Has anybody ever grown a strawberry landrace?

[from Thinkific Community]


I think it would be really neat to breed strawberries that are locally adapted. They’re usually reproduced from clones, but they make plenty of seeds, so it seems possible in theory. Has anybody done this?

Well, I found an Amazon listing for 2,000 white strawberry seeds for $3.99! I went and bought them. Here’s the link, if anyone else thinks that sounds cool:

Both arrived in less than a week, packaged well, and the seeds look good, so that seems like a good seller to buy things from. An abundance of seeds for a very reasonable price, too. I hope the seeds are viable. I’ll have to see. (Grin.)

I think I will legitimately try to start a strawberry landrace. I love strawberries, I love the idea of a variety of flavors that are all delicious, and I love the idea of growing something that’s more locally adapted. Strawberries are supposed to be a pretty thirsty crop, so I’m wondering if landracing them will help me get some that are equally delicious and more drought tolerant. More shade tolerant and just as tasty would be very good, too – either way. It might be a great use of space to put strawberries under small fruit trees, perennial brassicas, and big bush squashes, for example.

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I have been thinking the same thing! I have 6 to 8 strawberry varieties growing here. The one thing about strawberries is that there are many different species so it’s one thing to be mindful about. I’ve been throwing the haft eaten berries all over my garden … hopefully something interested will soon come up.

Emily S
Have you had any seeds sprout for you? I’ve tried that, but so far, I don’t think I’ve seen any seedlings. Tiny seeds are difficult to germinate, so that’s probably why. I’ve also wondered if they need cold stratification (so maybe they will come up in spring?), and I’ve wondered if so many generations of cloning strawberries has dropped the average viability of their seeds.

Not exactly, but I had planted a bed of strawberries, name unknown, they were large but blandish. I also planted a bed of wild strawberries in the next bed, they are small but oh so tasty. I am 100% sure they crossed. 90% of them are large, 10% small sized. They all seem to have the wild strawberry aroma and taste now.

Ooooh, that’s nifty. That sounds like you got the best of both worlds. I’m thrilled to hear that strawberries cross so easily!

I got some everbearing strawberry plants from a neighbor last summer. The fruits were super sweet, even when not perfectly ripe, and she was thinning them out, so that worked out for both of us. :smiley:

Those white strawberry seeds I mentioned sprouted quickly, and I think I got a 100% germination rate! The seeds must be fresh. The baby plants look great under my grow light. They might get a nasty surprise about water availability when I put them out in my garden in spring, though. (Wry laugh.) Since it looks like they germinate well, I imagine I’ll direct sow a whole bunch of those seeds in that bed, alongside my new everbearing plants!

I really love the idea of making landraces of perennials. The ability to clone good plants means the best can be kept and spread while the seeds can be saved and continued generations can go from there. Same for things like TPS and true garlic seed. You can keep the awesome ones, and continue to look for better ones.

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Yes, exactly! When you find exactly what you’re looking for, you can either stop breeding and clone from then on, or you can keep breeding to see if you can find something just as good and different, or something even better. Whatever you prefer!

Plus, as a side benefit, if you breed from true seed, even if you stick with cloning once you have what you want, your cultivar is likely to be able to keep on producing true seeds, so you can share those with others, so they can create what they want. Win-win!

When I get my banana landrace going full steam, I will probably do lots of breeding and lots of cloning, and I’ll be fine with whichever proves to be the best way to spread the best plants to other people.


I am growing landrace strawberries. I started with day-neutral varieties, and selected among the offspring for those that fruit best during the hottest part of summer. I’d rather have a small harvest every day, than one big harvest in June.

The ecosystem did 80% of the selection, for ability to survive things like winter, and alkaline soil.


Oh, cool! Yeah, I can see you having one!

I agree with preferring a regular harvest, rather than everything all at once. A regular harvest can be enjoyed all summer long. Everything all at once is a stressor, trying to get it all preserved before it goes bad. Everbearing for the win!


If i can eat a few strawberries every day when i irrigate the greenhouse, I’m happy.

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That sounds nice!

I’m afraid I have five kids and a husband who all love strawberries as much as I do, so I want a lot more plants, so I have enough for seven people to all eat a few strawberries every day! (Grin.)

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Sounds fun! I just ordered, will be interesting to see what survives here.

Pardon the ignorance, what is TPS?

True potato seeds. They come from the poisonous berries that grow on potato plants. If you want to breed potatoes, you plant seeds rather than tubers – tubers aren’t seeds, they’re a way of cloning.

Cool! We can compare notes on white strawberries after they’ve both grown fruit for us! :smiley: It would be fascinating if we get different types of fruit from the same population of seeds. I can see that, if the seeds are diverse (who knows?) and our growing conditions are different.

Mom just mentioned that she wants to take care of the strawberries in her garden this year. Supposedly they have been getting less and less productive each year. She wants to start applying fertilizers. Im guessing this is a common problem with clones? They begin to loose their vigor over time?

Im thinking that the preferable route is to save the seeds and begin a landrace. Let the genetics choose what fits, and as Joseph mentioned above - have strawberries throughout the year.

We have a mix of the local wild strawberries and the larger cultivated ones here. Both are delicious, but the tiny wild ones are especially flavorful.

It’s a common issue in strawberries in general. Plants have a lifecycle of only a few years, (like many fruits, actually) in which they produce more fruit and then fade. In the wild, new child plants, established by runners or eye divisions (in non-running types) would take the place of the parent plants as they fade.

I was taught that the proper way to manage strawberries was to double space the rows, and then in the second year to cultivate runners into the blank rows. Then, in the third year, after the June production season, the original parents should be removed, and new runners allowed to grow plants in their place. Each year, then, you get a full harvest from all rows, but then the older plants are replaced before they can senescence in later years.

Of course, if she’s already allowing plants to rotate, on whatever scheme, then I would look at soil health next–aeration, water retention, pH, and finally nutrients. Strawberries are pretty undemanding if the soil is good, but they definitely produce larger crops with fertilizer (sometimes at the expense of flavor–don’t push nitrogen too hard).

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“Has anybody ever grown a strawberry landrace?”

I am working on it. I am in the early stages. I am struggling with the seedlings and germination rates. I have a wild strain very drought resistant adapted to my context. I also bought multiple seeds packages to put on the mix.


That’s very cool!

I have managed to start strawberry seedlings before, but I’ve struggled to keep them alive. They seem to stay tiny and fragile for a really, really, really long time. Any suggestions to make that task easier? :wink:

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Ooh, I want to know this answer too. I just sprouted some from our friend’s land from last year. I have tiny sprouts but know next to nothing about how well they’ll grow, how fast…

and yeah, a bit of growth on the soil surface. There’s a debate in the house as to whether it’s mold or mycelium. So far the sprouts that have it in their growing environment don’t seem fazed.

Molds and mushrooms both grow mycelium. The difference is molds will grow spores on non mushroom bodies and will usually be green, yellow, blue colored etc.

I’m growing my own strawberries from seed I have collected myself. No idea how well it’s going to do. I put them in the ground this year and will see how they go.

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My approach was to gather up seeds and plants of both cultivated strawberries, as well as various species of strawberries that I could find. There are three native species of strawberry in my region, Fragaria vesca, Fragaria virginiana, and Fragaria chiloensis. The cultivated strawberry is a hybrid between virginiana and chiloensis. I also am working with two European species: moschata (musk strawberry) and viridis (Russian wild strawberry). I also have some white strawberries. So far, I’ve established Fragaria vesca in some areas, and Fragaria virginiana in others, Fragaria chiloensis in other areas, Russian and musk strawberries elsewhere, and I have various cultivated strawberries. I think the species will likely remain distinct for the most part, especially given that I’ve planted them in different locations rather than as a mixed planting. The species spread both vegetatively and by seed. Some of them might also be different enough genetically to not interbreed (different chromosome numbers, etc.).

I’m always excited to see self-sown strawberries come up. I then wonder if they are hybrids or not. That has begun to happen, and I hope that natural process will continue. I suppose I could help this along by collecting seeds from all the populations and planting them, and maybe deliberately creating a mixed bed to encourage cross-breeding.