Why Are My Strawberries Rotting on the Vine?

Strawberries (Fragaria spp.) , which develop as a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10 and as annuals elsewhere, do not usually require much care to produce delicious, succulent fruit. However, the crops and the fruit are vulnerable to damage from many sources, including neglect.

Too Long on the Vine

When the strawberries begin to mature, select the ripe ones every two to three days. The harvest season typically lasts about three weeks, but during that time, you have to find the ripe fruit from the vine until it begins to rot so it doesn’t encourage infection throughout the crops. Pick the berries by snapping them off in the stem instead of pinching the grasses below their green leafy caps. Any pieces of berry left over the plant will rot rapidly, and the rot may spread to other areas of the plant.

Insect Invasion

Several kinds of insects enjoy strawberries nearly as much as you perform, like slugs, tarnished plant bugs and strawberry weevils. Some of those bugs attack the soluble portions of the plant while some opt for immature or mature berries, stunting their growth or damaging the integrity of the fruit. When the grasses are broken in any way, they are more likely to rot. If you see a large number of rotten berries when you attempt to harvest, look for signs of pest infestation such as slug slime paths, berries barely clinging for their own stalks or misshapen or brownish fruit.

Fungus Among Us

Various kinds of fungus invade antioxidant crops, including the fruit. This is much more likely once the soil stays too moist, which encourages fungal growth. Botrytis fruit rot, as an example, frequently sits dormant on your berries until they are almost mature, and it earns the fruit squishy and fuzzy on the outside. Also called gray mold, this can be worse in fruit which touch the ground in which the fungus has simple access. Leather decay also begins in strawberries which touch the ground, then spreads to other regions of the plant. It triggers berries to turn brown or appear prettier and feel hard.

Prevention Methods

Correcting your harvesting timeline is the simplest way to reduce rot; spend a few minutes each morning selecting some strawberries, then put them in the fridge until it’s possible to clean and eat them. They’ll remain fresh in the fridge for two to three days, typically. Buy plants certified as disease-free from respectable growers and do not plant strawberries near places in which you’ve had problems with fungus and insects recently. Although the plants are perennial and may come back for several decades, rotate the location every few years to help prevent fungus and insects from finding your crop.

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