I planted Cabot strawberries 2 years ago. The 1st year they produced an overabounce of runners & had a reasonable crop this spring. A lot of the berries were misshaping but still good. After crop was finish, I ran the rototiller thru rows leaving about 1 ft. wide of new plants. The plants look good & healthy but very few new runners! Any suggestions much appreciated, Thanks, Mike
Misshaped berries are usually caused by poor pollination.
The recommendation is not to allow new strawberry plants to produce runners in the first year (or even for the first two years) to conserve the energy in the small parent plant.
You probably got few runners in the second year because the plants were recovering from producing the excess of runners in the first year. Learn how many runners your plants can produce sustainably in your growing environment, and prune them to that limit. Fewer strong plants will produce a better crop than more weak ones.
Also, get the runners rooted, and then separate them from the parent plant. You can transplant them if they are in the wrong place. Growing "too many" runners and then nuking them with a rotortiller is wasting a lot of the plants' energy that could be producing fruit instead.