In 2015, when I started planting strawberries, I thought keeping them cool in our tropical climate is important. As I grew and learned, I found it is possible to grow them in our natural environment without too much fuss once the seedlings established (4 months ++).
Thus, this discovery, the compilation of 2 years of observation and data collection resulted in new ways to grow strawberries, in soil or hydroponic, without using any cooling elements from electricity.
Zero carbon footprint mean we can grow strawberries at very low cost in Singapore.
Soil Based using wind –
Hydroponic strawberry plants in Juice Jars
With hydroponic trial, it is now possible for us at home to study the plant intimately – to look at the roots system and how the crown behave as the plant matured. Roots – wise, this is not possible when the plant is in soil.
From seeds to harvest, it is also faster in hydroponic ( 4 months) versus soil based ( 6 to 8 months).
This is the diary of my first hydroponic strawberry, grown without electricity and the convenience of technology.
My first low cost hydroponic strawberries journey began on April 3 2017. Seeds were sowed March 27 on wet sponges. They germinated within 7 days.
Such tiny seedlings, I was glad I sowed them individually on sponges and need not delicately transferred at this stage.
The thrill of seeing strawberry seeds germinated is the same as when I first started in 2015.
Hands literally trembled when I transplant these tiny 2 months old seedlings! Were not sure if how I did were correct.
The rate of growth in hydroponic is very fast. We see visible spurts in growth in roots mass and height of the plant from the second month.
Without electricity, this plant is grown in stagnant still water and yet achieved aerated characteristics.
Tiny fruits from a small plant but its been immensely satisfying for me.
This trial proved that without technology, home grown (tabletop) strawberries is possible.
Growing them hydroponically made it easier to harvest fresh fruits direct from table to mouth!
Observation of after harvest stage –
The plant shared similar characteristics of soil based plants. Leaves and fruits production start to wane. There were more brown than vivid red stems.
Whether soil based or hydroponic, strawberry plants displayed slowing vigor after a few months of fruits production. The characteristics of slowing growth is the same – less vivid red stems, more brown leaves and stunted fruits.
Similar to strawberries grown in the natural cold zone, after plants have adequate “rest”, the red stems returned and flowering starts.
A mature plant has a developed crown and multiple splits.
“Over-wintering” Trials 🙂
Growing them without soil also allowed us to begin over-wintering trials, to see if fruit sizes can be improved ! 🙂
Second Generation –
With fruits, another opportunity to learn and a wild ride has began!
Wonder how the next generation grows? 🙂
Here we go again! Second generation has began. Seeds sowed on August 20, first sign of germination was spotted on August 27 (7 days)!
Last but not least, we had observed that in addition to vivid red stems, roots also have an indicative signal for flowering stage! 🙂