Eating fresh strawberries all year round is a dream of many. Growing hydroponically will help make it happen. Berries grown without soil are just as sweet, juicy and vitamin-rich as regular ones. But there are many more of them, because the plants get the maximum nutrition.

Strawberries are grown all over the world. A significant part of the crops is obtained in hydroponic greenhouses. Strawberries in hydroponics as a business is an interesting and promising direction for an amateur gardener. Having mastered the technology at home on several bushes, you can expand production by allocating a greenhouse in the country for a hydroponic installation.

Hydroponics: advantages and disadvantages

Hydroponics is an intensive method of growing plants. With it, they get most of the salad, spicy herbs, flowers that are sold in stores. A huge number of strawberries are grown hydroponically. With this technology, plants are planted in a substrate that does not feed, but only holds the bushes in an upright position. The substrate is impregnated with a solution from which plants receive useful substances.

The method has many advantages:

  • plants can be provided with the most favorable conditions by controlling their nutrition;
  • much more bushes are placed per unit area than when grown in a garden;
  • water and fertilizers are saved many times over;
  • strawberries do not have to be weeded, protected from pests and diseases;
  • the berries are environmentally friendly — they will not contain harmful substances that may end up in garden soil;
  • growing remontant varieties, you can get berries all year round.

The disadvantages of the method are minor:

  • special knowledge is needed;
  • you will need to buy ready-made equipment or assemble it yourself from improvised materials.

Hydroponics equipment

Strawberries can be grown in many ways:

  • Drip — plants are in the substrate, which is impregnated drop by drop with a nutrient solution.
  • With periodic flooding — the roots are in containers, where, according to the timer, liquid rises with the help of a submersible pump, and then drains by gravity. The procedure is repeated several times a day.
  • On the nutrient layer — a liquid mixture of fertilizer and water circulates through the system in a thin layer. It continuously flows along the gutter with roots, moving by gravity.
  • Aeroponics — the roots are not fixed in the substrate, they are periodically sprayed with a nutrient solution.
  • On the surface, plants are fixed on special supports and float freely in a pool filled with nutrient solution.

Not all methods are suitable for growing strawberries hydroponically at home. Most of them require a lot of space and special equipment. These shortcomings are not present in the method with wick irrigation. It allows you to grow strawberries on the windowsill in a compact way, without a pump and containers for forced circulation.

Making a simple wick-type hydroponic system:

  • Put a synthetic winterizer 2 cm thick on the bottom of the pot.
  • Pass a thick cord made of moisture-absorbing material, such as cotton, through the hole in the bottom.
  • Lay a few turns of the cord on the bottom over the padding polyester, throw its end over the side of the pot and lower it into a container with a nutrient solution.
  • Pour any neutral substrate and plant the plant.
  • substrate

    The substrate can be any chemically inert water-retaining material:

    • vermiculite,
    • perlite,
    • mixture of perlite and vermiculite,
    • hydrogel,
    • expanded clay,
    • mineral wool.

    You can use organic substrates:

    • tree bark,
    • coconut coir.

    These substrates are stable, absorb moisture well, provide excellent drainage, and do not change the chemical composition of the nutrient solution.

    Solution for hydroponics

    A hydroponics solution is distilled or dechlorinated tap water that has all the chemicals the plant needs dissolved. Usually, the nutrient solution is prepared from store-bought hydroponic fertilizers. You can buy all the components separately and mix them in a certain proportion.

    To prepare the solution you will need:

    • 10 l of settled water;
    • 10 g of calcium nitrate; 
    • 2.5 g each of potassium nitrate, magnesium sulfate, potassium phosphate;
    • 1.25 g of potassium and iron chlorides.

    Each component must be diluted in a small amount of water separately and pour into a common container, and then mix well.

    Varieties of strawberries for hydroponics

    It is convenient to grow remontant strawberries in a hydroponic way. It bears fruit in waves throughout the year, regardless of the length of daylight hours. After a year, the plants must be replaced with young ones.

    Do-it-yourself hydroponics for strawberries is an interesting technology worth exploring. If you are already familiar with it, write in the comments about your experience. Watch a short but informative workshop from our agronomist on other ways to grow strawberries at home.

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