One of the most serious and common fruit rot diseases of strawberry is gray mold. During wet springs no other disease causes a greater threat to flowers and fruit. The disease is most severe during prolonged rainy and cloudy periods during bloom and harvest.
Fruit infections usually appear as soft, light brown, rapidly enlarging areas on the fruit. If it remains on the plant, the berry usually dries up, "mummifies", and becomes covered with a gray, dusty powder.
Strawberry infection is most severe in well-protected, shaded areas of the plant where the humidity is higher and air movement is reduced. Berries resting on soil or touching another decayed berry or a dead leaf in dense foliage are most commonly affected. Often, the disease is not detected until berry picking time when due to harvesting, the handling of infected fruit will spread the fungus to healthy ones.
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