Not a Six on Saturday – August 18th

Ok, before we start, I will admit this isn’t a real Six on Saturday… mainly because I have the grand total of three photos, and one topic to type about! But as nobody I’d asked online had come across this before, I’m hoping it’ll make for an interesting read, so welcome to my Not a Six on Saturday!

Mention the word “raspberries” and I’m sure most of you are already picturing a big bowl of fresh red fruit, maybe with a healthy helping of clotted cream to go with it? That’s true (and very tasty!), but what if your raspberries are looking more like this…

Signs of Raspberry Beetle

The first year we noticed this, we wondered what on earth we’d done wrong, thinking it must have been a watering problem, or lack of feed! But no, that kind of nasty dried-up edge is a classic sign of Raspberry Beetle (which incidentally can also affect blackberries, although thankfully they don’t seem to have discovered my blackberry bush).

The beetles lay eggs on the raspberry flowers from May to mid July, but it’s the larvae  / grubs that do the damage – they feast on the fruit (causing that dried up look), moving into the middle of the fruit, before dropping into the soil when they’ve eaten enough. 
They then spend the winter in the soil before starting the whole cycle again in the spring. 

Because of the seasons the grubs are active, they mainly cause a problem for summer raspberries… mine are autumn raspberries, so only the first month of crops are affected – once we get to the second week or so in August, the problem stops until next year.

It’s surprisingly challenging to get a photo of a Raspberry Beetle grub, but I did find one that was co-operative (well, as co-operative as a pest can be!):

The Raspberry Beetle grub

I’ve not yet found a way of solving this problem… I read some things which mentioned chemicals (I try to stick to organic methods, so chemicals aren’t an option); and somewhere else had suggested “loosening the soil in the autumn so the birds can eat the overwintering larvae” – that would work if we actually had birds visiting the allotment, as the deer and badgers don’t seem interested in eating those grubs!

This year we’ve tried to remove any raspberries which were affected, and those berries have gone in the garden waste bin – I don’t want to risk composting those berries in case the grubs survive (I had mint growing in my compost bin after all, so I know it’s probably not quite hot enough in there to kill everything off) and just cause more of a problem next year!

Have you ever encountered Raspberry Beetle? And if you have, how did you manage to resolve it / work around it?

Don’t forget to check out the Propagator’s Six on Saturday  and read through the comments section for more blogs to check out!


Want to read more (really?) – check out the RHS page for a bit more info on those pesky Raspberry Beetles

Six on Saturday – June 30th

Back to the allotment this week for my Six on Saturday, with some successes and some utter failures!

  1. First up is a semi-success – I replanted a lot of my original strawberry plants, and unfortunately most haven’t survived. However, the new strawberry plants seem to be making up for it (Sweet Collossus and Just Add Cream have several runners).

    If only I could stop whatever’s eating a hole in the net getting in and pinching the strawberries before I can pick them!
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  2. Next we have an annual semi-disaster, which resolves itself by the time these autumn fruiting raspberries are meant to bear fruit…
    Yes, that’s raspberry beetle grubs yet again 
    But looking at the raspberry jungle, I’m hopeful that once we get past summer fruiting season, the autumn fruits will be grub-free!

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  3. Remember that mystery plant in my wild flower patch? I’m taking an educated guess that it’s some form of thistle!

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  4. The celery’s been planted out, and looks like it’ll grow well – maybe it’s a bit hot for that to grow too much this week

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  5. A complete disaster next, the Broad Beans had blackfly (Black Bean Aphid), Pea and Bean Weevil, Rust and Chocolate Spot… but that did give me a chance to write a blog post on it

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  6. And to finish on a success, this is just part of the blackberry bush.

    I think I can safely say it approves of the support we made for it this year, as there’s shed loads of fruit forming!

Don’t forget to check out the Propagator’s Six on Saturday  and read through the comments section for more blogs to check out!