Need advice on strawberries and pears : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

I have my strawberry patch in a raised bed with screen across the top so the birds won't eat them but now I have roly=polies and ants eating them. Do you know of any natural way of preventing this? Also, my best pear tree seems to have a blight. All the leaves have developed black spots and some limbs are dying. Is there anything that can be done for this? Thanks for all your help! Deena in GA

-- Deena in GA (, May 28, 2001


Weeder Geese.They will eat the bugs and the weeds while leaving your berries alone.The blight thing I will defer to someone else.If you don't get an answer I can try and look up the problem in my wifes big gardening library.Usualy it is a virus and once symptoms start there is little to be done.Someone else may have a happier prognosis.

-- greg (, May 28, 2001.

Deena, you may check with your Extension Agent on the blight, as they are usually pretty knowledgable about trees in the area. It might depend on how bad it is. My big old pear tree in Texas would get the black spots, but not so that it seemed to do any real harm. Gave bumper crops biennially. My Ex.Agent told me once the best thing to do with a pear tree was nothing at all. Don't water, don't spray, don't prune except to cut out dead branches. (That was advice I could live with-hee hee)

-- mary, in colorado (, May 29, 2001.

You might try spraying them with a mild soap solution and some epsom salts. That should dehydrate the roly polys and the soap might help with the ants. I don't know about ants. We seem to have almost exclusively firs ants, and not all that much that's truly organic works really well on them. One thing that does work a biot is to cover the mound with baking soda...wet it lightly first...then about 45 minutes later dump some white vinegar on it. it makes bottle rockets out of the little buggers and they tend to back off for a bit. best of luck!

-- Doreen (, May 30, 2001.

For the strawberry patch with bugs, diatomacious earth or boric acid dusted thin.

Blight, it depends on the kind of blight, but pruning and disinfecting the pruners between cuts may help.

-- Laura (, June 01, 2001.

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