Fresh strawberries are beginning to make their appearance at area markets. Horticulturists with ISU Extension and Outreach have shared some practices to reduce damage and losses caused by insects and diseases. Foam-like masses on strawberry plants may be caused by the meadow spittlebug when the insects feed on the plants. The foam is produced by the bugs but causes little harm to the plants. Also, a gray, velvety growth on berries my be gray mold, also known as Botrytis fruit rot. Ways to reduce the mold include: controlling weeds in the strawberry bed, mulch the planting with straw to keep berries off the ground and pick berries as soon as they are ripe.
Gardeners with additional questions may contact the ISU Hortline, firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-294-3108 .