Trying to figure out how to produce strawberries hydroponically? Strawberries grown in this manner are more productive and less prone to contamination than conventional indoor methods. Hydroponic gardening may sound complicated to the average gardener, but it’s actually rather simple. In hydroponic gardening, plants are grown without the use of soil. Instead of dirt, water will be your primary tool for growing your plants.
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Hydroponic strawberries can be grown in a little greenhouse, which we’ll discuss in this post.
Starting from Seed or Cutting
To begin started with hydroponic farming, starting from seed is not the greatest option. You’ll also need additional equipment to grow a hydroponic garden from seeds.
Using strawberry cuttings is the best method. You won’t have to spend as much time cultivating strawberries from seed, and you’ll be able to harvest them more quickly. However, strawberry cuttings are more expensive than seedlings but the benefits of a faster harvest outweigh the costs.
Water and pH Level
It’s common knowledge that hydroponic gardening requires only tap water from a garden hose, but this isn’t always the case. Ammonia, chlorine, and chloramine are just a few of the pollutants and compounds found in typical tap water. Strawberry plants may suffer if they are exposed to certain toxins.
Using a water filter, according to gardening experts, can guarantee that you are providing your plants with pure and clean water. You should also check the pH level of your strawberries on a regular basis. A pH range of 5.8 to 6.2 is considered optimum. As a result, if you fall outside of this range, your plants will be vulnerable to a wide range of illnesses.
How to Create an Ideal Growing Environment for Your Hydroponic Strawberries
Hydroponic gardening is usually done in a greenhouse or in an indoor environment. This means that you’re in charge of ensuring that your strawberries get the right amount of light, humidity, and temperature in order to thrive.
Warmer temperatures are ideal for strawberry cultivation. It is recommended that plants be grown at a temperature of between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
When growing strawberries inside, you may not be able to provide them with the 10 to 12 hours of direct sunlight they require each day. However, there are a variety of solutions to this issue. LED or fluorescent grow lamps can be used. There is no need for the lighting to be overbearing.
Hydroponic gardening also takes into account humidity. Your strawberries will be susceptible to mold and mildew if your greenhouse is very damp. Having a well-ventilated greenhouse is a need. Using a dehumidifier or opening your greenhouse will suffice to provide adequate ventilation.
Reasons Why You Need a Mini Greenhouse
You’ll need a little greenhouse if you want to learn more about hydroponic gardening. Additionally, a greenhouse kit is necessary for the following reasons:
Protect your strawberries from pests
It’s less likely that your strawberries will be infested by hazardous insects if you’re growing them indoors. In addition, hydroponic agriculture reduces the danger of illness and pest infestation.
However, if your garden becomes infested with insects, you must act fast to prevent more harm. Strawberries are a favorite food for a variety of pests, including spider mites, gnats, and thrips. Spraying your plants with neem oil is a simple solution to this issue. If the issue persists, an organic pyrethrin spray might be used.
Prevent certain diseases
With hydroponic gardening, you don’t need to worry about root rot issues since there’s not soil for fungal rot to develop. But other diseases may still appear and harm your plants. For example, Mucor fruit rot and Rhizopus rot can form on your strawberries. Powdery mildew is another disease that can affect the fruit, while botrytis cinerea can impact the fruits and flowers.
Keep your plants safe from harsh weather
You don’t have to worry about root rot difficulties with hydroponic gardening because there is no soil for fungal rot to form. Other illnesses, on the other hand, could arise and do harm to your plants. Strawberries, for example, can develop the rots Mucor fruit and Rhizopus. Fruits and flowers can be affected by powdery mildew and botrytis cinerea, both of which are fungi.
Hydroponic Strawberries: Berries Grown Without Soil
As root rot is not a problem with hydroponic farming, you don’t have to worry about it. Other diseases, on the other hand, can arise and harm your plants. Rhizopus rot and Mucor fruit rot, for example, can develop on your strawberries over time. Botrytis cinerea and powdery mildew are other diseases that can harm fruits and flowers.
If you’re looking for a new way to cultivate your own food, you may want to give this method a whirl. We’ll cover all of this and then go over step-by-step instructions on how to grow hydroponic strawberries. To get started, let’s dig right in!
Strawberries: Pest and Disease Control
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Why Grow Hydroponic Strawberries?
Whatever your level of experience with strawberry farming, you will find many reasons to switch to a soil-based method.
Here’s a basic primer on hydroponics if you’ve never heard of it before.
Soil is not used in this method of cultivation. Instead of anchoring the plant’s roots, an inert media is employed. Depending on what you’re cultivating, the root system is immediately exposed to water or a nutritional solution through this medium.
What are the advantages of hydroponic strawberry farming?
You won’t have to deal with any soil-based pests because there is no dirt. This will make your job as a grower much easier.. Strawberry plants planted hydroponically are also less likely to be attacked by flying pests!
There’s a misconception that because water is always available, you’re inevitably going to use more of it. You don’t have to constantly supply the plants with fresh water with hydroponics, because the water is recirculated and reused.
Hydroponically produced strawberries can be stacked vertically if you’re short on room. Increased plant density as a result. In addition, picking strawberries from the ground is more difficult than squatting down to do it.
Hydroponics also has a lot of positive aspects. This is a method that’s well worth your time.
You may be asking yourself, “What’s the catch?”
Hydroponic farming has just a few drawbacks. The most significant is the price of initial setup. To put it another way, hydroponic systems are more expensive than growing in the ground. Because of this, these systems can pay for themselves over time in terms of efficiency and long-term strawberry yields.
In addition, hydroponic gardening has a steep learning curve. After a while, you get the knack of it, and it’s no more difficult than traditional soil gardening.
Finally, keep in mind that strawberry hydroponics will produce fewer berries per plant than soil systems. However, the initial loss per plant can easily be recovered if your system is indoors where the weather is stable because you can grow a bigger quantity of berries overall. You’re also putting on a lot more muscle than you were before!
What you’ll need to get started
Finding a good hydroponic system is obviously the first step. Prices, plant counts, and performance all vary widely. As a result, you’ll need to conduct thorough research before acquiring your computer.
Start with an ebb-and-flow, DWC, or drip hydroponic system if you’re just getting started. There are a lot of ready-to-go systems out there, but you may also design your own.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can get started with a garden tray, a reservoir, a water pump, and a few other odd hydro components to get started.
Building the system itself isn’t too difficult. To cultivate your plants, all you need to do is place a water reservoir underneath the tray. Then, to maintain your berries well-fed and well-watered, set up your pump and timer to flow water from the reservoir into your grow tray.
What kind of growing media you’ll employ is also important. Growstones, clay pebbles, coconut coir, and rockwool are all popular options. There are a lot of alternative options for growing media out there!
To ensure that your plants are getting all the nutrients they need, you’ll definitely need some hydroponic nutrients as well. However, the grower has complete control over this.
Growing Hydroponic Strawberries
Get ready to start growing your hydroponic strawberries now that you have a good concept of everything you need.
If you’ve never worked with hydroponics before or are a total newbie, this section will give you the confidence you need.
Before you get started, you’ll need to determine whether or not you want to grow from seed or start from scratch. This is a far more time consuming approach, as it might take years for strawberry seeds to bear fruit.
With a hydroponic system, you may find some young strawberry plants and grow them in a medium of your choice and net pots. Stick your plant in the net pots after rinsing the soil from its root system, then pour the rest of it in to keep it from shifting. Water it as soon as possible.
Light & Temperature
There are many advantages to cultivating hydroponic strawberries in a controlled environment. Lighting and temperature conditions must be just ideal for your berries to flourish.
Between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature range for growing strawberries.
If you’re growing strawberries, you’ll want to give them between 8 and 12 hours of light each day. No need for varying the lighting schedule throughout the life of these plants. This photoperiod can be used indefinitely.
Your plants will naturally receive light if you’re growing them in a greenhouse. Adding additional grow lights will be necessary if you don’t have extra lighting for the plants.
Water Quality & pH Levels
Quality of water and pH levels are critical to hydroponics success. A small margin for error exists when your roots are in direct contact with water.
Use a water filter to guarantee that you aren’t feeding your strawberries chloramines or other pollutants commonly present in tap water.
The pH of your solution must be within a specific range. Check your water’s pH with a pH meter to ensure it’s between 5.8 and 6.2. Your plants will suffer if you go outside of this range in regards to nutrition levels.
When it comes to hydroponic growing mediums, there are a wide variety of options. However, coco coir is a good choice because it’s simple and easy to come by.
Strawberry nutrients and pH are unaffected by coco, which is entirely inert. To begin with, it’s incredibly user-friendly and accessible, and it’s also economical. Aeration and water drainage can be improved with the addition of perlite.
Strawberry plants in hydroponic systems, whether organic or not, require a fertilizer solution to keep them alive. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, as well as secondary nutrients and micronutrients, are essential for the health of your strawberries.
For this project, liquid nutrients will be required. Synthetic hydroponic systems are easier for newcomers to use because organics tend to clump and clog. General Hydroponics Nutrients is a line that we really like. For the duration of the strawberry plants’ lives, you can easily follow the feeding regimens provided in these packets. They’re easy to learn, of excellent quality, and reasonably priced.
Pollination is necessary if you plan to cross-breed specific strawberry kinds. Because pollinating insects like bees may not have access to your plants, you may have to pollinate them yourself if you want to get fruit.
In order to pollinate your strawberries using hydroponic systems, you’ll need to obtain a supply of beneficial insects such as bees.
Hand pollination is a simple process. If you want to grow strawberries, you don’t have to worry about finding male or female blossoms. Pollinate your plants by collecting pollen from one blossom and transferring it to another with the same cotton swab. Having a lot of plants to pollinate can be time consuming, but this is a simple and highly effective method.
You won’t have to do this if your hydroponic setup is outside and you have access to pollinating insects. Indoor growers, on the other hand, need use hand pollination to promote healthy fruit growth.
Pruning stolons (also known as runners) will keep your strawberries healthy and productive. New plants can sometimes grow out of the tips of strawberry runners, which are stems that are leafless. Remove these by chopping them off as close to the plant’s base as possible. Plantlets can be propagated from runners that have developed at the tips of their stems!
Seeds or the plantlets that form at the end of their stolons are the most common methods of propagation for strawberry plants.
You’ll need to buy seed from a reputable seed seller to get started. If the plant is a hybrid, you may not be able to collect the seeds from the previous year’s berries. Indoors, sow your seed in a potting mix and watch it grow into a tiny plant. Keep the soil moist and warm, and give the plant plenty of sunshine to help it grow.
Take cuttings from your plants and place them on a layer of damp potting soil. When planting a seed, make sure to maintain the plantlet’s base in soil and water it regularly. Also, make sure that they are well-lit. Roots will form more quickly, and the extended runner stem can be cut off once they have.
The roots of seed-starts and plantlets should be at least 2″ long before planting. Remove them from the pots with care. Remove as much soil as possible using a brush, and then use water to thoroughly clean the roots of the strawberry plants. After that, you can put them in your growth medium and see how they do.
To avoid most of the difficulties novice strawberry growers have, follow the methods mentioned above.
Even if you are extremely cautious and thorough, you may still encounter problems. Let’s take a look at the ones that could come up.
When it comes to plant health, nutrients and pH abnormalities are the most typical culprits. Insufficient or excessive feeding, as well as pH levels that are too high or too low, might cause this.
As a grower, it’s up to you to appropriately diagnose this problem. For any gardener who wants to cultivate the best plants possible, it’s essential to keep a complete log of your activities, observations, and solutions.
You must make certain that the nutrition solution you are using has the correct concentrations for your strawberry plants. Diluting the nutrition solution you’re using may be necessary if it’s too strong. Your hydroponics supplier should be able to recommend the best fertilizer solution for strawberry and fruit production.
The right moment is crucial. The delicate balance of pH, nutrients, and water can be disrupted if you feed at the wrong moment. As a result, the quality of your strawberries may be harmed. You’ll want to keep a pH meter on hand to keep an eye on your levels.
A speedy fix should be possible if you pay attention to and act on any concerns with your meal schedule.
Many of the pests that can be found in traditional soil gardens won’t bother you because you’re growing indoors. As a result, the risk of pests and illnesses is greatly reduced by growing hydroponically.
In the event that something does get into your garden, you’ll have to respond swiftly. You may come across some of these pests and diseases while producing strawberries:
- Insects (spider mites)
With most of these, spraying the plant with neem oil should take care of the problem. If the problem persists, try spraying with an organic pyrethrin-based solution.
Hydroponic strawberry farming reduces the majority of root rot issues. You don’t get fungal rots since there isn’t any soil for it to grow in.
But some diseases may still appear above the growing medium. It’s possible to handle these in a variety of ways.
But some diseases may still appear above the growing medium. It’s possible to handle these in a variety of ways.
It is possible, however, that certain pathogens will appear above the growth media. A variety of methods can be used to address these issues.
Another spore-based disease that affects strawberries is powdery mildew. Neem oil or a copper-based fungicidal spray can be used to treat this, too, like with botrytis.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to eat strawberries grown in a hydroponic system?
If you’ve already applied one. Although some strawberry cultivars have been engineered to be naturally resistant to certain plant diseases, pesticides are not present in any strawberry plants that naturally grow them.
What is the maximum number of strawberries that may be harvested from one plant?
It all depends on the type of strawberry you’re growing, whether it’s everbearing or seasonal, how old the plant is, and other variables.
The typical weight of a strawberry plant is between 150 and 400 grams. Hydronics allows for year-round cultivation, allowing for year-round access to delicious berries. In order to maintain fruit output, younger, more vigorous strawberry plants should be used to replace older, less productive ones.
Final Thoughts on How to Grow Hydroponic Strawberries
When it comes to gardening, hydroponic strawberries are a worthwhile investment. In addition to being less vulnerable to viruses and insects, this method is also cleaner and more efficient, and you’ll obtain exactly the same results without the headache. Growing hydroponic strawberries in a tiny greenhouse is a great way to step up your gardening game.