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Strawberry with lacy leaves

herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278

Hi there, bought new strawberry plants this year so they are in pots being 'quarantined' and having runners rooted. Now the leaves are being eaten by ? not sure if its sawfly or moth caterpillar and if that makes a difference? They are surrounded by herbs - all untouched.

Do I just keep removing the little blighters? It isn't easy as they drop onto the soil as soon as the leaf is touched so I'm thinking I should add a collar to the plants. Don't like chemicals so do I have any other options please?

imageimage

"The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett

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  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278

    Big up for the RHS gardening advice service, enquired this afternoon and just had a reply. Their entomologist says "The insects on your strawberries has been caused by the larvae of the strawberry sawfly, Claremontia confusa. It is an uncommon problem that may not occur every year."

    Going to have to try and pick them off then..........

    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    Any you miss may pupate in the soil so I would wash the soil from the roots once the runners have been rooted and detached, before re-potting or planting out.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278

    Thank you Bob, good advice. Totally not up to speed with sawfly, do they just drop and pupate? Guess I've lost that lot of compost, always something new in the garden eh? Still can't find anything in my gardening books or on Tintanet about strawberry sawfly, Dr Salisbury said they were uncommon.

    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    Not 100% certain about this species but most sawfly do pupate in the soil beneath their food plant so it's just precautionary advice really. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278

    Thank you image and better safe than messing about next year with even more of them eh?

    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • LjwinwoodLjwinwood Posts: 3
    Well it seems I definitely have these little buggers ! My strawberries were infested last year so much so I decided to use some organic bug killer but they are back this year !. Interesting to know they overwinter in the soil. How am I supposed to sort that out as my strawberries are in the ground ( well sort of) surely you don't uproot them ? Or do you ? I'm wondering if there is any biological control that can be tried ? I wonder will it affect the strawberry growth if leaves are shredded ? Any help appreciated. 
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278
    Not sure I can be of any help @Ljwinwood except to say that I still had strawberries even though the little beasts ate the leaves!  Mine were still in pots luckily so I was able to take them out and give them all a good wash. Compost went in the incinerator!

    They are very happy now and I am crossing my fingers.  RHS man did not offer any treatment advice just that they come and go and are very uncommon. If you are a member it's worth an e-mail.
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • mrtjformanmrtjforman Posts: 331
    there is always something in the garden. 

    Yesterday I finally repotted a poorly gooseberry and the slug hiding in the roots of this gooseberry was the size of a rat. Exaggerating slighly obviously but it was huge, no wonder my gooseberry had been ravaged. 
    I might have had strawberry sawfly thinking it was slugs looking at that damage lol
  • LjwinwoodLjwinwood Posts: 3
    Ok roll on to 2022 ! This year I took everything out , the strawberries were very old anyway and ditched as much soil as was possible. New strawberries in and URGH the blighters are back ! I wouldnt call this uncommon or rare, they are totally persistent! Is there any nematode that can sort them out ?  :s
  • LjwinwoodLjwinwood Posts: 3
    Footnote. Just realised there are some old strawberries that escaped around the edges .... maybe they have come from there !
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