Posted: 10/08/2015 at 12:29
A few weeks ago my strawberry crop looked promising, there were hundreds if not thousands of small green berries starting to form.
I went through the bed and took out runners and any dead stems I found and noticed a few trusses had turned brown and cut them out too. The bed has drip waterers under black polythene mulch.
Fruit started to ripen but in the miserable weather it often stays green underneath, sometimes rotting if it ends up in a puddle on the polythene (I'm not convinced by the polythene!), but I keep finding more and more trusses have truned brown and withered. Initially it just seemed to be trusses that hadn't been pollinated, but now I'm losing them with small fruit on.
I've looked online and the closest thing I can see to my symptoms is verticullum wilt - I always have a few leaves turn brown with shots of brown in the stems which I usually cut out when taking off early runners, but the plants seem to thrive despite it and I have never seen the fruit trusses suffer before, and I don't see them mentioned in descriptions?
Am I right in thinking it is probably something fungal like this, perhaps exacerbated by the terribly wet and windy summer we've had here in the west of Scotland?
Am I going to have to clear the bed and use it for something different next year, and establish a new bed with fresh disease free plants?