Asked on Apr 30, 2016

What are these blemishes on my strawberries?

by Louise
The strawberries I planted last summer have reappeared and this morning 3 were ripe so I picked them. These are growing in window boxes (plastic) that are sitting on the ground. One was very small and had "bumps" on most of it so I just bit off the good part. But these two, much larger than the other one, have dark spots, as you can see. And on the one on the left, up near the leaves, is a soft-ish spot that has lost some of the red color. Since I have others on their way to being ripe, I wanted to find out what these blemishes are, what caused them and how to prevent them on the other strawberries? Last summer was my first experience with growing berries and I only got to eat one because a marauder (neighbor kids, I suspect) picked them all between the day I thought I'd wait one more day and the next morning. :-(
  13 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 30, 2016
    What you are seeing on your strawberries is black spot from a fungus on the strawberry leaves.Generally fungus starts from improper watering.You can control this with a fungicide for fruit. Spray the soil, leaves both over and under. A repeated application may be necessary.
  • Swinnen Lisette Swinnen Lisette on Apr 30, 2016
    Janet is right....and get an electric fence around them....for that neighbor kid...or paint some stones so they look like strawberries. That would learn them.
  • Dee Dee on Apr 30, 2016
    Watering in the morning, rather than the evening, can also help prevent a recurrence. The water will have time to evaporate by night fall, reducing the moisture on the leaves, etc.
  • Louise Louise on Apr 30, 2016
    As to watering, do I water from above (like rain), leaves, flowers and all? Or just the soil? I don't see anything on the leaves like these black spots. I suppose I can still eat the strawberries and cut out the black spots?
    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 30, 2016
      @Louise Just the soil. If you are not seeing anything on the leaves per say there is still a fungus going on .Rule of thumb when watering ,never water leaves of any plants. Moisture retention on leaves cause yellowing, fungus and bugs.So as stated previously you need to get what ever fungus is going on under control.Also watering should be done in the early morning and that goes for all plants.Until the fungus is under control i would not eat the berries.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Apr 30, 2016
    Unless this starts to affect every berry, I would simply cut off the bruised spot. I would also water in the morning and just the soil. That's what I do for my flower gardens to about mildew, etc on wet leaves.
  • Diane Rich Diane Rich on May 01, 2016
    Hi Louise....I grew some strawberries once and never got to taste one! The squirrels knew the minute they were ripe and were always one step ahead of me! I just never bothered again.
    • DORLIS DORLIS on May 02, 2016
      @Diane Rich raccons also love them and sometimes pull up the whole plant while dining on the berries.
  • DORLIS DORLIS on May 01, 2016
  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on May 01, 2016
    We usually call those spots 'rain rot'...caused by improper watering or rain. The do look like a fungus but might be caused just by getting water on the others have said, just water the soil.
  • Swinnen Lisette Swinnen Lisette on May 01, 2016
    Just kidding....that's Belgian humour. Of course not, invite them to have strawberries with cream..yhat would learn them to wait for the cream hihihi
  • Liz Liz on May 01, 2016
    Your county Agriculture Extension agent can identify the exact problem and provide a solution.
  • Cathy Cathy on May 01, 2016
    Most strawberry plants don't produce very many the first year, and more for the next 3 years, then they need to be replaced. Not sure what the issue is on these.
  • Ranger Ranger on May 02, 2016
    It looks a little like something has been resting against it - a wire, pot rim perhaps? I grow mine in old concrete twin tubs and spread pine needles around them to prevent resting on the dirt. I do that three times through the season. When they die back, I trim any browned bits off and just leave them. In the new season I separate, replant and go through the process again. I keep netting over them all the time. They can stand negligence quite well, not appearing to be as fussy as other berries.
  • Kathy Ruth Kathy Ruth on May 02, 2016
    Also, get some hay or Spanish moss to put under the plants to keep the berries from resting on wet soil. (I do this with my squash and melons, too.)