Gray mould – a nightmare for your strawberries


Strawberries are ripening and many of us enjoy the great harvest this year. However, great harvest is not something to be taken for granted. For example, the so called gray mould can completely destroy your strawberries. But what is a grey mould, how does it look like and how can you fight it or better yet prevent it? We shall tell you in the following lines.

What is gray mould and how does it attack?

Gray mould (in Latin Botrytis cinerea) is a fungal disease that mainly attacks fruit. The typical sign of grey mould is a gray coating on fruits. Unfortunately, even frost will not kill botrytis.It survives inside plant tissues without any problems. Strawberries are mostly attacked, but it can also attack root vegetables, raspberries, vines or blackberries, but you may also find iton irises, roses and some other flowers too.
Photo: Radek Štěpán

High air humidity is what grey mould loves

The ideal temperature range where mould grows is between 15 and 25 °C and if it is combined with higher humidity there is little that can stop it from spreading. The best time for attack is right after rain.and this time we see hot sunny weather and quick rains pretty often. The disease attacks weaker plants first and then moves to stronger ones.
Photo: Radek Štěpán

If you already saw grey mould, it may be too late to fight it successfully

A variety of preparations are available to fight grey mould that appears duringthe flowering period.The last time when you still have a shot, is to spray when you see it on green fruit, but that time is long gone now. If you see infected parts you must dispose of them immediately. Burn or throw them away. Do not put them in your compost.

Prevention is the king

A good idea is to buy varieties that are resistant to grey mould. For example, Karmen, Prima or Emily and others. Also make sure your plants are not too densely packed and can “breath”. Do not use too much fertilizer with nitrogen.Another advice is to provide support for fruit so it does not touch wet soil.

Preview photo: Radek Štěpán

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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