Tips and Troubleshooting
- Birds are the biggest loss when berries are ripening. Using bird netting can help save berries. Painting small rocks to look like berries and placing them within the berry patch before berries are ripening can prevent bird damage too.
- If slugs are an issue in your area, they will begin eating berries as they ripen. Slug bait helps. Also avoid natural mulches which can draw slugs if they are present. Black plastic weed block can help instead.
- Fungal issues during warm wet periods can appear on leaves as dark spots. Removing dead leaves can reduce plant stress.
- Removing side runners can help the mother plant produce more berries.
- Small or deformed berries can be a sign of a lack of pollinators. Encourage bees and butterflies to your property with native plants and easy access to water.
- Berries should be harvested in the morning when the fruit is cool and put in the refrigerator right away. Just before eating or cooking them, rinse well with cool water.
- Fertilize plants with an organic fertilizer like Espoma Berry-Tone, Hyr Brix Fruit Fertilizer or Nature Safe 8-5-2 OMRI Organic Fertilizer every few weeks
- Ensure plants recieve 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Water near the roots, not the leaves to reduce fungal disease.