See the extract below and download the full technical advice sheet at the bottom of the page.
Early strawberry varieties like Christine and Vibrant growing under tunnels are now being picked, as are everbearer plantings of varieties such as Murano which were carried through from last year and have been growing under protection since March. In contrast with the exception of Christine & plantings of other cultivars such as Symphony that have been fleeced for some weeks to advance their harvest & to provide frost protection it will be 7-10 days before harvest begins. The earliest plantings (early March) of long cane plants of early summer fruiting raspberry cultivars such as Tulameen and long cane and carried through established primocane fruiting raspberries protected by tunnels will in most cases commence within a couple of weeks.
Long cane plantings made in late March/early April outside are now in flower with harvest approximately 3-4 weeks away. In most cases the final planting of long cane summer & primocane fruiting raspberry plants have now been made. The latest plantings of Glen Ample being used to provide fruit in August.
A few growers plant long cane summer fruiting varieties Glen Ample, Glen Dee or Octavia in early June, but these can be very difficult to establish (even if planted outdoors), unless reliable overhead misting of plants is available from planting until the plants are fully established especially if the weather is bright & hot, so as to avoid dehydration of the canes, newly broken buds or emerging flower laterals. Bare rooted & container produced long cane that are potted up are more susceptible to this problem as it takes some time for their root systems to establish within the new or increased volume of compost & to be able to provide the canes & foliage with sufficient water.
There is strong interest in farm gate sales, and you should think about how to manage contact with customers on your site. Some growers are operating a drive-in system where customers don’t need to leave their cars when on site. If you are growing for pick your own you might want to consider selling picked punnets until social distancing is relaxed. Online contact to keep your customers informed about what you are selling – and how customers can buy it – will be essential in letting customers know that your produce is still available. You may consider a book-in-advance system, or by invitation only, to manage the flow of customers onto your site. You may wish to consider card payment systems to avoid dealing with cash on hand - see the Tyfu Cymru factsheet on contactless payment systems for more information on how these can be integrated into your business.
You should by now have a robust pest control program in place to mitigate the risk to your crops. Given below are a range of likely pests – Tyfu Cymru has produced several factsheets to help you identify pests in your crop, you should consult these alongside the notes below.
Several but not all of the major pests of strawberries & raspberries can be effectively controlled using bio controls. Make sure you follow the suppliers’ recommendations when you apply them. In particular aim to apply them to crops on the day they arrive to ensure peak effectiveness. Except for nematodes further applications are usually required every 10-14 days so set up a rolling order with your supplier to help you schedule applications. It is vital that you ensure that you are aware of any adverse effects that conventional pesticides you are proposing to use on your crops may have on the bio-control agents you are proposing to use. – The website of bio-control suppliers can often provide information on the compatibility of pesticides with the predatory mites, insects & nematodes with a wide range of pesticides.
One-to-one advice is still available for free through the project, please contact us if you’d like to access this.
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.