When most people think of growing strawberries, they think of planting them in the ground. However, did you know that you can also grow strawberries in a hydroponic garden? In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of growing strawberries in hydroponics and provide tips for strawberry growers on how to do it. So if you are interested in learning more, keep reading!
What are Hydroponic Strawberries?
Hydroponic strawberries are strawberries that are grown in a soilless growing medium using a water-based nutrient solution. This type of gardening is beneficial because it uses less water than traditional gardening methods and allows the growing strawberry plants to take in nutrients more efficiently.
Additionally, hydroponic gardens can be set up indoors, which means you can grow strawberries year-round!
Why you should try growing strawberry plants hydroponically
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a water-based solution rather than in soil. There are many benefits to growing strawberries hydroponically, including the fact that it is easier to control the growing environment, there is less need for pesticides, and plants can be grown year-round.
One of the main advantages of growing strawberries hydroponically is that it is easier to control the growing environment. For example, you can easily adjust the temperature, humidity, and light levels to create the perfect growing conditions for strawberry plants.
In addition, because hydroponic systems do not use soil, there is less need for pesticides. This is because pests are attracted to soil, not to water.
How to get started on growing hydroponic strawberries
If you're wondering what it takes to grow hydroponic strawberries, we've got you covered.
Planting techniques for growing hydroponic strawberries
There are two main planting techniques for growing hydroponic strawberries: runners and plugs.
Runners are young strawberry plants that are grown from a mother plant. To plant runners, simply remove them from the mother plant and plant them in your hydroponic system.
Plugs are small, pre-rooted plants that can be purchased from a nursery or online. To plant plugs, simply insert them into the growing medium of your hydroponic system.
Whichever planting technique you choose, make sure to plant your strawberries in a well-lit location. The Strawberry plant needs at least six hours of sunlight per day in order to produce fruit.
Light & Temperature
When it comes to light, strawberry plants need at least six hours of sunlight per day. If you are growing your strawberries indoors, you will need to provide them with artificial light. The best type of artificial light to use is full-spectrum LED grow lights.
As for temperature, strawberries prefer a temperature between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature gets too hot or too cold, it can affect the yield and quality of your strawberries.
Water Quality & pH Levels
Hydroponic strawberries need a water-based nutrient solution to thrive. The nutrient solution should be rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Additionally, the pH level of the water should be between 6.0 and 7.0.
You can test the pH level of your water using a pH testing kit, which can be purchased online or at a gardening store..
Choosing the quality plants
When growing hydroponic strawberries, it is important to start with quality plants. Look for plants that are certified disease- and pest-free.
There are a variety of different growing mediums that can be used for hydroponic strawberries, such as:
- Coconut coir
- Hydroton clay pellets
The type of growing medium you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the type of hydroponic system you are using.
There are many different types of hydroponic systems that can be used for growing strawberries, such as:
- Deepwater hydroponic culture (DWC)
- Nutrient film technique (NFT)
- Ebb and flow
- Drip irrigation
Again, the type of hydroponic system you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the type of setup you have.
As we mentioned earlier, hydroponic strawberries need a water-based nutrient solution to thrive. The nutrient solution should be rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You can purchase a pre-made nutrient solution or make your own. A nutrient-rich solution, consisting of peat-moss, vermiculture, or fertilizer supports the plant's roots.
If you decide to make your own nutrient solution, you will need to add the following ingredients:
You can find these ingredients at a gardening store or online.
Strawberry plants are self-pollinating, which means they do not need bees or other insects to pollinate them. However, if you are growing your strawberries indoors, you will need to manually pollinate them.
To pollinate your strawberries manually, simply take a small paintbrush and transfer pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers.
Pruning is an important part of hydroponic growing. Strawberry plants produce fruit on runners (long stems that grow out from the main plant).
To encourage fruit production, you will need to prune away any non-fruit-bearing runners. Additionally, you will need to remove any damaged or diseased leaves.
Strawberries are typically ready to harvest 60-70 days after planting. To check if your strawberries are ready to harvest, simply give them a gentle squeeze. If they are soft and juicy, they are ready to be picked.
When harvesting your strawberries, be sure to handle them with care for better hydroponic strawberry production. Gently place them in a container and store them in a cool, dark place. You can enjoy your strawberries fresh or you can store them in the fridge for up to two weeks.
To propagate hydroponic strawberries, you will need to take runners (long stems that grow out from the main plant) and root them in a propagation medium. Once the runners have rooted, they can be transplanted into their own pots or containers.
Benefits of growing strawberries hydroponically
There are many benefits to growing strawberries hydroponically, such as:
1. Increased yields
Hydroponic strawberries can produce up to 30% more fruit than traditional soil-grown strawberries.
2. Earlier harvesting
Strawberries grown hydroponically can be harvested up to 2 weeks earlier than traditional strawberries.
3. Pest and disease control
Since hydroponic strawberries are grown in a controlled environment, they are less susceptible to pests and diseases.
4. Extended growing season
Hydroponic strawberries can be grown year-round, regardless of the outside temperature.
Plants of hydroponics strawberries take up less space than traditional strawberry plants.
6. Easy to set up and maintain
Strawberry hydroponics systems are relatively easy to set up and maintain.
7. Fun and rewarding
Growing hydroponic strawberries can be fun and rewarding. Watching your strawberries grow can be a truly satisfying experience.
If you’re looking for a fun and rewarding gardening project, we highly recommend growing hydroponic strawberries. With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy delicious strawberries year-round!
8. Nutrient-rich fruit
Hydroponically grown strawberries are typically more nutrient-rich than soil-grown strawberries.
9. No need for pesticides
Since hydroponic strawberries are grown in a controlled environment, there is no need for pesticides.
10. Great for beginner gardeners
Hydroponic strawberry systems are great for beginner gardeners. They are relatively easy to set up and maintain, and they provide a great introduction to hydroponic gardening.
Drawbacks of growing strawberries hydroponically
There are a few drawbacks to growing strawberries hydroponically, such as:
1. High initial investment
Hydroponic strawberry systems can be expensive to set up. If you’re on a tight budget, traditional soil-based gardening may be a better option.
2. Requires more effort
Hydroponic strawberry plants require more effort than traditional strawberry plants. You will need to monitor and adjust the nutrient solution regularly, and you may need to perform additional maintenance tasks such as cleaning the growing medium and pruning the plants.
3. Limited space
Hydroponic strawberry systems can take up a lot of space. If you have limited space in your home or garden, traditional strawberry plants may be a better option.
4. Requires specialized knowledge
Hydroponic strawberry systems require specialized knowledge and skills. If you’re new to gardening, we recommend starting with traditional soil-based gardening before moving on to hydroponics.
5. Can be challenging to troubleshoot
Hydroponic strawberry systems can be challenging to troubleshoot if something goes wrong. If you’re new to gardening, we recommend starting with traditional soil-based gardening before moving on to hydroponics.
How long do strawberries take to grow hydroponically?
It takes about 3-4 weeks for strawberries to germinate and start producing fruit.
Do hydroponic strawberries taste different?
Hydroponic strawberries taste the same as traditional strawberries.
How often do you need to water hydroponic strawberries?
Hydroponic strawberry plants need to be watered about once a week.
Is hydroponic strawberry farming profitable?
Yes, hydroponic strawberry farming can be profitable. Hydroponic strawberries are typically more expensive than traditional strawberries, so you can charge a premium price for them.
Do hydroponic strawberries produce year-round?
Yes, hydroponic strawberries can be produced year-round.