The method of growing plants in the water which is fully nutrient instead of in soil is called hydroponics. You can apply this method to grow strawberries and harvest them throughout the year no matter how the weather is. All you need are a large tub or bucket used as a reservoir, wicks, growing container, strawberry rootstock and nutrient solution to grow and enjoy your tasty strawberry throughout the year.
Following are the clear instructions for how to grow hydroponic strawberries that will help you make your own little strawberries garden with a lot of strawberries.
Choose a reservoir
Use a big bucket or tub as a reservoir. Especially, you should choose the one with enough depth to contain lots of nutrient solution unless you want to spend too much time on refilling it. Furthermore, make sure the growing container can fit the reservoir’s top well.
Ensure to mix an enough amount of water with the hydroponic nutrient. This is because if using too little or too much water, the strawberry might not grow well.
Set up the growing container
Purchasing an optimum container is among the most important steps to grow strawberries hydroponically. Smart Pots offer you the best vessels for cultivating strawberries.
Roots can prune themselves in the smart pots. Then they will grow into nearly hundreds of fibrous and small ones. This can help your strawberries easily take up hydroponic nutrients which they need for surviving and thriving. Moreover, it also allows the nutrient solution break into the growing medium.
Preparing your wicks
Using wicking system for planting strawberries. In fact, there are many ways to plant hydroponic plants; however, the easiest one among them is growing by wicking system. This is also because it does not use too much material compared to the others. Besides, it’s really perfect to grow small plants; strawberry is a typical example.
Looking for something which not only is absorbent but also not easily rotten. For sure, you should experience yourself and choose a suitable one. It can be rayon rope, fibrous rope, cotton rope, polyurethane yarn, nylon rope, polyurethane or wool felt strips.
Notice to rinse and clean all your wicks before using in order to avoid potentially chemicals that can damage the plants.
Another method of growing hydroponically includes a culture system with deep water, a flow and ebb system, a technique system with nutrient film, an aeroponics, and drip system.
Selecting your growing medium and preparing to plant
After taking the containers and plants, carefully clean soil from the roots of hydroponic strawberries. Then fill the halfway of your containers with a growing medium.
Among available choices, vermiculite is quite cheap and safe. Next, put the plants in the containers which have been partially filled; then take the vermiculite to cover their remaining roots.
Pick a nutrient solution specific to strawberries
Conventionally, it suggests that the beginners should buy the nutrient solution instead of self-making. This can certainly apply the specific nutrient ratios to the plants that you want to grow.
Strawberries need phosphorous, potassium, nitrogen, magnesium and calcium for strong growth.
Maintain low salt
Strawberries can thrive in an environment at a low salt level ( within 1.2 to 1.5 is best), with lots of light and having a pH from 5.5-6.8. Besides, you should keep the temperature at a high 60’s level and keep the growing facility dry.
For farmers, salt content might be a big matter for them in trying to grow strawberries. The hydroponic systems can help strawberry grow well; whereas, the considerably high level of EC required in many crops can put more depression on strawberry.
See the light
Hydroponic strawberries can thrive in an environment which is full of light. Best is to put them in the window and let them absorb sunlight during at least 6 hours in a day.
If not, you should think about installing sodium fixtures with high-pressure or LED. In case using sodium fixtures with high-pressure, make sure to have enough ventilation in the growing room. Otherwise, your strawberries will be easily wilted in the extreme heat.
However, bear in your mind that darkness also plays an important role. Your plants need about 6-8 darkness hours each night in order to completely recover and grow well.
Hand pollinate or use natural pollinators
Outdoor, pollen can be spread from the male parts of the strawberry to the female ones by the help of natural pollinators, such as flies, birds, and bees. While indoor, the growers can pollinate by hand or host a hive (however, you need to discuss with codes and building managers carefully).
If you are performing an indoor growing facility including several greenhouses, a great choice is to pollinate by hand. You can use a toothbrush or paintbrush to do this. Carefully disturb the flowers’ centers to help to spread pollen to all flowers instead of relying on natural pollinators.
It usually takes about 10 to 30 seconds to pollinate by hand for each plant. Therefore, it might take you too much time on the whole. In that case, let consider about hosting a hive in the indoor farm.
Plant some saplings or runners in your potting soil; then water them directly. Also, ensure to make enough drainage holes on the containers in order to drain out if suffering excess water easily.
When your strawberries are mature as well as producing, let keep providing the conditions which they require and control either pests or diseases to maintain their health. The pests need watching out are mites and crown rot.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below! We will answer them. It is also a good way for other people to learn new things from your great questions as well as have a deep understanding of how to grow hydroponic strawberries
Leslie J. Shearer is the founder and owner of the blog colorgardening.com. Gardening is her passion and she has a deep relationship with nature. Growing plants and digging deep to germinate flowers and vegetables brings positivity in her life.