How Long Does It Take For Strawberries To Grow In Hydroponics

The answer to how long does it take for strawberries to grow in hydroponics varies because it can take months to years depending on the variety you use. But to give you a general idea, you can start harvesting your fruits four weeks after they open their flowers. This following article will discuss how you can shorten the hydroponic cultivation of your strawberries. 

The good news is that strawberries thrive virtually anywhere in the US, and if you have a greenhouse, you can use it with your hydroponic system. This combination makes it easier to maintain hydroponic strawberries’ ideal growing conditions and prevent growth and production drawbacks.

How Long Does It Take For Strawberries To Grow In Hydroponics

How Long Does It Take For Strawberries To Grow In Hydroponics: The Quicker Solution

As mentioned earlier, growing hydroponic strawberries can take as quick as months or as long as years. However, a reliable sign to know that your strawberries are ready for harvest is waiting after they open their flowers. Wait after four weeks upon noticing the flowers, and your fruits should be at their perfect ripeness. 

 

What strawberries grow fast in hydroponics?

Do you want to know a tip on how to shorten the timeline for hydroponic strawberries? Your practices affect the system’s consistency, but the strawberry variety is a significant factor if time is essential. Upstart University recommends ever-bearing or day-neutral strawberries for this set-up.

Additionally, use strawberries from rootstock for hydroponics instead of those from seeds. After all, runners will take faster than seeds in terms of production. Therefore, using specific varieties from vegetative growth can cut the growing period by months or even years. 

 

Why grow strawberries in hydroponics?

Before you get discouraged after seeing that berries can take years to grow in hydroponics, it’s important to note that this system is still an efficient solution for harvesting them sooner. Your garden will even be more productive, and the production of high-quality strawberries outside their season is possible. 

You’ll skip the need to continually water them and save on water while avoiding mistakes from over or underwatering the strawberries. Another potential drawback that you can prevent by growing strawberries in hydroponics is a limitation in space. Remember that these plants have spacing requirements, and you can experience delays in growth and production if their area is inadequate. 

A combination of greenhouse and vertical stacking of hydroponic strawberries solves this dilemma, leading to a high yield. Speaking of yield, the hydroponic system also makes it easy to add a nutrient solution to encourage growth and production. Lastly, the ability to avoid soil pests and diseases skips the effects that can delay your strawberries’ development. 

 

How To Grow Hydroponic Strawberries

 

Starting

It’s crucial to learn some tips on how to grow them for success to avoid delays in your hydroponic strawberries. Choose an ever-bearing or day-neutral variety if you want the plants to produce fruits continuously. The former can give you three harvests in a year, while day-neutral strawberries can grow fruits throughout their life. 

As mentioned previously, start from cuttings or clones instead of seeds for hydroponics. This cuts the time before harvesting, and you’ll also save effort and costs for the months while waiting for the seeds to grow. There are many transplants to choose from, so be strategic with what you’ll use for starting hydroponic strawberries. 

 

Growing

 

Temperature

Hydroponic strawberries will thrive best indoors, which puts you at an advantage since you can control the environment more comfortably. The University of Arizona mentioned the conditions that are ideal for hydroponic strawberries. Start by maintaining the daytime temperature between 68 to 75.2°F, but you can always adjust this range depending on what is suitable for your cultivar’s photosynthetic rate. 

 

Light

Hydroponic strawberries will also benefit from grow lights because the day length plays a role in the fruits’ dormancy. Some experienced gardeners recommend giving 10 to 12 hours of light using LED. However, be careful in using grow lights since they can sometimes affect the indoor temperatures. 

 

Relative humidity and CO2

What is the ideal humidity for hydroponic strawberries? If the greenhouse has too much moisture, you risk having mold and mildew on your strawberries. You can improve the airflow inside or use a dehumidifier to address this problem. 

It’s also crucial to use fogging in the day since strawberries tend to struggle with a dry climate and low relative humidity, especially at night, where it’s also detrimental. The University of Arizona solves these issues using high-pressure fogging at day and low-pressure misting at night. Lastly, check the CO2 concentration indoors to ensure that there will be no problems for photosynthesis. 

 

Maintenance

For maintenance, the first things to check are if the water is free of contaminants, and if the system is in the pH range between 5.8 to 6.2. After these hydroponics conditions,  you can prune runners, leaves, or flowers to help with plant’s vegetative growth. You can then check for ripeness four weeks after the flowers open to know if they are ready for harvest. 

 

Conclusion

Hydroponics and strawberries make a sensible combination. But how long does it take for strawberries to grow in hydroponics? The timeline can last from months to years, depending on the variety. Additionally, you have to be diligent with the practices to ensure no drawback in growth and production. 

You can cut the waiting period by using runners for starting instead of seeds. University extensions also recommend using day-neutral and ever-bearing varieties.

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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