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This is the first year I've planted strawberries, and the majority of them rot before fully ripening. Specifically, the part of the berries that rots is whatever is in contact with the soil—the half of each berry that isn't touching the soil is fine.

They are in raised beds and covered by a net. I've tried watering them less in case the issue is that there's too much moisture, but that hasn't helped.

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Mulch may help - so the berries are contacting mulch, not soil. Straw is typical (no pun intended.)

However, many sources (e.g. https://extension.umn.edu/fruit/growing-strawberries-home-garden )suggest picking off the flowers from new plants for at least a few weeks before starting to allow fruit to form.

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If you don't mind small (but tasty) berries, I would recommend trying out some alpine strawberries. You can grow them from seed and get fruit the first year. They don't stop producing after a few years, either. They're everbearing. You do need to split them up, as the plants multiply without runners.

The reason alpine strawberries would be helpful is because the fruits don't usually touch the ground (this isn't just because of their size, but because of how the flower stalks/trusses grow). They also have above-average disease-tolerance, in my experience (which sometimes means they might be less likely to rot as quickly). However, they have a very short shelf-life, because they are very soft (but they do dry easily, and they freeze well).

These seem to be some decent alpine strawberry varieties:

  • Reine des Vallees
  • Alexandria
  • Yellow Wonder

FYI: Unlike garden strawberries (which are octoploids), alpine strawberries are diploids.

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  • The native varieties can spread really fast so be sure you like them!
    – kevinskio
    Nov 4, 2022 at 11:10

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