One of the most common questions we get is “can you grow strawberries hydroponically?” The short answer is yes.
With CEA you can grow high quality strawberries, but there is much more precision required compared to growing leafy greens or vine crops like cucumbers or tomatoes.
Strawberries are a very particular crop and require different light and temperature levels at different stages in the growing process. Knowing which kind of varieties grow best in your location based on your region’s light levels is an important thing to consider. The variety of strawberry also dictates which growing system will work best. Short-term, lighter berries such as the alpine variety grow best in an NFT system, while the heavier varieties, like the whopper strawberry, grow best in bato buckets.
Since strawberries are perennials, they need a dormancy period. Unlike tomatoes and cucumbers, a strawberry plant cannot keep producing fruit until it dies. During the dormancy period, some growers remove the plant from the systems and place them in a cooler for several weeks to replicate winter conditions. Strawberry plants have a long growing season and a fairly short fruiting season. It could take around 3-4 months from when the seed was planted for the plant to begin producing berries, and then the plant may stop fruiting after only about a month and a half. Due to this, it’s hard to grow hydroponic strawberries commercially as it is not very economical.
A lot of research has gone into hydroponic strawberries but there is still much to learn about the best methods for how to grow hydroponic strawberries in a way that is economical and productive. To learn more about hydroponic strawberry production, check out this book!
Cea allows you to grow high quality strawberries. Very particular. Different light levels at different times of growth cycle. Hard to make money doing it, not very economical. Still much to learn about the best way to grow.