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Learn how to grow strawberries hydroponically indoors even in the winter. It is entirely possible and the berries will certainly be a welcome treat.
How To Grow Strawberries Hydroponically Indoors
Some of you may not be familiar with hydroponic growing but don’t let that scare you off. Once you find the right system it’s really pretty easy.
Did you know you can enjoy this red juicy delight right from your indoor garden?
Learn how to grow strawberries hydroponically indoors, and you’ll never look back.
Whether it’s the dead of winter or a rainy summer, your hydroponic system will ensure a steady supply of this ruby-red fruit.
And guess what? It’s not rocket science! With a bit of guidance and the right set-up, you’ll be on your way to growing strawberries right in your cozy home.
No soil, no fuss, just juicy strawberries waiting to be plucked.
Throw Away The Dirt Grow Hydro Instead
Hydroponic gardening indoors is a popular way of growing fruits and vegetables indoors without soil.
Getting free of using dirt will save you time and money. Your apartment will stay cleaner too.
Your plants will grow faster than soil-grown plants. They will bear sooner and yield more.
They can access nutrients 24/7 and uptake is much easier than in soil. They don’t have to waste any energy searching for food.
Why Grow Hydroponic Strawberries?
Strawberries are a high-value crop. They are not inexpensive, especially out of season.
They are also perishable because they are soft-bodied fruit. Strawberries are often picked a bit under-ripe to survive shipping.
Your hydroponic strawberries will be picked fresh and taste much better than days-old supermarket strawberries.
Choosing A Hydroponic System for Your Strawberries
Now that you know a bit about how to grow strawberries hydroponically, you need to choose a system.
There are many different types of hydroponic systems on the market, so it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a hydroponic system for your strawberries:
- The size of your grow area: You will need to choose a system that is the appropriate size for your grow area. Strawberry plants need at least 12 inches of growing space per plant, so make sure the system you choose has enough room for your plants.
- The type of media: The type of media you use will affect the root development of your strawberry plants. Coco coir is a popular media for strawberry plants because it holds moisture well and provides good aeration.
- The nutrient solution: The nutrient solution you use will need to be specifically designed for hydroponic systems. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when mixing the solution.
- The pH of the nutrient solution: The ideal pH for strawberry plants is pH between 5.8. You will need to test the pH of your nutrient solution regularly and adjust it as needed.
By taking these things into consideration, you can choose the best hydroponic system for your strawberries. Give it a try today! You won’t be disappointed!
DWC Hydroponic System For Strawberries
There are different types of hydroponic systems but some require a lot of space or can be difficult to set up. DWC bubble buckets are very easy to set up and use.
Flood and drain systems work well but require an elevated flood table. They ain’t cheap either. They are great for most crops but not so much for strawberries.
Top feed drip systems also work well but can be complicated to set up. Drip lines can get in the way and they can also clog.
Getting the timing set right can be tricky. They also require a flood tray for the plants to sit in. This may take up more space than many gardeners have.
Deep Water Culture
I am going to recommend growing your strawberries in a tote or bucket with deep water culture also called DWC.
These units are compact and self-contained. They are easy to build, easy to set up, and easy to run. Easy Peasy! This is how to grow strawberries hydroponically indoors!
Here is a link to an article about building a DWC bubble bucket:
The advantage this system has is 24/7 continual watering. Other hydroponic systems require setting up a watering schedule.
This can cause problems with over or under-watering. Most other systems will require a separate reservoir and more hardware than a DWC system.
Choosing Your Strawberry Plants
There are 3 basic types of strawberry plants. They are June bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral strawberries.
Most gardeners are familiar with June-bearing strawberries. They bear a single crop in late spring.
Everbearing strawberries bear 2 crops, one in spring and another smaller crop later in the fall.
Day neural strawberries bear a crop continuously from spring until fall frosts come. But indoors there is no frost so they can bear year-round.
If you want a regular harvest of fresh berries indoors even in winter you will want to grow these varieties.
Many varieties of strawberries are recommended for specific areas or climates. Since we are growing indoors we can disregard most of this information.
It would be wise to consider varieties used for greenhouse production. These are usually day-neutral strawberries.
Some popular day-neutral varieties are Ozark Beauty’, ‘Tristar’, ‘Seascape’, and ‘Albion’.
Once you have chosen your strawberry plants, you will need to purchase them from a reputable nursery or garden center.
Make sure to select healthy plants that have green leaves and are free of pests or diseases.
After you have chosen and purchased your strawberry plants, it is time to prepare them for planting. First, you will need to remove the strawberries from their containers.
Gently loosen the roots and wash away as much soil from the roots as possible. Be gentle and then plant them in your hydroponic system.
It is important to space your strawberry plants evenly so that they have enough room to grow.
Each plant should be spaced about 12 inches apart. Once you have planted all of your strawberry plants, water them well.
Grow Them As Annuals
Day-neutral strawberries are grown as annuals which means you will want new plants every year.
You can buy them or you can root plants from the runners. But if you raise your own replacement plants you will need to give them a dormancy period before growing them.
You can keep them in a refrigerator for this. But make sure the roots and plants are fairly free of soil and dry before storing or they could rot or get moldy.
Most types of strawberries require a dormant period of 200-300 hours of chilling with temperatures between 45 and 32°F before they are ready to grow again. This will enable optimal fruit production once they break dormancy.
How To Grow Strawberries Hydroponically
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to grow strawberries hydroponically indoors:
First, you will need to purchase or build a hydroponic system. For DWC all you need is a bucket or tote a net pot and an air pump and airstone.
Ready-made hydro systems can be found online or at your local gardening store. DWC bubble bucket systems are fairly cheap. But much cheaper if you DIY them. Make sure to get one that is specific to hydroponics.
If you are using DWC you will fill the bucket or tote. The nutrient solution should be mixed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You don’t want to submerge all the roots. As long as they are in a few inches of water they will be fine. Under no circumstances should the crown of the plant be buried in media or submerged in water.
Then, add your plants to the system. You can either start with young plants or runners (baby plants). Whether you are using DWC, a flood and drain or a drip system make sure to plant them with the crowns above the soil line.
Once your plants are in the system, they will need 12-14 hours of light per day. This can be provided by LED grow lights. Strawberries are light-loving plants so don’t skimp on lighting them.
Finally, check the pH of the nutrient solution regularly and adjust as needed. The ideal pH for strawberry plants is between 5.5 and 6.2 but 5.8 is considered the sweet spot.
By following these simple steps, you can easily grow strawberries hydroponically indoors! Strawberry plants are a great way to get started in hydroponic gardening.
They are relatively easy to grow and maintain, and they produce delicious fruit that everyone loves! Give it a try today! You won’t be disappointed!
Feeding Your Strawberry Plants
Now that your strawberry plants are in place, it is time to start caring for them. In order to produce the best possible fruit, you will need to provide your plants with the proper nutrients.
There are a few different ways that you can do this. You can either purchase a commercial fertilizer or make your own homemade nutrient solution. Most growers will buy their nutrients though.
If you decide to purchase a commercial fertilizer, make sure that it is specifically designed for use with hydroponic systems. You should also follow the directions on the package carefully so that you do not over or under-fertilize your plants.
In addition to providing your strawberry plants with nutrients, you will also need to water them regularly. Your plants will need to be watered about once per day or even every other day, depending on the size of your hydroponic system and your growing medium.
But if you have a DWC system all you will need to do is replace the water level in your tote or bucket.
Make sure that you are using pH-balanced water when watering your plants. You can test the pH of your water with a simple test kit or you can buy a pH pen that is faster and easier to use.
If you find that your water is too alkaline or too acidic, you can adjust it accordingly. You can use pH UP or PH Down for this but be careful. A little goes a long way.
Most strawberry plants prefer a slightly acidic environment with a pH between 5.5 and 6.2. 5.8 is considered the sweet spot for hydroponics. Don’t chase a perfect pH it’s okay for it to range a bit.
As your strawberry plants grow, you will want to keep the fruit and runners off of the ground. If you grow in totes or buckets the runners will be hanging down the sides.
But in a flood table, you would need to find a way to keep the runners dry. That’s why I don’t really think they are the best choice for hydroponic strawberries.
When the time comes to harvest your strawberries, do so carefully. Gently twist the fruit off of the plant so that you do not damage the plant itself.
You can store your strawberries in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Enjoy!
Hydroponic Strawberries FAQs
Starting the journey of hydroponic strawberry growing might bring up a bouquet of questions.
Here, we’ve addressed some common inquiries to make your hydroponic venture a smooth sail.
From choosing the right system to the care and feeding of your plants, we’ve got you covered.
Q. What type of hydroponic system is best for growing strawberries indoors?
A. Deep Water Culture (DWC) or bubble buckets are recommended due to their ease of setup and maintenance. They provide continuous watering, making it a favorable choice for strawberries.
Q. What is the ideal pH level for the nutrient solution in hydroponic strawberry cultivation?
A. The sweet spot for pH in hydroponic strawberry cultivation is around 5.8, though a range of 5.5 to 6.2 is acceptable. Regularly checking and adjusting the pH ensures the plants absorb nutrients efficiently.
Q. Can I use any type of strawberry plants for hydroponic cultivation?
A. Day-neutral strawberries are preferred as they produce fruit continuously, making them ideal for indoor hydroponic cultivation. Varieties like ‘Ozark Beauty’, ‘Tristar’, ‘Seascape’, and ‘Albion’ are popular choices.
Q. How often should I replace the nutrient solution in my hydroponic system?
A. It’s essential to maintain a fresh nutrient solution. For a DWC system, topping off the water level and replacing the nutrient solution every 2 to 3 weeks is advisable to keep your strawberries thriving.
With these FAQs addressed, you’re well-armed to start your venture into the captivating world of hydroponically grown strawberries indoors.
Follow the guide, embrace the process, and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying fresh, home-grown strawberries any time of the year!
How To Grow Strawberries Hydroponically Final Thoughts
Now that you know how to grow strawberries hydroponically indoors, you can enjoy fresh berries all year round!
With a little bit of planning and care, you can easily grow delicious strawberries hydroponically in your own home. By following the tips in this article, you will be well on your way to success.
If you would like to build a DIY strawberry tower this is how.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today and enjoy fresh strawberries all year long!
We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to grow strawberries hydroponically indoors.