Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants without using soil. Instead the plants are placed in various types of containers that hold liquid nutrient solution. The plants' roots absorb all necessary nutrients directly from this liquid. The type of container depends on what is being grown, but in many cases one type of hydroponic set-up, such as the floating garden, will allow you to grow many different types of fruits and vegetables. Strawberries do well when grown in either floating gardens or vertical hydroponic gardens.
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Things you need
- Hydroponic growing system
- Nutrient solution
- Perlite or net pots
- Strawberry plants
Select the type of growing system you will use. Strawberries grow well in almost any arrangement, as long as all of the plants get adequate sunlight and are not too close together. In the vertical growing system, you can grow more plants in less space. The floating garden needs more room, but will allow you to grow a variety of plants in the same container.
Place your growing system in a safe, sunny location. Put it where it is not likely to be damaged by children or animals.
Fill the pots of your vertical hydroponic system partway with perlite. This will help to give the plants some stability. If you are using a floating garden you should place the plants in nets pots that fit in the holes of the floating section of styrofoam.
Add nutrient solution to the hydroponic growing system. This solution is generally a combination of Epsom salts, liquid fertiliser and water. Follow all instructions that come with both your growing system and the nutrient solution.
Start the drip system if you are using a stacked system. If you are using a floating garden, you don't need to do anything else. Watch to make sure the system does not run out of solution. If you are using the vertical growing system, follow all manufacturer's directions and make sure the drip rate is adequate. If your vertical system does not have a drip system, make sure all pots are properly filled and monitor them periodically to make sure your plants don't dry out.
Tips and warnings
- Any kind of strawberries will grow in a hydroponic system, but the everbearing types do particularly well.
- Be sure your hydroponic growing systems are set up safely so that they cannot be punctured or damaged, causing the solution to leak out, killing the plants. Also, keep children and pets away from the hydroponic solution so that they don't accidentally ingest any of it.
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