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SWD implications for new berry patch

Posted by Jon O'Donnell 
SWD implications for new berry patch
February 24, 2017 09:23AM
Starting to plan / prep for the next phase of my orchard / garden which will be going in spring 2018. Major portion of the planting will be berries - raspberries, blueberries, currant, etc.

Given the introduction and spread of SWD, and the problems even conventional growers seem to be having with it, (i) is it even worth at this point trying to grow soft berries? (ii) are there cultural practices that can give the grower an advantage? (iii) is varietal selection (eg super early ripening varieties) the answer? (iv) in general, for all you experienced growers out there, what would you be doing wrt SWD if you were starting a new berry patch?

Fresh berries would be great to have, but not sure I've got the time or energy right now to wage a massive, but loosing battle...

Hudson River Valley
Zone 5B
Re: SWD implications for new berry patch
February 24, 2017 10:50AM
Of course it is still worth it. What I have witnessed at my site is that "fall" raspberries are close to a total bust, the later blueberries surely hampered, but blackberries, despite their lateness are not problematic except with the last flush of berries. The only earlier fruit we saw attacked, and it was the first we saw swd here, was in reliance grapes in a greenhouse in 2012. I have never has issue with early fruits like the ribes. For the homesteader, most will tell you that a fruit picked a hair early and put in the freezer won't be wriggling, that is, whatever may be lurking will go unnoticed, and we won't be any worse for the wear.

We are in northeast VT, zone 3ish.
Re: SWD implications for new berry patch
February 28, 2017 10:32PM
My 2 ac of red, purple and black raspberries were planted in the spring of 2014. 2015 I used the Neem, fish, microbe holistic spray and saw no SWD damage. In 2016 I got cocky and didn't spray. Given, it was a hot season and I had trouble keeping up with the accelerated ripening rate of the berries, but I lost the last 1/3 of the crop to SWD. Guess who's spraying this year?

Roan Highlands Farm 6b, Roan Mountain, TN elevation: 3200 ft.
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