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Do Early Blooms Mean an Early Strawberry Crop?

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Clipper on Strawberry

Clipper on Strawberry; photo by David Handley

Fields in the southern region of Maine are generally past full bloom, while fields further north range from early to full bloom. If the weather holds in a warm pattern, we could be looking at a very early harvest season. Most fields have seen plenty of rain this week, and growers need to be protecting blossoms and fruit from gray mold infection if it has been more than a week since the last fungicide application.

Strawberry bud weevil or “clipper”: Although clipper was both present and active in most fields this week, strawberries in the southern part of the state are beyond the stage at which clipper can do significant harm. Fields further north that still have plants in the flower bud to early bloom stage should be on the lookout for clipper damage and be ready to apply a spray if the damage exceeds the spray threshold of more than one clipped bud per two feet of row length. Growers should be aware that clipper will also damage raspberry flower buds, especially in years like this when the strawberry buds open early and deprive them of egg laying sites. Read more>>


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