Growing strawberries hydroponically can be an efficient, clean and fun new way to grow one of your favorite berries in complete comfort. You may hear the term hydroponics and think it's an overly complicated gardening technique, but it can actually be very simple!
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to try this growing style. We'll cover it all, then explain exactly how to grow strawberries hydroponically from start to finish. We have a lot to discover, so let's go!
Why grow strawberries hydroponically?
Whether you've grown strawberries in soil or are a complete novice when it comes to this berry, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider growing strawberries hydroponically. This growing style uses no soil. Instead, an inert medium is used to anchor the plant's roots in place. The root system grows through this medium and is exposed directly to water or nutrient solution, depending on what you are growing.
So what are the benefits of growing strawberries in a hydroponic system?
Since there is no soil present, you will not have to deal with soil pests at all. This makes your job as a grower much easier. Plus, hydroponically grown strawberries are also less prone to flying pests!
You may feel that because there is a constant supply of water, you end up using more water. In reality, hydroponics is more water efficient because you are recirculating the water instead of constantly supplying the plants with fresh water.
If you're short on space, you'll be happy to know that hydroponically grown strawberries can be stacked vertically. This leads to being able to grow many more plants in the space provided for this purpose. On top of that, harvesting your strawberries is much easier than crouching down to harvest from the ground.
What you'll need to get started
Hydroponic systems can be used on a large or small scale for the production of strawberries…
Obviously, the first step is to find a good hydroponic system. These vary widely in terms of price, number of factories, and performance. You will therefore need to be diligent when purchasing your system.
When first starting out, stick with an ebb and flow or hydroponic drip system. Whether it's a connected greenhouse, a growing tower or a vertical growing wall, Blumeo's solutions are ideal for getting started growing your own fruits and vegetables.
You will also need hydroponic nutrients to keep your strawberries well nourished and able to grow to their full potential. Visit our shop to find the right fertilizers!
Before you start, you'll need to decide if you want to grow from seed or from starters. Strawberry seeds can take years to be ready to fruit, so this is a much slower option. Instead, you can find young strawberry plants and plant them directly into your hydroponic system using a medium of your choice and mesh pots. Fill the mesh pots halfway, place your plant after rinsing out its root system, then fill the rest with organic moss or rockwool to hold it in place. Give it a good watering right away.
Light and temperature
When growing hydroponic strawberries, you will often be in a temperature-controlled environment. You need to provide the right light and temperature conditions for your berries to thrive. Strawberries prefer warm temperatures, between 18° and 26°.
From a lighting standpoint, you need to make sure your strawberries get between 8 and 12 hours of light per day. Unlike some plants, there is no need to vary the lighting schedule throughout their life. You can keep them on this photoperiod forever.
If you grow your strawberries hydroponically outdoors or in a greenhouse, your plants will get their light naturally. Otherwise, you may need to add additional grow lights to supply them with what they will need when growing indoors.
Water quality and pH levels
When it comes to hydroponics, water quality and pH levels are very important. Your roots are directly exposed to water, so there is little room for error.
We highly recommend using a water filter to ensure you are not feeding your strawberries with harmful chloramines or possible impurities.
You will need to make sure your pH is in the proper range. Use a pH meter to make sure your water is between 5.8 and 6.2. If you stretch below or above this range, you will run into nutrient issues and your plants will suffer.
There are many hydroponic growing mediums to choose from, and they all do pretty much the same thing. But we recommend sticking with something easy and readily available.
Coconut fiber is usually an excellent substrate as it is completely inert and does not alter the nutrition or the pH of your strawberries. It is very beginner-friendly, widely available, and inexpensive. You could also add perlite to increase aeration and water drainage.
Whether you are growing organically (Bioponics for example) or not, hydroponically grown strawberries will need some type of nutrient solution to keep them alive. Your strawberries need an adequate supply of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, as well as secondary nutrients and micronutrients.
Organic matter tends to clump together and clog hydroponic systems, so it's easier for beginners to start with liquid nutrients. The products offered by Blumeo are selected according to our experiences and strict criteria. In addition, we favor the use of organic fertilizers in order to remain in line with our values.
Finally: How many strawberries can you get from one plant?
This will vary depending on the variety of strawberries you choose to grow, whether evergreen or seasonal, the age of the plant, and other factors.
On average, you can expect between 150 and 400 grams of strawberries per plant. With hydroponics, you can grow all year round, which means you can get berries anytime! Older strawberry plants will reduce their fruit production over time and will eventually need to be replaced with younger, more vigorous plants.
Growing Hydroponic Strawberries In Conclusion
Hydroponic fresh growing is an alternative to traditional crops that is very popular today. It makes it possible to produce strawberries of very high quality and one could even say that it is the fruit par excellence to begin in hydroponics. If you like strawberries, growing them in a hydroponic medium can only satisfy you. In addition, there are more than 500 different recipes with strawberries and you will certainly never have the opportunity to run out of ideas for cooking them!
Do you want to start growing your own food and enjoy the benefits of this activity? So contact us for information on our different solutions. Blumeo offers several connected hydroponic growing systems that will allow you to gain food independence. Whether it is an individual need or the desire to set up a collective hydroponic culture solution, our specialists are there to advise you in any type of project.