Learn to make your own homemade hydroponics system to grow virtually any plant, vegetable and fruit without soil.
Find out why the hydroponic strawberry is one of today's hottest gardening subjects and why it has revolutionized the hydroponic industry as we knew it.
As soon as the year goes into its declining temperature phase, at the end of the summer, strawberry stocks also dwindle down, since weather conditions become too tough for growing them with traditional agricultural means. The ones you'll still see marketed are the result of the hydroponic strawberry industry, which is in a constant rise over the past few decades.
Strawberries are trickier than many other fruits or vegetables to cultivate, mostly due to the fact that they're very pretentious when it comes to soil and weather conditions. If the soil isn't fertile enough, or if the weather is too hard on the crops, strawberries are very hard to grow properly. The hydroponic strawberry systems though, can avoid all these negative factors. The heat, humidity, fertility and light required by these delicate fruit can all be simulated in a greenhouse environment perfectly all year round, so there's not a big risk factor involved, like there is with growing them in soil.
Using hydroponics with strawberries has another major advantage. Strawberries are also very vulnerable to pests, thrips and mites. If you leave a strawberry culture out in the open to grow without any pest control, you'll notice that almost half of it will come out healthy. Another good chunk of this healthy amount will be smaller and less nutritious, because pests suck out most of the fruits' nutrients, even if they somehow manage to grow. In soil cultures, the only way we can keep these pests away from the strawberry crops is by sprinkling methyl bromide all over it, which kills everything that might be harmful to the crops, but unfortunately is also toxic for humans. To the joy of the hydroponic strawberry growers, methyl bromide and several other pesticide solutions that are similarly toxic to humans are fast approaching a ban in the United States and several other countries.
Amongst the many vegetables and fruits grown in hydroponic gardening systems, strawberries are topping the list. That's not only due to the fact that they're so much harder to grow in normal soil than in a controlled greenhouse environment, but also because they can be marketed throughout the year, several times per month.
But that's not the only reason that the hydroponics strawberry market is so profitable nowadays. Besides selling the fruit off-season for a hefty profit, you will also be able to market them for their ornamental value! Indeed, more and more design and ornamentation companies use fruit baskets as a means to profit and strawberries are a constant choice with them, due to their small size and colorful nature.
If you're planning on taking up growing hydroponic strawberries, here's a word of caution first. Since they're so delicate, getting the right conditions, even in a controlled environment is quite difficult. You'll have to think about lighting, humidity, temperature, nutritious solutions and irrigation and the entire hydroponics system is bound to cost you a solid initial investment. If you're new to the field of growing soilless plants, it's advisable if you start with a less complicated fruit or vegetable, one that you can experiment with and it will still not mind your treatment. You will also have to be careful on the type of strawberries you'll be growing in your hydroponics system, since not all varieties respond the same in a controlled environment.
In conclusion, it's worth noticing that the hydroponic strawberry revolution is still in its infancy, but it definitely has a bright future ahead. Whether you grow them for their ornamental value or for their sweet and nutritious taste, strawberries remain one of the strong points of the hydroponics industry.