Answer: If you're sure soil fertility is as it should be, and the soil drains well, an insect might be causing the problem. Try digging up one of the plants and look for Strawberry Crown Borer. The adults are small (1/8" long) brown beetles with reddish patches on their wings. The adults lay eggs in the crown of strawberry plants and when the larvae hatch out they feed voraciously. There is no control, other than removing the infested plants. If you do not see any grubs in the crowns of the plants, and if the roots look healthy (creamy white on the inside as opposed to rusty brown), you may want to take a sample to your local Extension office for positive ID of the problem. Contact Montana State University, 316 N Park #232, Helena 59624. Phone (406) 447-8346.
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