Strawberries are short-lived herbaceous perennials, producing for 2 to 3 years. Plant in an open, sunny position in raised beds; a good airflow will reduce fungal diseases. Strawberries prefer a well-drained soil, rich in humus. Dig in lots of organic matter, compost, animal manure or blood and bone, about a month before planting.
Commercially strawberries are replanted every year to maintain a high fruit production. This also saves the commercial grower from the time consuming problem of dealing with runners. For the home gardener it is best to treat strawberries as a short-lived perennial of 2-3 years. Runners provide an opportunity to grow more strawberry plants but also adversely affect strawberry fruit production. Pinching off runners early in the season will improve fruit production. The runners, if left, also tend to overcrowd the bed so that in the 2nd year the original strawberry bed is too crowded to be very productive at all. Due to this fruit, the strawberry suppliers are benefited much.
In addition to being consumed fresh, strawberries can be frozen, made into preserves as well as dried and used in such things as cereal bars. Strawberries are a popular addition to dairy products, as in strawberry flavored ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies and yogurts. Strawberry pie is also popular.
Cosmetically, they are supposedly used for whitening teeth. They can be crushed and made into an exfoliant for skin.