The second method is to grow strawberries from seed. Each strawberry fruit is covered with seeds and those seeds have the potential to become new plants. Like with most viable garden seeds, proper soil, proper water, and proper light will produce a plant. This is a great way to grow many plants if you have the necessary germinating and growing space and equipment. The biggest concern is that most strawberries in gardens today are hybrids and that means the seeds from those plants will not grow true to the parent; new plants from seed may be dramatically different than the plant you're trying to copy. While propagating from seed with heirloom strawberries is an option, it's not the best one.
The easiest, most familiar, and best propagation method for home gardeners is to grow new plants from runners. Horizontal stems appear from the base of mature strawberry plants and new plants will grow from the nodes at the tips of these runners, or stolons. Roots grow from the nodes when they rest on soil.
When left alone, runners will develop into plants at varying distances from the main strawberry plant depending on the length of the runner and where it contacts soil. Gardeners have great control in this natural process by directing the runners or by potting them. I do both.
If I have a bare spot where I want a new strawberry plant and a runner is headed in that direction, I'll spend a few days keeping it above the soil, on mulch, and when it gets to a spot I'm happy with I'll let the tip rest. To ensure it stays where I want it, I'll use a small metal garden staple to hold it in place.
The runners are flexible and easy to direct into a small pot filled with quality garden or potting soil. I reuse small plastic pots from nurseries. I've used yogurt containers with great success; just punch a few holes in the bottom of yogurt cups for drainage.
Remove the plant and soil from the pot and transplant as you would any other garden plant. Have your hole ready, place it gently, and backfill it with soil.
When planting a mature strawberry plant it's very important that the crown stay above soil level. Burying the crown can lead to rotting that will kill the plant. Transplanting these new plants is a little more forgiving because they're still developing the crown. Just place the soil level of the pot at the same level as the soil in the bed and you should be good.
Along the same line, individual runners will continue to grow even when the first node has begun to grow roots and sprout a young plant. It's normal for a single runner to produce three or four plants. For the best and strongest growth it's a good idea to prune off the tip of the runner once you have an initial node growing in a pot.
That being said, I will often pot up multiple plants from a single runner if it is healthy, sturdy, and obviously growing well. The new plants at the different nodes will grow at different rates so be sure both the initial plant and the last one in line are growing well before you separate them from the mother and transplant them.