How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Rotating plantings

A number of pest problems carry over from one season to the next and gradually worsen over a period of years. It is a good idea to replace plantings with new plants at least every 3 years or whenever plants begin to decline from pest attack. Switch to new planting beds or treat the planting bed between strawberry plantings to reduce pest populations before replanting.

It is best to start with new plants from certified nurseries if you can get them. You can start your own new plants by allowing runners to set plants during the second or third season of the old planting. Set the runners into clean soil. Remove the old plants when the new ones are established.

If rotating with other planting locations in your garden, it is best to avoid following crop plants that are susceptible to Verticillium wilt, such as tomato, potato, eggplant, and cucurbit. Sweet corn is a good garden rotation for strawberries. If you allow a planting bed to lie dormant between strawberry plantings, plant ryegrass to reduce levels of Verticillium and to keep other disease organisms from building up.

Possible rotation sequences

  1. Remove old strawberry plants in late summer.
  2. Plant a winter crop of cauliflower, cabbage, or another crucifer.
  3. In spring, spread all crop residue from the crucifer over the planting area, allow it to dry and rototill it in.
  4. Solarize the soil in summer.
  5. After removing plastic film at end of summer, water the treated area regularly for two months.
  6. Plant new strawberries in late fall or late winter.

Variations

As an alternative to steps 2 and 3, plant a winter crop of ryegrass and rototill it in with dried crucifer residue collected from another aread of the garden.

As an alternative to steps 5 and 6, follow solarization with ryegrass, rototill in spring, and plant in August.

 


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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