The Joy of Growing Hydroponic Strawberries
While there are different methods for growing strawberries, hydroponic strawberries are unique but also delicious. The word “hydroponic” is derived from a Greek word, “hydro”, which translates to water, and “ponos”, which means labor. With this method, plants are grown to maturity but without using soil. To get required nutrients, they are added to the water fed to the strawberry plants. While this method was originally used by commercial growers, today, it is used by hobbyists as well.
One of the great things about growing hydroponic strawberries is that they can be grown all year long. Because of this, you can enjoy sweet and juicy strawberries whenever you want, not just during the summer months. While this is certainly a huge benefit, many other advantages go along with this growing method. For example, some of the positive aspects include:
- Strawberry plants need little space
- Growing time is reduced
- Without soil, you never have to worry about insects, weeds, and other problems that go along with raising plants in soil
- Hydroponic strawberries can be grown indoors or even in a greenhouse, which protects the fruit from the elements, as well as animals and birds
- The need to add mulch is eliminated
- Growing this way makes it much easier to manage humidity levels, light, heat, irrigation, and nutrition and to maintain appropriate levels of humidity, a clear plastic dome placed over the plants works great.
- Hydroponic strawberries are highly nutritional and typically, the fruit is much larger and more flavorful than what you would get from traditional outdoor growing
If hydroponic strawberries appeals to you, you will need to follow specific growing rules, such as the following:
- Medium - We recommend you choose a day neutral variety such as coconut fiber or Perlite. Be sure not to toss out the runners since they can be used for the strongest plants.
- Mock Winter – Since hydroponic strawberries are grown in the house or in a greenhouse, you need to create a mock winter. For this, dip roots in a microbial solution, wrap them in clear plastic, and then store in the refrigerator for a full five months. As the mock winter passes, the seedlings would be added to your existing system.
- Lighting – For the biggest and juiciest hydroponic strawberries, the plants require seven hours of full sunlight daily.
- Temperature – Your system also needs to be at a maintained temperature range of 64 to 77 degrees.
- Food – Finally, hydroponic strawberries grow best in a commercial organic preparation with a pH level between 5.8 and 6.2.
You can certainly grow this fruit during limited months outdoors but if you love strawberries and want to enjoy them all year long, this type of system is an exceptional value. Hydroponic strawberries are easier to grow and even when it comes time to pick them, the plants are at a level that eliminates the need to stoop down so this is a great solution for the elderly and people that have back problems.