How to Grow Hydroponic Strawberries

Wondering how to grow hydroponic strawberries? It’s a great way to grow efficient and clean strawberries at home. But for most gardeners, hearing the term hydroponic may be a little intimidating but it’s really super simple. Hydroponic gardening refers to the process of growing plants without soil. You’ll mainly use water to grow your plants instead of soil.

In this article, we’ll talk about how to grow hydroponic strawberries and how a mini greenhouse can help.

How to Grow Hydroponic Strawberries

Starting from Seed or Cutting

For hydroponic gardening, starting from seed is not the best route because it’ll take longer to get started. You’ll also need additional equipment to grow a hydroponic garden from seeds.

The ideal way is to grow from strawberry cuttings. You can harvest your strawberries quicker and you don’t have to spend so much time growing from seeds. Strawberry cuttings are more expensive than seeds, but the benefits of quicker harvest outweigh the cost that comes with cuttings.

Water and pH Level

Most people think that all they need to grow a hydroponic garden is to use tap water from their garden hose. However, regular tap water contains contaminants and chemicals including ammonia, chlorine, and chloramine, among others. These chemicals can be harmful to your strawberries.

Expert gardeners recommend using a water filter to ensure that you’re giving your plants pure and clean water. Additionally, you’ll need to regularly check the pH level of your strawberries. The ideal pH range should be around 5.8 to 6.2. If you go out of this range, your plants won’t be able to absorb the necessary nutrients, making them susceptible to various diseases.

How to Create an Ideal Growing Environment for Your Hydroponic Strawberries

In most cases, hydroponic gardening is done indoors or in a greenhouse. This means that you’re responsible for creating the ideal growing environment for your strawberries by controlling light, humidity, and temperature.

Temperature: Strawberries grow best in warmer temperatures. The appropriate growing temperature should be around 65 to 75 degrees F.

Lighting: Strawberries need 10 to 12 hours of direct sunlight per day, but this may not be ideal if you’re growing your plants inside your home. Fortunately, there are different ways to remedy this problem. You can use grow lighting, like LED or fluorescent. The lighting doesn’t have to be intense but just enough to meet their daily lighting needs.

Humidity: Humidity is also an important factor in hydroponic gardening. If there’s excessive moisture inside your greenhouse, your strawberries will become vulnerable to mold and mildew. It’s important to ensure that your greenhouse should be well-ventilated. You can create enough airflow by opening your greenhouse or using a dehumidifier.

Reasons Why You Need a Mini Greenhouse

If you’re planning to learn more about hydroponic gardening, you’ll need to invest in a proper mini greenhouse. Other than that, here are other reasons why you need a greenhouse kit:

Protect your strawberries from pests

If you’re growing your strawberries indoors, they’ll be less susceptible to harmful insects that naturally appear in soil gardens. Additionally, hydroponic gardening further lessens the risk of attracting diseases and pests.

But in the event of insects infiltrating your garden, it’s important to act quickly to avoid further damage. Spider mites, gnats, and thrips are some of the pests that love strawberries. You can address this issue by spraying your plants with neem oil. But the problem persists, you can use an organic pyrethrin-based spray.

Prevent certain diseases

With hydroponic gardening, you don’t need to worry about root rot issues since there’s not soil for fungal rot to develop. But other diseases may still appear and harm your plants. For example, Mucor fruit rot and Rhizopus rot can form on your strawberries. Powdery mildew is another disease that can affect the fruit, while botrytis cinerea can impact the fruits and flowers.

Great for people with limited space

Gardeners who love to plant and grow crops but have limited space can benefit from a mini greenhouse. With a standard size of 6 feet, you can place them on your balconies, decks, and patios. There are other variants as well if the standard size is too big for you.

Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes

Not ready to invest in a hobby greenhouse? A mini greenhouse is a more cost-effective option! A good greenhouse doesn’t always have to be big and spacious – unless you’re using it for commercial purposes. But for hobbyists, a small greenhouse is more than enough to house different types of crops, including hydroponic strawberries.

Keep your plants safe from harsh weather

Keeping your plants inside a mini greenhouse keeps them safe from ice, snow, and frost. You don’t have to worry about heavy rains, high winds, and excessive heat from damaging months’ worth of hard work. Your strawberries will remain safe inside a mini greenhouse until they’re ready for harvest.

Final Thoughts on How to Grow Hydroponic Strawberries

If you’ve been into gardening for quite some time, it pays to learn how to grow hydroponic strawberries. They’re less susceptible to diseases and insects; it’s cleaner, more efficient, and you’ll get the same results without the hassle. However, if you want to take your gardening experience to the next level, try growing hydroponic strawberries in a mini greenhouse!

 

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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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