It's grey mould. See the link below to the rhs for treatment and advice.
Thanks Dave. I've cut the worst affected bits off - these are my strawberries I'd "rescued" from the bargain bin at Homebase so "plants under stress" definitely qualifies since I don't think they'd seen a watering can for quite some time!
I've also spaced them out around the patio (they're in pots til the ground is properly prepared) so there's plenty of space for ventilation which will hopefully help matters although they weren't exactly crowded before hand.
Hopefully they'll recover!
They'll be fine Clari. Let them get a bit more robust and you'll get a nice crop next year. They're tough plants but they'll just need a bit of time to get healthy. You'll get some runners to take from them later to build up your stock.
Last night I noticed that a couple of my strawberry plants (the bigger ones with most fruit) were developing white tips to the serrations on the leaves like someone had dipped them in icing sugar - is this an early stage of grey mould or something else?
I was cutting off runners and noticed a couple of leaf stems turning brown although the leaves still looked healthy - I'll prune those out tonight anyway.
I have set up drip watering evenly over the whole bed, but the plants at the end furthest from the trees (that get more time in the sun) have grown much bigger so are crowding each other and probably need extra water....
I was impressed at how quickly they came round considering how crispy a few of them were (I was expecting a 50% success but we're more like 80%). Hopefully we'll see signs of new growth soon and then I'll sit happy.
Now I just need to work out where they and the ones in pots from my last house are going to go! I've redesigned the garden so many times now I rather wish I could afford to employ someone to put the foundations / beds in quick before I change my mind again! The last location is right in what is now designated chicken territory (I say designated because you know they'll be free ranging through the vegetable plots at some point!) So needs to be changed to somewhere a little more protected.
This is year two with my strawberry plants. The grey mould is much worse this year - just on the fruit. Would it be better to stop putting straw under them and use plastic instead? They are grown in a fruit cage, not in pots
If it has been very wet where you live the straw may well be soaking. I only used it once and it was a disaster, but then we get a lot of rain here.
I save plastic bottles such as the ones that soda water come in. I cut the tops and bottoms off and use them in the early spring as mini windbreaks. Then when the strawberries start to produce fruit I use them again. I cut them in half lengthways, lay them on their sides and drape the strawberry fruit clusters over them. It keeps them off the soil, is clean and any rain runs straight into the soil. Not much good if you have an awful lot of plants though.
Thank you for your advice. I have 40 plants so I will start saving bottles now!