4.March 2022

Natural plant protection

Wherever possible, we try to control our pests naturally. Often in our orchards are always a large number of beneficial insects that take care of the reduction of pests. Sometimes it is so that the existing beneficial insects are not sufficiently present, then we use additional predatory mites as in this case.
This is how it works with the example of our tunnel strawberries!
With the support of the Beratungsdienst Nützlinge Baden e.V. we control the pests weekly at the beginning of spring. The common spider mite naturally finds itself at home on our strawberry plants and multiplied only hesitantly this year, but when it gets warm, this pest can multiply explosively and weaken the plants so much during the harvest that the fruits only turn red, but no longer grow and also do not form the great strawberry aroma. Of course, we would like to prevent this. Therefore, we have bought beneficial insects http://www.katzbiotech.de

These are bred on bean plants, because here the predatory mites feel particularly comfortable. After delivery to us, these must be immediately distributed evenly on all strawberry plants, because if the bean leaves dry, then the small predatory mites also die on them, unless they find new plant greenery, then these migrate to it - so directly to our strawberry plants.
We did this again this year on March 14 in our strawberry tunnels. The special thing about it this year, is the timing. The population of spider mites is already further ahead compared to the development of strawberry plants.
Trust is good, control is better! Therefore, in the next few weeks we have to check again and again how the common spider mite and our good predatory mites have developed. However, during the control one finds only rarely a predatory mite, because these are very small and also very fast, in contrast to the spider mites. What you do find are empty spider mites, a sign that the predatory mites have done a good job. This is then a moment of great joy!
Of course we give everything that it works again this year, if not, then we have to order supplies again, but that will be seen in the next few days.
However, this type of biological plant protection only makes sense in protected cultivation, because here not only our strawberries can be well controlled, but also the beneficial insects. In addition, this is also a very expensive action, which we can only do in the tunnel strawberries.
Unfortunately, such methods are not yet mature and safe for all pests, so we still have to spray against some animal or fungal pathogens. But the development continues and if customers continue to value natural production and are willing to pay a little more for it, then beneficial insects will also become more and more popular.

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