Growing Strawberries Indoors Hydroponically Tower Garden
Growing Strawberries Indoors Hydroponically, Strawberries are a valuable crop that can be consumed fresh, added to yoghurts, milkshakes and ice cream, or used as a filling for pies and cakes. If you love strawberries, did you know that growing them on hydroponics indoors is the best way to get the most out of this juicy sweetness?
Commercial strawberry growers for grocery stores harvest the berries early to give them time to ripen during transportation. Although this saves the fruits from rotting until they are ready for sale, harvesting too early also significantly worsens the taste qualities!
In this article, we have made it easier for you to learn how to grow strawberries from the comfort of your own home. In fact, you can grow them faster and save space at the same time by installing your own hydroponic strawberry tower!
Growing Strawberries Indoors Hydroponically
what is hydroponics?
For novice gardeners or even old gardeners who are used to growing food in the classic way, Hydroponics may seem like a frightening concept. However, if you want to read this blog post, you will soon find out that hydroponics makes gardening more hassle-free, less time-consuming and more productive in terms of yield!
what is hydroponics?Hydroponics is a gardening method that eliminates the need for soil and instead delivers nutrients to plant roots using water and liquid nutrient solutions.
how does Hydroponics work?
Under hydroponic conditions, plants are placed in clean pots so that their roots can germinate through the holes and reach the reservoir with water and nutrients directly below them. This method is known as deep-sea culture (DWC) and is just one of many types of hydroponics.
The nutrient medium (for example, clay gravel, coconut fiber or rock wool) is placed in a clean cup to fix the roots and keep the plant in an upright position.
Hydroponic water and nutrients pass through a network of tubes in the system. Submersible water pumps move water in a circle and, if necessary, drain the tank. Aerated stones and air pumps oxidize submerged roots.
In general, the entire hydroponic system serves to provide everything necessary for the plant to grow indoors (or even outdoors), without requiring special care from the gardener!
results of application of strawberry hydroponics technology in # agriculture
Is it possible to do this in any corner of the world? pic.twitter.com/w4QX8UUyqv
– The Future of Agriculture (@futurefarming12) January 30, 2022
5 advantages of hydroponics
There are many advantages in choosing to grow strawberries and other plants on hydroponics. Here are some of them:
- higher yield: hydroponic plants only need thin roots to absorb water, while their terrestrial counterparts take a long time to develop thick, strong roots. As a result, hydroponic strawberries ripen and bear fruit faster. This increases the overall strawberry production.
- fewer pests: most gardening problems, such as insects, root rot and fungal diseases, thrive in the soil. Hydroponics removes soil from the equation and reduces the risk of these diseases.
- harvesting all year round: as a rule, strawberries are sensitive to temperature changes. You can plant them outdoors only in certain seasons of the year. Indoor hydroponics allows you to grow and harvest your own strawberries all year round, provided that you choose varieties that always contain!
- less water consumption: since most hydroponics efficiently recycle water, you end up saving about 70% of water compared to gardening on land.
- less space: thanks to the compact design, most hydroponic systems are unlikely to take up space in your home. Vertical hydroponic systems for growing strawberries are even more effective because they allow you to add more plants without requiring an increase in the area of the room.
Hydroponics to choose from
There are many different types of good hydroponics to choose from depending on your skill level, your budget and your cultivation goals.
- mason jars with their own hands can help beginners start growing food indoors. This is a cheap and simple solution, but you still need to provide your plants with a liquid nutrient solution and sufficient lighting next to a bright window.
- Hydroponics for countertops come in different sizes and are ideal for those who like to grow food in their kitchen. To make your choice easier, we have written detailed reviews of products from brands such as iDOO, Click and Grow, AeroGarden, VegeBox and many others.
- vertical hydroponic systems are currently the most advanced on the market. They can cost you hundreds of dollars, but they automate the growth process with the help of LED lamps and mobile applications. Then you will be able to harvest plants all year round without much effort. They also take up very little space on the floor, while providing the highest performance of all systems.
- you can build your own garden with a hydroponic tower with your own hands from PVC pipes and a wooden frame that you can buy at a hardware store. This is a great way to save money if you already have the tools and materials.
The SuiteMade PVC vertical growing tower is a favorite among many vertical growers. Another great option is sprouted salad.
the best vertical hydroponic system for growing strawberries
According to a 2012 study comparing 4 types of hydroponic systems, vertical cultivation towers outperform other systems in terms of fruit yield, since they have the largest number of plants per unit area.
Here are the 3 Best Vertical Hydroponic Systems for Growing Strawberries Indoors:
- curtain the garden tower is the best invention of 2020 according to Time magazine. It can grow 30 strawberry plants at a time in just 2 square feet of space. Thanks to fully automated control and sensors of illumination and water level, you can garden practically from the Gardyn mobile application.
Its latest version, Gardyn 2.0, comes with a new energy-saving pump and ultrasonic sensors to improve the accuracy of water use.
- iHarvest is a hydroponic garden system that can produce fresh produce worth up to $1,000 per year. It can grow 30 strawberry plants at the same time. It comes with LED lamps, peat-based nutrient medium, Maxigro nutrient solution and seed starter packs.
In addition to functionality, iHarvest offers an elegant and attractive design for your living room or kitchen.
- Aerospring as a room vertical planter for strawberries can simultaneously contain 27 plants. It differs slightly from other systems in that it uses a more specific branch of hydroponics, known as aeroponics. As a result, plants can grow 3 times faster using 98% less water than with traditional gardening methods.
Aerospring is equipped with a removable growing tent, which promotes plant growth and protects the inhabitants of the premises from bright LED lighting.
8 steps to growing strawberries on hydroponics
Now that you have chosen your hydroponic system, you can grow your own strawberries indoors! Follow the instructions we explained below:
Step 1-Prepare your starter plant.
Strawberry seeds can be difficult to start. Even if you can get them to germinate, it will take some time for them to turn into full-fledged plants. Instead, it is best to buy young strawberry seedlings in a local greenhouse. In winter, you can order online, and they will be delivered to you in the form of root vegetables.
When you get the strawberry seedlings, rinse the roots thoroughly to make sure you haven’t introduced soil pests into your indoor garden.
Step 2-Select the nutrient medium.
You will need a nutrient medium to hold the roots and maintain the stability of the base of the plant. This will also block the light into the water on the rail (which leads to algae buildup).
Common variants include: medicine (also called hydrotone or clay gravel), peat moss, gravel, vermiculite, coconut fiber (also called coconut peat or coconut core) and perlite.
some systems, such as Gardyn, Iharvest and Aerospring, are equipped with special nutrient media made of sphagnum moss or basalt salt.
Tests conducted in 2012 showed that mixtures of perlite, coconut and date peat in pots (made from palm waste) increased fruit yield, chlorophyll content and leaf area of hydroponic strawberries.
Step 3-Provide the strawberries with the right conditions for growing.
There are certain parameters necessary for strawberry plants to grow in indoor conditions. Here are some of them:
light: strawberry plants usually require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. Indoors, you can supplement this with 14-16 hours of light from LED lamps. Most desktop and vertical hydroponics have a built-in lighting system.
DLI: DLI, or The integral of daylight is the total amount of light received by the plant over a 24-hour period. A study conducted in 2019 showed that the DLI range of 11.5-17.3 mol/(m2·day) is optimal for the quality and efficiency of strawberry propagation.
temperature: keep the air temperature in the range of 50-80°C for your strawberries indoors. Their roots are sensitive to warm water temperature. A little cold can enhance the strawberry flavor.
humidity: maintain humidity around 60-75%. Insufficient humidity in the air can negatively affect the digestibility of calcium and the quality of fruits. To avoid fungal diseases, install an air circulation fan nearby.
flow rate: Maintain the flow rate at 1.6 l/m. If the water flow rate is too high, it can stop root growth and prevent iron absorption.
Step 4-Set the nutrient solution and water level.
Strawberries are very sensitive to the pH and nutrient balance in the hydroponic water tank. Use a pH meter to check the acidity level regularly. Low and high pH values will cause problems with the absorption of nutrients.
The pH, or hydrogen content, is a measure of how acidic or alkaline the water in a hydroponic system is. The pH range from 5.5 to 6.2 is ideal for strawberries. Some people use vinegar to lower their pH.
EC, which means electrical conductivity, is a measure of the total content of mineral salts and nutrients in a hydroponic solution. For strawberries, the recommended EC value is 1.0-2.0 dS m-1.
TDS: the total amount of dissolved salt (TDS) shows the strength of the nutrient solution in the hydroponic tank. It is measured in ppm (parts per million), which is the number of milligrams of nutrients contained in each liter of water.
For strawberries, it is best to use 500-800 ppm. Going beyond this range can lead to darkening of the tips of the leaves and a decrease in flowering. If your Hydroponics system is not yet equipped with such, you can purchase an inexpensive Digital meter for measuring TDS.
nutrient solution: the correct ratio of NPK plus some trace elements is essential for strawberry growers. You can ask your hydroponics supplier if they have the perfect nutrient solution for fruit production. We recommend the strawberry formula MasterBlend 9-12-34.
Once your plants begin to bloom, you can increase the potassium and phosphorus levels to increase fruit yields. You can also add calcium and rainwater to get sweeter strawberries.
Step 5-prune the plants.
In the early stages, cut off flower buds and long leafless shoots (also called stolons) to give strawberry plants the opportunity to be the first to open foliage. More leaves means they will have more energy to produce more fruits.
If you are going to propagate your rootstock, soak the end of the shoot in a cup of water until it grows roots. Finally, you can cut this and plant new strawberries.
Step 6-pollination of flowers.
Strawberries have both male and female parts of the flower. Although strawberries are self-fertilizing, you can pollinate them manually to get bigger and better shaped berries.
Outdoors, the presence of wind and the activity of bees contribute to the pollination process. Indoor manual pollination is essential for fruit production. Strawberries may look deformed if pollen from the stamens does not reach each individual pistil.
Using a cotton swab, makeup brush, or pipe cleaner, wipe the pollen from the outer edge of each flower into the inner circle. You can also shake the plant to help with pollination.
pollinate our strawberries # farmtoschool # realschoolfood # farmtoschool # farmtotray # vertical cultivation # high-altitude garden # hydroponics # indoor cultivation # organic # elementary school # strawberries pic.twitter.com/elg6Kh018o
– Hopewell Basic Vertical Farming Initiative (@hesverticalfarm) March 13, 2019
Step 7-Harvest strawberries.
Strawberries usually bloom 2-3 months after they are planted with seeds. When you start with a bare root stock, you just need to wait for the first flowers. After that, it takes about 4 weeks for the first batch of strawberries to ripen.
Collect strawberries as they ripen. The more fruits you choose, the more they will grow in their place. Each plant will produce about 5-10 strawberries per week and will continue to do so for many months.
As soon as the roots grow too long for the hydroponic system, growth and yield will slow down. Older plants need to be replaced with younger ones.
An experiment conducted in 2020 showed that coating strawberries grown on hydroponics with chitosan and calcium gluconate can extend the shelf life up to 10 days without spoilage.
Step 8-Clean the system and repeat.
Over time, evaporation and absorption of water by plant roots will change the pH, EC and nutrient balance in the hydroponic tank. These factors, along with the accumulation of microbes, will affect the health of your strawberry plants.
It is necessary to periodically top up or completely change the water, as well as once a month to clean the tank and guides. However, the timing is very important.
when the running water level is low, the nutrients become more concentrated. This can stimulate faster root growth and increase fruiting, but prolonged exposure can eventually damage the strawberry crop.
topping up: instead of completely replacing the water directly, you just top up the amount of displaced water. Top up the water every 2-3 days and keep track of the total volume that you add. This will help you decide when it is necessary to make a complete water change.
Top dressing is important because it allows the plant to slowly adapt to gradual changes in moisture content. On the other hand, a sudden complete replacement of water can shock the roots of plants.
complete water replacement: depending on the size of the hydroponic system and the number of plants grown at the same time, a complete water replacement may be required every 1-3 weeks. Automated hydroponic systems usually have a pump that can drain the tank. You can also remove the water manually.
cleaning the system: Hydroponics has thin roots that are susceptible to pathogens and microbes.
Biofilms are a natural byproduct of plant growth. They are usually brown in color and grow on the inside of pods, columns and tanks. When biofilm accumulates, it can clog pipes in hydroponic systems. Its presence can also lead to the appearance of fungi, viruses and other parasites.
Algae are green-colored organisms that are formed when light reaches the surface of the nutrient medium or the inside of the column. It competes with your plants by absorbing nutrients and reducing the amount of oxygen. Dead algae become food for harmful bacteria that can rot the roots.
To clean your hydroponic system, disassemble the parts and wipe every corner you can reach. Dilute food-grade hydrogen peroxide in water to remove biofilms and algae deposits. When cleaning, remove any particles that may stick to the bottom of the guide.
the best varieties of strawberries for growing indoors
The usual period for picking strawberries outdoors is 3 weeks in June. Hydroponics indoor cultivation prolongs the growing season throughout the year, which leads to high yields.
When growing strawberries indoors, you can choose evergreen or day-neutral varieties. They are not sensitive to changes in the length of the day and other weather conditions. This means that you don’t need to change the number of hours of light exposure for cultivation to trigger fertilization.
You can count on long-lasting, daylight-neutral varieties to produce strawberries all year round if you give them enough light and nutrients and keep the temperature within 35-89 degrees Celsius.
The only limiting factor is that the roots grow too large for the hydroponic system, at which point you should replace the grafting plants with their daughter plants that you may have propagated earlier.
Popular neutral day varieties include San Andreas, Selva, Sweet Ann, Tribute, TriStar and Alpine Strawberries.
A 2016 experiment on 11 varieties of strawberries grown on hydroponics showed that Florida Radiance, Monterey, Evie 2, Portola and Seascape were among the most productive varieties.
Another test in 2014 showed that the festival varieties had the highest yields, while Oso Grande and Albion had the largest fruit mass.
an excellent strawberry harvest has been harvested! # Hydroponics # summer # strawberry # UrbanAg pic.twitter.com/fLWuFboGYD
– Urban Ag Laboratory at UIUC (@UrbanAgUIUC) on July 17, 2015
Pests and diseases to consider
Although Hydroponics reduces the presence of soil diseases, some resistant pests will still find their way into your indoor garden. Here are some of them:
- spider mites: spider mites are smaller relatives of spiders, but instead they feed on plant sap. They bloom in dry conditions, and they can be found crawling on the underside of the leaves. You can use Azamax or hydrogen peroxide to control this.
- powdery mildew: powdery mildew is a fungal disease that covers the surface of the leaves with a white sticky substance. This suppresses photosynthesis and leads to yellowing and eventually loss of foliage. You can sprinkle the leaves with diluted neem oil or a copper-based fungicide to combat powdery mildew.
A study published in 2004 showed that potassium silicate suppresses the growth of powdery mildew in hydroponic strawberries for up to 4 months! It is noteworthy that the presence of potassium silicate does not significantly change the ratio of other macronutrients.
- Rhizomatous rot and mucous rot: fruit rot can infect overripe strawberries indoors. It blooms at warm temperatures, which are necessary for fruiting. To avoid spoilage, you can pick strawberries as soon as they ripen.
Vertical growing towers are the best choice for growing your own hydroponic strawberries at home. In the long run, it is economically beneficial. This provides greater yields, less space and less effort compared to traditional gardening methods.
A study conducted in 2019 showed that hydroponic strawberries contain twice as many minerals that are safe for daily human consumption than any other fruit. In addition, studies conducted in 2016 showed that hydroponic strawberries have significantly higher fruit yields and plant survival rates compared to strawberries grown in soil.
Instead of fighting soil pests in the garden and waiting for the warm season to grow food, you can simply install your own hydroponic system indoors and enjoy the harvest of fresh strawberries all year round!
FAQ Growing Strawberries Indoors Hydroponically
How long does it take to grow strawberries on hydroponics? from 90 to 120 days, a strawberry plant on hydroponics takes from 90 to 120 days to bear fruit. If you use the right type of hydroponic growing system and it works well!
Is it easy to grow strawberries on hydroponics? If you have a fruit or vegetable garden and you are looking for something new, you should think about growing strawberries on hydroponics. These plants are easy to grow and they do very well in hydroponic systems.
Is strawberries tastier on hydroponics? Since there is no stress from drought when growing on hydroponics, strawberries grown on hydroponics are a richer source of vitamin C. And since ascorbic acid is one of the natural compounds that give strawberries a tart taste, strawberries grown on hydroponics have a more natural sour taste. February 14, 2022
How do you grow strawberries on hydroponics? Planting methods instead, you can find some young strawberry plants and plant them directly into your hydroponic system using the medium and clean pots you like. Partially fill a clean pot, tamp the plant, having previously washed off all the soil from its root system, then fill the remaining part to keep it in place.
Why is my Hydroponics strawberry dying? Strawberries are best used in water with a pH from 5.8 to 6.2, and a solution that is very far from ideal can lead to the death of the plant or become unproductive. If the pH drops below 5.8, it can be increased by adding potassium hydroxide. If it’s too high, a little phosphoric acid will lower it back down.
Is strawberries better on hydroponics than regular strawberries? In this study, hydroponic strawberries were higher in fruit yield and plant survival. Strawberries grown in the ground have a much higher total mass by 23%, but there is a greater variety of fruit sizes, as evidenced by a large standard deviation.
What can’t be grown hydroponically? Carrots, radishes and beets are examples of root crops that do not grow well with hydroponic cultivation. This vegetable needs loose soil so that its roots can spread and grow well. In a hydroponic system, the roots will be limited to a small space, and there will not be enough room for them to grow.
Do I need to wash hydroponic strawberries? Selecting a nutrient medium and preparing for planting Once you get the plants and containers, rinse the roots of the hydroponic strawberries to remove the soil.
Do hydroponic strawberries have insects? Ham. Soil pests are not a problem for hydroponic strawberries, as there is no soil to contain these pests. Therefore, hydroponic strawberries do not need pesticides. Consumers usually prefer fruits that do not contain pesticides.
How often does a hydroponic strawberry bear fruit? Strawberry varieties that grow well on hydroponics, June fruiting plants produce large fruits once a year. A plant that always yields three crops a year. And daytime neutral plants will bloom and bear fruit all year round.
Which hydroponic solutions are best suited for strawberries? The best hydroponic system for strawberries is the tidal system, which allows the plant to dry completely between watering.
Is strawberries useful in hydroponics? Strawberries on hydroponics are as safe as any other kind of strawberries. In fact, in many cases organic strawberries on hydroponics are safer than berries grown on soil exposed to harmful pesticides and fertilizers.
What nutrients do hydroponic strawberries need? Your nutrient solution should provide plants with sufficient amounts of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Trace elements that strawberries need include calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Trace amounts of chlorine, cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum and zinc are also needed.
What is the net size of a hydroponic strawberry pot? What is the size of a mesh strawberry pot? Strawberries are best grown in pots with a grid size of two to four inches, depending on the variety of berries.