Strawberries from seed???

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Need advice from strawberry growers. I planted maybe 75 plants last spring and we enjoyed maybe 5 types, a mix of June bearing and everbearing. Only about a dozen came back, probably because I'm a terrible Fall gardener and they should have been straw mulched? Anyway, I was looking through Johnny's and they have strawberry seed and plants. Questions:

1. They say 120 days to fruiting to grow them from seed, so I'd need to start them in cool grow room in Jan/Feb. Has anyone done this and what were your results?

2. Strawberries are listed as "Perennials", are they REALLY? Our local small strawberry farm replants every year for their June bearing. Why would they do that if they were reliably perennial? Or are they what I call a "half perennial", which means they MIGHT come back but don't count on it for real results?

Thanks for input!

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

I guess they are short-lived perennials. After a few years the original crown gets old and you have to replace it with plants from its runners. The standard had been to have alternating wide rows, old plants and new - and you periodically tear out the old plants to make a bed for the next generation of replacements.
Your strawberries dying over the winter was a different problem - either you had a bad winter or varieties that were not adapted to your location. The ones that survived are probably the varieties you want to keep.
As for the small "wild" strawberries from seed - I have never grown them. However, they are supposed to have few or no runners and be more reliably perennial.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Thank you Pollengarden! I appreciate the input. I'll try them from seed next year. My losing them may have more to do with my garden "helpers" than the variety. LOL It was also the first year the garden was in this area and only amended once. It usually takes me several years to get the Missouri clay amended enough to grow most fruits/veggies.

Olathe, KS(Zone 5a)

I wintersowed 4 alpines, 1 almost runnerless, and 1 from store - all germinated. The alpines grew well - this year I transferred them to tubs with potting mix and drip line - have been eating them for several weeks. Transferred the almost runnerless and store one to tubs this spring - they are growing well - too early for fruit. Regular June or Everbearing will keep spreading if you let them. Mine are very long lived. I tried a Cabot EB in a tub but it outgrew it too fast - now in ground and taking over the bed - ok - better than weeds. Advice is usually to remove most runners to get more fruit and later remove the exhausted mother plant after a few years.

This message was edited Jun 12, 2017 8:39 AM

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Plants in Pots: I have found that with most commercial potting mixes, the plants outlast the mix. The organic ones are a little better, but for long-term pots, you need a little dirt in your dirt. So add a some topsoil, or compost & sand with minerals in it (decomposed granite as opposed to decomposed lime - if it makes a magnet fuzzy with iron filings, it is probably good). Or plan on using a good liquid fertilizer with trace minerals.

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