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  • Dang - most of my crop ruined

    I have been pretty busy at work lately and haven't had much time to tend to my berries. I went to my grove on Friday and noticed different problems with a couple of my plants; problems I have never encountered before. The second pic is from my Sweetcrisp - the berries look kind of wrinkly and shriveled. I have seen this before if they don't get watered enough, but usually they bounce back to being plump after watering. It has been very hot and dry here, but I watered on Thursday night.

    Then, another problem is with my Emeralds (shown on the first and third pic). The berries just look stunted and I can see little marks inside the calyx, a few have shriveled up and died. This almost looks like chilli thrip damage. I have had a lot of chilli thrip damage in the past, but never to the berries, only the young, tender growth - and it usually would happen towards the end of summer. But either way, I suspect some sort of insect.

    I sprayed with Spinosad just be safe. I am hoping I can salvage some of my crop. I am so pissed about this, my plants were absolutely loaded this year. I usually try to go totally organic and not spray anything if I don't have to. But maybe I need to get into some sort of spraying regimen? Man, Florida can really be frustrating - this is like the bug capitol of the U.S.
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 3 photos.

  • #2
    I'm sorry you're having problems with your berries. I don't really have any suggestions other than giving them time and see if more shriveled berries plum back up. And maybe the thrip damage is not that severe.
    SoCal, zone 10.
    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends. http://www.ourfigs.com/core/images/smilies/smile.png


    • #3

      How cold did you get?


      • #4
        We never got a feeeze here. everything was looking great until a few weeks ago. I know blueboy has battled the chilli thrips, so i am interested to see if they got to his berries.


        • #5
          Your plants don't have enough leaves. That didn't happen overnight or in a couple weeks. Most likely either not enough water or not enough nitrogen. I assume your pH is OK. But usually lack of growth is water, pH, fertilizer, or not enough chilling. Lack of water could account for poor foliage and shriveled berries.
          Alpine, Texas 4500ft elevation Zone 7


          • #6
            Thrips will ruin some of your fruit if populations are high enough but what I've noticed is they tend to feed on the calyx and scare it up pretty bad when the fruit is juvinal. As far as ruining a crop, I can't attest to that. May I just haven't had that big of a thrip problem yet. I can tell you the worst year I had with Thrips was 2010-2011 in that bad drought we experienced. Every thrip in Harris county was on my blues!

            I can also now confirm that Emerald has a serious problem with bloosm blight in wet springs while its flowering. I've had this problem with Emerald for 3 seasons in a row now. Fruit set has been way below par the last 3 seasons. I had a bumper crop at 3 years old and it's all been down hill since. Sad to say but I'm think it's just not going to stay in my collection much longer. The longer I grow these plants the more I realize how special Sweetcrisp and Sunshine blue are. Sunshine probably set more fruit this year than any of my plants and Sweetcrisp just gets better and better every year.

            Do you prune your plants hard after harvest? That can be a major boast to new fruiting and branch wood the following season.


            • #7
              I don't prune hard; I need to start paying more attention to proper pruning. I just put my plants in ground this past fall and am finally getting some good growth. It was just too hard to grow in pots here in Florida with the summer heat.

              Blueboy - can you take a look at my third pic. My Emerald berries do have some marks on and inside of the calyx. It does look like thrip damage to me even though I don't see any leaf damage from the thrips. If you have ever had chilli thrip damage to your berries, is this what it looked like?


              • #8
                It's hard for me to see as Im doing all this from my phone and can't blow up the pics to see the details. I can tell you when I have had thrip damage to berries I noticed that they only attacked the calyx, some of the outer parts of the berries and also the white flower pedals. From what I've read and seen there are a couple different kinds of thrips. The ones that emerge early are the flower snacking thrips. Later in the season you get the other thrips that eat the tender plant growth. That being said, I did notice a couple new shoots with thrip damage on the tips yesterday. When thrips attack the calyx you will see the tell tale zipper scares around the inside perimeter of the calyx and sometimes all the way across the entire calyx area. On the berries them selves you will see the lines of brown zipper like scaring. If you spray spinosad every couple weeks for a month it will knock them back pretty good. After that I only spray the tips of new growth every couple weeks through out the growing season but only if I notice any damage. If no damage I don't spray at all. Some years are better than others but I always see an increase in thrip numbers around Aug/Sept. Just stay vigilant and check your plants often as they can get carried away in a hurry.