Last year we tried to grow strawberries and didn't have too much luck. We put in about 30 plants and had about 30 strawberries. In the spring I followed the conventional wisdom that says to grow strawberries in FL as annuals and tore up all the plants except a couple that were pretty big.
Soon those plants started making runners. LOTS of runners! Back in September when I was tilling up my beds for this winter's garden I couldn't bring myself to just kill them. I transplanted about 20 daughter plants to small nursery pots and put them in the shade. We continued to water them while we solarized our beds and about 10 days ago we planted them back into the garden in nice rows.
I am impressed -- the plants were not in great shape after coming out of the bed but since being put into the garden, each with a drip irrigation emitter, they are really perking up and making new growth. I have been cutting runners on the few that have been trying to make runners. We'll see how they fare. I figure I'm doing my own form of genetic selection by keeping the strongest couple of plants as the mother-plants and selecting the best looking daughter plants.
What's everyone else doing? I love strawberries and thought it would be easy to have big, beautiful berries. Boy was I wrong! I think the biggest thing was we didn't have consistent watering, hence the micro-irrigation setup this year. Now that it's all set up I can't believe I didn't do it last year. So nice to just go out and turn on the hose for an hour and it's done, nice and neat, right to the plant.