Hydroponics Strawberries

Finally! A well documented hydroponics experiment contributed by member Cher Keng Heng and posted in our “berries crazy” group, SG Farming in Apartments!!!

Germinate Hydroponics Strawberries

This is Cher Keng Heng’s 3 months old strawberries, grown in hydroponics system

Germinate Hydroponics Strawberries

April 3 2016 – Fruits in 4 months!

Gardener Cher Keng Heng grew his strawberries in his office, where the environment is cool at 22C all day long (24hours) and I am assuming 7 days a week. Ideal strawberries environment indeed! He did not freeze or chilled his medium in this environment and they still grew well!

These were the steps to his germination method:

  1. Seeds in sponge :
    Germinate Hydroponics Strawberries

    Step 1 – Place 4 seeds in sponge like this

    Germinate Hydroponics Strawberries

    Can use long pointed net cup and sponge for seeds placement

    Germinate Hydroponics Strawberries

    The long pointed cup fit a PET bottle opening exactly

    Germinate Hydroponics Strawberries

    Secure seeds position

    Germinate hydroponics Strawberries

    Germination took place in 10 days, same as my soil based method.

    Germinate hydroponics Strawberries

    LED lights of white, red and blue was used. 12 hours per day

    Germinate hydroponics strawberries

    Cher Keng Heng’s one month old strawberry seedling!

     

  2.  Important Tip! Cover seeds environment to create a mini greenhouse and ensure humidity –
    Germinate hydroponics Strawberries

    This is his simpler fuss free way to germinate seeds!

    Gardener Cher Keng Heng also shared his observations on soil based and hydroponics strawberries for a comparative study with us. These were his observations –

    Soil based seedlings are smaller than hydroponics strawberry seedlings.

    Germinate hydroponics Strawberries

    Soil based (left) vs. hydroponics seedlings

    Hydroponics seedling had massive roots mass like this –

    Germinate hydroponics strawberries

    Hydroponics strawberry seedlings

    Germinate hydroponics strawberries

    Soil based roots were lesser

    Germinate hydroponics strawberries

    Hydroponics strawberry plants flowered in 60 days compared to 150 days for my soil based plants.

    For the best results of hydroponics strawberry plants, Cher Keng Heng felt that aeration is key. That means,we need to keep water moving and the liquid need to be clean for best roots development. Stagnant water that is not clean will caused algae/moss in the water resulting in red leaves on strawberry plants.

    Germinate hydroponics Strawberries

    Suspected Fungi problem caused by algae growth in stagnant water

     

    Ideally an automated system of aeration in the nutrients solution, cool environment and ideal light will allow strawberries plants to thrive in Singapore’s tropical climate, but for normal households like mine, this is an extra expense that I cannot meet! 🙂

    So, its back to mostly soil based experiments for me, but knowledge is invaluable, and I am thankful to Cher Keng Heng for sharing his wisdom! With this new information, I have also upgraded my white strawberry pot, to half hydroponics and soil with aeration, hoping for better flowers in the white strawberry plants!

    Hydroponics SG Strawberries

    Aeration from air pump to the nutrients solution in reservoir!

    Hydroponics SG Strawberries

    Flowering White Strawberries plant too risky to transplant, testing out half hydro with aeration method

    On another note, for gardeners wanting to try hydroponics method but do not wish to spend so much money, please check out Lim San‘s no frills DIY method from mostly recycled material. He is an extremely creative gardener who has built awesome gardens with less, and a successful strawberry pioneer as well ! 🙂