Tips on Growing Strawberry Plants Hydroponically
There are several ways of growing plump and luscious strawberries and one of those ways is by growing them hydroponically.
Hydroponic systems enable strawberries to be grown at any given time of the year. Can you imagine having juicy strawberries in winter?
There are many advantages of growing strawberries hydroponically. Some include control of humidity, sunlight, heat and irrigation. Moreover, you can also avoid dealing with pests and other diseases that strawberry farmers usually have to deal with. Additionally, hydroponic gardening provides continuous high-quality nutrients that results in bigger and luscious strawberries at a much lower cost.
The best variety of planting hydroponic strawberries is by taking the runners from your healthiest plants and then dipping them into an inert growth means such as perlite or rockwool. After that, cover them with cling wrap or clear plastic to ensure that the levels of humidity are high. You should also remember to keep them out of direct sunlight until the roots have flourished or you may risk losing all of them.
The best way is to plant them in a greenhouse. Your strawberry plants will require at least 6-7 hours of daily sunlight to keep them healthy and strong. For the best results, keep your strawberries at a constant temperature of between 18 and 25°C.
Long term, you will have to let your strawberry plants go through a winter period so as to strengthen them. Strawberries usually take a rest in winter so as to prepare themselves for growth and healthy fruit during the next season. Preventing this rest period from them may result in weaker plants and bad yields.
For the winter period, first dip the strawberry plants in anti-microbial solution, wrap them up, and keep them in your refrigerator for a period of 2-5 months. After that period, you can put them back into the hydroponic system.
In hydroponic systems, strawberry plants do not have soil to acquire their nutrients from. Therefore, you will need to cultivate them with a commercially-available hydroponic solution. The perfect pH for strawberries is 5.8-6.2. Be sure to change the solution fortnightly to ensure it is able to support optimal growth of your plants.
In an indoor hydroponic system, it is not possible for insects such as butterflies and bees to pollinate your strawberries. You will need to do this by yourself. One way is by brushing your hands on the open flowers. This will make the pollen grains from the anthers fall directly onto the pistil. This will pollinate the plant.
Hydroponic strawberries have got many benefits and are so easy to grow. In addition, you can harvest your strawberries while standing up. This can in turn help you to avoid the back breaking work which you will encounter when you are growing strawberries traditionally.
Filed under: Hydroponics Gardening
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