Strawberry help... one plant w/ fruit turning brown
Thanks in advance for any advice for this novice kitchen gardener! I have 21 strawberry plants in a new (first year) raised bed in what seems to be good garden soil I purchased from a local nursery. I mounded each plant, just over a foot apart, covered around them with black landscape fabric (a strip down each side of each row, secured between plants with those garden staple thingies), and mulched the area between rows with aspen shavings.
I did let the plants flower this year. Even though I read that it's better to pinch off the flowers the first year for a better harvest in the second year, I was an anxious newbie who wanted a few berries now. ;-) So far, I have quite a few flowers and little green berries.
The problem is, the very first plant that produced flowers, while the plant itself still looks very healthy, the flower/berry stems (and fruits) are turning brown and dying. This doesn't look like a mold situation, as the berries are very small and simply look like they're drying up. Now, we have had some late cold spells, and I haven't always gotten frost blanket over the bed for every night that's dipped into the danger zone temperature-wise. Since this was the first plant to produce flowers, could it be that this is a frost-damage situation? All the other plants seem to be doing well, with green berries growing bigger and looking healthy.
I haven't seen any evidence of insects (although that doesn't mean there aren't any, obviously). And I have small wire fencing around the bed to keep out critters as well as netting over the bed to keep out the birds.
Help please? Thanks so much!