The Pros of Hydroponics Strawberry
Many gardeners feel intimidated by the preparation of general hydroponics strawberries. Still, you need to consider it because of its advantages, including:
- Lower rate of pest attacks
Hydroponics is generally a desirable planting method because of the lower rate of pest attacks. When planted in a hydroponic system, your crop will be less likely to be threatened by pests and diseases.
- Efficiency of space
Because of space efficiency, professional strawberry farmers are encouraged to adopt the hydroponic method for their crops.
Farmers can stack many plants vertically against a strong structure. It means that you will be able to harvest more strawberries per square meter.
- Lower water consumption
You will be surprised that hydroponics demands a lower water supply than soil-based strawberry planting. In soil planting, water applied to the plant cannot be taken back. Meanwhile, in hydroponics, reusing water is possible.
Nutrients for Growing Hydroponics Strawberries
Strawberry is a fruit plant that requires a lot of nutrients to grow. There are three base nutrients demanded by this plant: phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium.
These three components must be available in large quantities. Nitrogen, for example, encourages the growth of strong leaves and stems.
To further support the growth of one’s hydroponics strawberry, you can include other micronutrients like magnesium and trace nutrients like zinc.
Although these nutrients are needed in moderation, your plant will not thrive without them. For example, trace nutrients support the growth of fruits.
It is easier to purchase ready-to-use fertilizer than to mix your concoction. Commonly, you can purchase the nutrients in dry package form.
It is more efficient as the delivery cost will be lower. You need to pay attention to the instructions.
Ebb and Flow Hydroponic System for Strawberry
The ebb and flow system is one of the systems commonly used in general hydroponics strawberries. The ebb and flow system consists of “flood and drain” cycles.
This system involves flooding the strawberry roots with water and nutrients. There will be times when the water is drained. It makes sure that the plant receives sufficient nutrients.
This condition prevents over-nutrient, which is a common issue in hydroponics.
The cycle runs automatically at predetermined hours. It means that you do not need to supervise your plants every single hour.
You can build the system on your own, but many ebbs and flow kits in the market can do the job perfectly for you.
Steps of Home-based Hydroponics Strawberry
Are you thinking of starting your home-based hydroponic strawberry garden? A simple plug system is recommended for home gardeners. The following steps explain to you how this system is done:
- Cleaning the plug and strawberry roots from any remaining soil or dirt.
- Securing the plant with a growing medium so it will not move around easily.
- Planting the strawberries inside the medium at an appropriate depth.
- Cutting flower buds that appear early in the growing phase.
- Letting the plant grow while keeping an eye on any possible pest.
Planting hydroponic strawberries at home scale is not going to yield a lot of products. However, you get the chance to practice your gardening skills. The equipment is affordable, too, if you are creative.
Environmental Control of Hydroponic Strawberry
Controlling the environment is also an important part of general hydroponics strawberries. Here are some things that you must pay attention to in ensuring the success of your crops:
The ideal daytime temperature for strawberries ranges from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. To improve its flavor, you need to lower the temperature to 50 to 55 degrees at night.
Despite being grown hydroponically, the strawberries must receive enough sunlight. The plant has a wide tolerance to light exposure. But plentiful light ensures that the fruits can grow big.
The ideal pH level for strawberries is between 5.5 and 6.5. Therefore, checking the pH level constantly is important. Some nutrient packs are equipped with chemicals to control the water pH level.
Strawberries require a very humid environment. The recommended level is above 60 to 75%. Humidity level affects the plant’s photosynthesis process and calcium uptake.
Harvesting Guide of Hydroponics Strawberry
When harvesting strawberries are grown hydroponically, you must ensure that your berries are ripe enough.
The signs are: the fruits appear around a month after the flowers, the fruits have consistent red color, and there is a combination of firmness and softness when you touch them.
You can immediately start harvesting if you have seen those signs on your fruits. Strawberries are different from other fruits because harvesting does not require special prep.
You can simply pluck the fruits from their trees. This process will not harm fruits that have yet to be ripe. You can even eat the freshly plucked strawberries immediately.