One of the best parts of early summer is the sweet juicy taste of a fresh picked strawberry. In the 21st century, Hydroponic strawberries are making a big impression!
Grown without soil in a nutrient solution, hydroponic strawberries can be raised in large amount throughout the year. However, growing fruits using hydroponic system is not that easy to grow through Hydroponics.
In a hydroponic system there is no need of soil -- strawberry plants are grown using a water-based nutrient solution. The nutrients that plants would usually draw from the soil are instead added directly to water.
The Light Duration
Strawberry is one of the most responsive plants in the daylight. Ever-bearing strawberries develop more flowers under the daylight. Contrarily, in the hydroponic method of cultivation strawberries require only 8 to 12 hours of daylight to yield.
The fruit of winter is strawberries. To yield their berries, these prefer the cool winter season. The optimal temperature for strawberries is a temperature range of 15-27 degrees Celsius. The survey of agricultural cultivation in Arizona revealed that the yield of strawberry fruit increased at a temperature of 10-12 degrees Celsius during the winter night. However, during the cold winter, strawberries actually hibernate; some of them can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time, for those places where the winters are not cold.
In hydroponics, it is simple to get suitable nutrient mixes for particular plants from your local store. Strawberries require both essential nutrients as well as trace components:
Important Nutrients: Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus (NPK) are quintessential for basic plant survival. Nitrogen is needed for cell growth, phosphorus for the roots, flowers, and buds, and potassium is for photosynthesis.
Trace Elements: these encompass iron, manganese, zinc, copper, molybdenum, cobalt, and chlorine, among others. Insufficiency of these elements will result in poor plant growth.
Most hydroponics nutrient mixes contain these trace elements, as you don't have the support of soil in hydroponics. So as long as you are using a nutrient mix intended for hydroponics, you don't have to deal with nutrient deficiency.
EC AND PH Level Requirements
The adequate level of water ph required for strawberry tree growth is 5.8-6.2pH. On the other side, the Electrical conductivity (EC) required for the strawberry tree is 1.4-3.0 ds/cm.
The optimal level of pH and EC are very crucial for the healthy plant and yield, both in soil and hydroponic gardening. Maintaining soil pH and EC in soil requires frequent and regular measurement.
With the help of several sensors and meters like pH tester pen or EC tester pen a farmer can measure the pH and EC level. However, applying the right amount of salt and fertilizer can balance the level of pH and EC.
Hydroponic Systems for Strawberries
Strawberries are remarkably versatile as far as hydroponics is concerned. This is primarily because of their small root systems. Runners grow vigorously in a wide variety of techniques, ranging in complexity from relatively simple and mobile to more complex and stationary grow systems.
- Deep Water Culture
- Ebb & Flow
- Nutrient Film Technique
- Drip Irrigation
- Wick system
Among all these, deep water culture is advantageous if you have sufficient area to grow a large number of plants in a single-tiered system. Others are much more suited for compact multi-tiered grow systems. Consequently, commercial and hobby growers choose any one of these different techniques.