Strawberries are one of the most high-maintenance crops to grow hydroponically. Each of their many varieties has specific, narrow requirements for best growth, but hydroponics offers the strawberry production industry many potential advantages that make it worth the trouble.
Growing strawberries hydroponically in greenhouses means a year-round harvest in any location, greatly reducing the need for expensive shipping operations. Local greenhouse production also improves strawberry quality, which is negatively affected by shipping and storage.
The most common strawberry varieties used in hydroponics are Chandler and Camarosa. Camarosa was the most productive of the varieties studied at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia, in 1997.
Growing strawberries from seed isn't economical; instead, hydroponic strawberry growers buy "daughter" plants. Daughter plants begin as runners, known commercially as "tips," that a mother plant produced. The grower clips them off, allowing them to root in a growing medium and develop into fully rooted plants.
Hydroponic systems allow precise control of all environmental factors. Strawberry growers can ensure that their plants enjoy the high humidity, precise timing of light exposure, and--most important--temperatures at around 70 F by day and 57 by night.
No Pesticides Needed
Hydroponic systems eliminate strawberry growers' dependence on pesticides, which can be unhealthy or subject to outright bans, such as the once-popular soil fumigation chemical methyl bromide. Because hydroponics uses no soil, it is not affected by soil-borne pests or diseases.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Easy Hydroponics
- Aquaponics Journal
- Constructing Your Hydroponic Growing Tower HydroHarvest Farm
- Hydroponic Strawberry and Vegetable Farm
hydroponic strawberries, hydroponic systems, hydroponic benefits
About this Author
Nicole LeBoeuf-Little is a freelancer from New Orleans, writing professionally since 1994. Recent short stories appear on Ideomancer.com and in Ellen Datlow's anthology "Blood and Other Cravings." She has published articles in "Pangaia Magazine" and eGuides at StyleCareer.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Washington and attended the professional SF/F workshop Viable Paradise.