1) Gray Mold (Botrytis Rot)
- Gray mold also known as botrytis rot is the major fungus disease affecting strawberries.
- The pathogen is ubiquitous, it exists wherever vegetative matter is decaying, where weeds prevent rapid drying of fruit, where frost damages blossoms, where insects damage fruit, and where the fruit is allowed to contact or be splashed by soil.
- Losses tend to be more severe in wet seasons.
- Early infections may first appear as a firm brown rot developing from the stem end. This brown rot quickly becomes covered with a dusty, gray coating of fungal spores and mycelium.
- Most fruit rot, however, develops just as the berries begin to ripen. No resistant varieties are available.
- Thorough sanitation (removal of weeds, dead plant material, and old or rotting fruit), straw mulch to reduce berry contact with soil, and fungicide treatments are necessary for control.
2) Strawberry Leaf Spot, (Mycosphaerella fragariae)
- Leaf spot is caused by a fungus and appears as small, circular purple spots with white or gray centers on leaves and petioles.
- When severe, this disease can cause leaf drop and reduced yields.