We’ve received several questions about how we treat our strawberries.
We’ve answered the question here, about being organic, so you might want to check that out as well.
We are very successful at using beneficial insects to clean up any pest problems, but this year (2017) we had to apply a granular organic slug bait that is an iron based pellet we place under the black plastic around the plants. It also acts as an iron supplement for the berries.
At the end of March we applied a material called neem oil, which is a plant based extract with mild insecticidal properties along with serenade, which is an organic compound that helps reduce disease pressure. It is moderately effective at reducing disease pressure, but very safe to beneficial insects, bees, and humans. The products that we use in the spring break down rapidly into inert materials that do not disrupt the balance of nature.
Last fall we applied a lime sulfur solution to help disinfect the plants before winter. This allows the plants to start off healthy and strong in the spring with few disease problems. We have found that the less we spray the fewer problems we have.
Some of the organic materials that we used to use, like pyganic (a flower extract), may have been safe for humans, but they were devastating to beneficial insects and bees. There is a seaweed material called Stimplex, that we like to use during the spring, that seems to impart some disease resistance to the plants. If it is applied it will only be applied after closing on Sunday and we are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Don’t forget, we feed our own family with what we grow on the farm and we are committed to maintaining a healthy environment. If you have any further concerns or questions, feel free to send us an email to lori at mackintoshfruitfarm dot com or call the farm at 540-955-6225.