in these notes may not be supported by label recommendations for their use on pumpkin crops but are permissible via Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use (EAMU) in the UK under ‘The Revised Long Term Arrangements For Extension Of Use (2002)’. In these cases, the use of the pesticide is at the risk of the user and Tyfu Cymru does not accept liability for any loss or damage caused by such use. The references to on-label approvals and EAMUs for use of pesticides in pumpkin crops and are correct at the time of writing. These are subject to change and approval may be withdrawn at any point. It is the grower's responsibility to check approvals before use of pesticides. If in doubt a grower should seek advice from a BASIS qualified advisor - this is available free of charge for eligible growers through the Tyfu Cymru program, please contact us to arrange an appointment – email/telephone advice is also available.