White fuzz on strawberry

Strawberry IPM- Gray Mold

Gray mold, caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, is a disease of many crop species. It can be a serious problem for the strawberry grower, especially in the Northeast where cool, damp spring weather is ideal for disease development. Disease can strike at any time during the growing season when weather conditions are right. Gray mold can cause significant crop loss both pre- and post-harvest.

Disease Cycle

The fungus overwinters in plant debris. In spring, it produces spores that are dispersed by wind and rain splash. These spores germinate and can infect blossoms and leaves. The optimum temperature for infection is 60-77°F, and spores can infect in as little as 6 hours when leaves are wet. New leaves and blossoms are especially vulnerable, but the pathogen can infect any part of the plant. After infection, the fungus remains quiescent in plant tissues until they begin to die due to things such as frost, mechanical damage, or natural senescence. Fruit that develops from infected flowers will harbor latent infections that become active when fruit ripens. Secondary infections can occur any time during the growing season when the weather is cool and moist.

Signs and Symptoms

Infected plant parts become covered with fuzzy white or gray mycelium and abundant gray spores. Blighted blossoms lose their petals and turn brown. Infected fruit will shrivel and mummify, but often remain attached to the plant.



Plant in full sun. Proper plant spacing and good weed control increase air circulation, which decreases humidity and facilitates drying of plant surfaces. Plant in raised beds and use drip irrigation if possible in order to avoid wetting leaves and blossoms. Organic mulch such as straw can protect fruit from soil contact and diminish splashing of inoculum from the soil onto plants. Till in dead plant material at renovation to avoid long term buildup of inoculum in the field. Minimize nitrogen fertilization in spring to avoid overgrowth of foliage which creates a dense, shaded and moist canopy and higher levels of infection. Apply needed fertilizer after harvest during the renovation period and then again in late summer to support flower bud formation for the following year. Harvest in dry weather, handle fruit gently, and refrigerate immediately.


Along with proper cultural and sanitation practices, fungicides are crucial for protection against blossom blight. A treatment should be applied at early bloom (10%), then again 7-10 days later at full bloom. If possible, spray 24 to 48 hours before rain is predicted to fall. See the New England Tree Fruit Management Guide for current recommendations on products labeled for gray mold on strawberry. As a general rule, do not make more than 2 consecutive applications of the same product Rotation of active ingredients is imperative for the prevention of resistance development.
Control options for organic and low-spray growers are somewhat limited. Sulfur and copper compounds are not very effective for gray mold control; in addition, these compounds can cause phytotoxic damage to leaves and fruit. Actinovate-AG (Streptomyces lydicus WYEC 108s) may provide some level of control and has best efficacy when applied with a spreader/sticker prior to an anticipated infection period. Several biological control products are available, but evidence of their effectiveness is lacking. Trichoderma harzianum products are used as a biocontrol agent in Europe and Israel. A good source for current recommendations for organic production is the Cornell Organic Strawberry Production Guide which can be found at https://ecommons.cornell.edu/handle/1813/42890. A few cultivars are considered less susceptible to gray mold. These include Allstar, Earliglow, and Jewel. Growers concerned with fungicide input on their properties may consider growing a less susceptible variety.

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Molds are microscopic fungi that live on plant or animal matter. We don’t know how many species of fungi exist, but according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the total might range from tens of thousands to upwards of 300,000. Most are threadlike organisms that produce spores that can be transported by air, water, or insects.

Unfortunately, with mold, what you see is not always all you get. The visible mold that can develop on food may have invisible thread-like branches and roots that reach deep under the surface. Mold on food is not only unsightly – it can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems, and given the right conditions, a few molds can produce poisonous “mycotoxins” capable of making you sick. If you see heavy mold growth on the surface of food, you can assume that its roots run deep. Sometimes the same conditions that favor mold allow unseen bacteria to grow along with the fungi.

Most molds prefer warmer temperatures, but all of us have seen that they also can grow in the refrigerator. You’re most likely to see them in refrigerated jams and jelly, bread and cheese, and on cured, salty meats such as ham, bacon, salami, and bologna.

You can safely cut the mold away from some foods and eat the rest, but this applies largely to hard food including hard cheese. The USDA advises cutting off at least one inch around and below the mold. Be sure to keep the knife out of the mold so it will not cross-contaminate other parts of the cheese. After trimming off the mold, use a fresh wrap.

If you see mold on hard vegetables such as cabbage, bell peppers and carrots, cut off at least one inch around and below the affected area. (Here, too, avoid contaminating the knife.) But if you see mold on soft fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, peaches and tomatoes, throw them away; the mold will have penetrated far below the surface.

If you encounter mold that is not part of the manufacturing process (as with Brie and Camembert), throw out the cheese. If surface mold is on hard cheeses made with mold such as Gorgonzola and Stilton, cut off at least one inch around and below the mold spot as you would with other hard cheeses.

In addition, the USDA recommends discarding other food with visible mold including luncheon meats, bacon, or hot dogs, leftover cooked meat and poultry, leftover cooked grains and pasta, cooked casseroles, yogurt and sour cream, jams and jellies, bread and baked goods, peanut butter, legumes and nuts.

You can control mold by keeping your refrigerator, dishcloths and other cleaning utensils clean. A musty smell means that dishcloths, towels, sponges and mops are harboring mold. Throw away any you can’t get clean. The USDA also recommends cleaning the inside of your refrigerator every few months with one tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in a quart of water. Rinse with clear water and dry. Scrub visible mold (usually black) on rubber casings using three teaspoons of bleach in a quart of water.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Shelf Talk

Fresh strawberries are tasty, healthy — and all too often, develop mold faster than you can eat them. So what to do when a moldy strawberry appears? Are the rest of the strawberries still safe to eat or do you have to throw out the entire container just because of a few bad berries?

Starting with the moldy berries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture points out that it is not safe to eat soft fruits, like strawberries, that have mold on the surface. That’s because the mold could have easily penetrated into the soft flesh of the strawberry, where you can’t see it. And moldy food, when eaten, can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

But are the remaining strawberries still safe to eat? Just because you find a few moldy strawberries, does that mean you have to throw out the entire container? Not necessarily, according to the experts at the University of California, Berkeley.

You should start by throwing out the moldy strawberries and any other berries that are directly touching them. Then take a close look at the remaining berries: if they show no signs of mold and aren’t overly mushy then you can go ahead and eat them. Be sure to wash the strawberries thoroughly first.

As detailed here, strawberries will keep in the refrigerator for about three to seven days; you can also freeze them for longer-term storage.

See Also:

Is Moldy Bread Safe To Eat?

Is Moldy Cheese Safe To Eat?

Do You Have To Refrigerate Strawberries?

If mold is growing on an orange, should I just cut away the moldy part or discard the whole fruit?

Molds are microscopic fungi that live on plant or animal matter and can sometimes be seen with the naked eye. These organisms give off spores, which are responsible for their color. While many molds are harmless and beneficial, such as those intentionally grown in cheeses, some molds cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

Under the right conditions, a few molds produce mycotoxins—poisonous substances that can make you sick. In many foods, mold invades deep within the food—not just on the surface. In some cases, toxins may have spread throughout the food.

According to the USDA, soft fruits and vegetables with high moisture content, such as an orange, can be contaminated below the surface. Such fruits and vegetables should be discarded in their entirety if moldy. On the other hand, small mold spots can be cut out with a one-inch diameter in firm, low-moisture fruits and vegetables, such as cabbage, bell peppers and carrots.

As a rule of thumb, mold found in hard, low-moisture foods, such as hard cheese, hard salami and dry-cured country hams, can be cut out, while moldy soft, high-moisture foods, such as meat, soft cheese, yogurt, jam, breads, nuts and nut butters, should be discarded in their entirety.

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Hair Talk

I know it may be hard to believe…but summer is right around the corner!

What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy the sunniest months of the year?

If you ask me, there’s nothing better than a picnic with my family and friends…soaking up the warmth of the day…and enjoying my favorite summertime fruit:


That’s right. Nothing says summer like bright red, fresh-picked, super-sweet strawberries. My mouth is watering just thinking of them!

“Strawberries make a healthy and delicious addition to any summer picnic!”

Unfortunately, even though strawberries at a sunny-day picnic is one of the best summer-fun activities…

…too much of that sun, and your hair could be facing some serious consequences!

Of course, you don’t need me to tell you this. You’re no doubt aware that excessive exposure to the sun can cause:

  • Limp hair from built-up humidity
  • Dry, dehydrated hair
  • A raw, sunburned scalp
  • Split ends and dandruff caused by sweat and dust
  • Fading of color treatments
  • A major case of the frizzies
  • …and even increased hair loss!

But here’s the good news:

You’ll be surprised to learn that strawberries can be an excellent way to protect your hair’s health, moisture, and shine during the summer…

…and you don’t even have to eat them!


It turns out that, in addition to being a scrumptious, nutrient-rich snack…

…strawberries can also be used to create an exceptional, revitalizing summer-season hair mask!

That’s because strawberries are loaded with all-natural vitamin C.

This will regulate your scalp’s pH balance, and maintain its healthy production of vital oils…

…just what your hair needs to maintain its moisture and glossiness, even in the harshest dog-day sun! 1

As if that’s not enough, your hair also gets major protective benefits from the strawberry’s seeds as well.

You see, strawberries are the only fruit where the seeds actually grow on the outside.

And those seeds serve as a strong natural exfoliant. That means when you use them on your hair, they can scrub dead and dry skin particles from your scalp…

…leaving the skin moisturized, replenished, and free of unsightly dandruff! 2

“The seeds on the outside of a strawberry can cleanse your skin of dry and dead skin”.


Are you ready for the best part?

Because I’ve got an easy-to-apply strawberry hair mask you can make yourself, in no time at all!

It only requires two ingredients…

…and it’s packed with protection that’ll last all summer long!

Here’s how you make it:

  1. First, clean 8 fresh strawberries. Cut off the stems and leafy tops, if they’re still on the berries.
  2. Using a spoon, mash up the strawberries in a good-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Next, add 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise.
  4. Mix the ingredients together until it forms a thick but smooth cream.
  5. Apply the strawberry-and-mayo mixture to wet hair. (You can apply this mask right after you wash your hair, or simply wet your hair in preparation to apply the mask.)
  6. Leave the mask on your hair for 15 minutes.
  7. Then, rinse well. 3

And that’s all it takes!

It’s so incredibly simple…just a short regular application of a mask made from these two basic ingredients…

…and your hair will enjoy a serious boost in body, luster, and vitality!

I hope you’ll try out this effortless DIY strawberry hair mask for yourself.

When you do, be sure to drop me a line and let me know how it helps your locks stay their freshest for the summer.

Strawberries are an unbeatable summertime treat…

…and with this mask, they’re ready to help your hair look and feel delicious, too!


When I go to a hometown burger joint I also (almost always) order a strawberry milkshake. A frosted glass of that blended strawberry goodness is THE freshest elixir. Tell me you agree that it’s the most perfect flavor? Because what’s sweeter, more fresh and more ADORBALE than that little red seeded berry? Nothin is.

But it turns out that the strawberry isn’t JUST a looker. It’s got real depth to it. Let me explain…

Did you know that strawberries are considered a beauty fruit? The vitamins, minerals and fiber contained in our favorite red berry have anti-aging properties. But they can also help you in your quest for healthy hair— AND can help with a brighter smile.

Here lay my favorite strawberry beauty tips:

Want to know the biggest cause of wrinkling on the skin? Free radicals. And free radicals surround us everywhere! Bear with my science lesson— free radicals are bad, “unstable” molecules that are missing an electron. Because they want to be whole, they want to take your electrons. Free radicals are essentially little hungry scavengers, that steal electrons in your body through a process called “oxidation.” When this happens, your skin’s collagen, elastin, epidermal lipids & even your DNA are under attack. This oxidation process leads to major wrinkles.

Which is where strawberries come in! Because guess what strawberries have in extremely high doses? Vitamin C. Strawberries boast more vitamin C than oranges! And this is important because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. And remember what I said about those gross free radicals? A way to defend your body from damage is to feed it antioxidants. Strawberry antioxidants keep your cells healthy and even help to create new collagen in your skin. And collagen = plump, youthful skin. Think of strawberries as little antioxidant warriors, helping our bodies (and skin!) to stay healthy and beautiful.

Strawberries are also highly acidic. And acids are good things! Especially in terms of skincare. Strawberries contain salicylic acid which is a game changing if you want to fight acne, oily skin and discoloration. Chances are you’ve probably heard a lot about salicylic acid— In fact, it’s probably in lots of the skincare products you own. Salicylic acid in these berries will help to remove excess oil and dead skin cells from off of the skin and to open up clogged pores. Dirty clogged pores usually mean acne. The acid in strawberries will also help improve your complexion & tone by reducing inflammation, and sloughing off flaky, dull skin.

You can slice a berry in half and rub it along problem areas, for a quick treatment. Or you can make a strawberry face mask or scrub! Crush strawberries up and combine them with two tablespoons of organic sugar, and one tablespoon of coconut oil. Mix it up, apply and scrub into your skin, then leave on for 15-30 minutes. You’ll be GLOWING.

Or use an ice-cold strawberry, slice it in half, and rub it over your under-eye area as a de-puffing treatment.

Want a brighter smile? Strawberries also contain malic acid, which can act as a mild astringent to remove discoloration off your teeth. It’s a good natural option, if you have sensitive teeth. Crush a strawberry and combine it with a teaspoon of baking soda. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, rub the mixture on your teeth for 3-5 minutes. Your teeth will feel deeply cleansed! Since there’s also natural sugar in strawberries make sure you follow up this treatment with a toothpaste cleanse after.

Page Title

8 things you may not know about strawberries

Posted on March 17th, 2019

Robért’s is proud to be one of the exclusive grocers for Springfield, Louisiana’s Landry-Poche Farms. This family has been growing some of the sweetest berries around since 1926.

The Process

Landry-Poche starts each year by prepping their sandy soil. They plow, till, fertilize and collect soil samples to ensure a perfect base for the sweetest berries. Next, mulch is laid down to create rows and protect the plants from weather, insects and grass. If the winter cold is particularly harsh, they have to use blankets as a method of frost protection.

The warmer the weather, the faster the berries can ripen. This means smaller – but sweeter – strawberries.

By May the harvest is usually complete. To prepare for the next harvest, a bush hog is used to cut off the tops of all the plants. The mulch and any irrigation piping is pulled back. Tractors then plow the plants back into the soil, which adds nutrients.

A cover crop is then planted – usually field peas or red beans. These are harvested during the summer, creating a healthy and prosperous farm all year round.


1. Strawberries are a member of the rose family

The garden strawberry, also known as the cultivated strawberry or commercial strawberry, can be traced back to 18th century Europe. Source

2. On average, there are 200 seeds in a strawberry

The strawberry is not classified as a true berry. True berries have seeds inside. The strawberry has dry, yellow “seeds” on the outside, each of which is actually considered a separate fruit. Source

3. Strawberries should never be washed before freezing!

Strawberries are like sponges and absorb water, which can turn your berries into mush after freezing. Instead, remove the green tops and place them on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, place the berries in a plastic container or bag meant for freezer storage. To use, simply take out your desired amount and rinse. Source

4. Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring

And in Louisiana, spring can sometimes come early after a mild winter. That’s the reason we can begin enjoying the harvest as early as December. Source

5. 53 percent of 7- to 9-year-olds say strawberries are their favorite fruit

Kids love strawberries, and Landry-Poche Farms actually allow families and classes to visit their farm to pick berries and learn about the process of growing them. Source

6. Strawberry juice and honey can reduce pain and inflammation from a sunburn

Strawberries are filled with phenolic compounds, including tannic acid, which is great for easing pains caused by over-exposure to the sun. Source

7. Nutritional experts have named strawberries a superfood; they’re an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, folate and fiber

They’re a naturally sweet way to stay fit and healthy when added to a balanced diet!

8. Strawberries are Louisiana’s state fruit

With so many great options to choose from, that’s a big honor!

lagniappe | March 17th, 2019

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