Growing you own fresh strawberries indoors or out.
To make your own inexpensive strawberry grow jugs you will need some empty gallon water jugs that you likely already have around the house ( or your nearby recycle bin ).
This method utilizes a hydroponic system that is green friendly because it does not require an air or water pump.
Mr. Kratky of whom I am just learning about myself developed his system to be an “almost set it and forget it ” system where as the plants use up the nutrient solution oxygen and carbon dioxide are drawn in for the plant roots
thus eliminating the need for water pumps or aerator. I will share a couple of Youtube links of people I am learning from, at the close of this project.
I have seen small and large systems use the Kratky method with good success. Now we are going to succeed as well, including strawberries.
For your project you will need:
- one or more empty water jugs gallon size
- Strawberry plant(s)
- a utility or smooth blade knife
- a 3” net cup
- Nutrient mix ( I’m using General Hydroponics brand Maxigro 10-5-14)
- a marker
- Aluminum foil or no see-through paper or plastic and tape
- a gallon of water to add nutrient to
- a small bucket with fresh water to rinse the plant’s roots
some small gravel to secure the strawberry plant in the net cup.
The rest of the materials will be seen as the project is done.
First, take the 3” net cup and place it upside down on the jug and trace around it with the marker. Second with your knife carefully cut out the circle by moving in about 1/8 th inch from the mark. Third place the net cup in the opening to see if you have any additional cutting to do and that the lip to the cup will rest on the edge of the jug.
Make up the gallon of nutrient solution you will need then with the net cup in place fill the jug until the solution is 1/8 th to 1/4 ” up in the bottom of the net cup. You can fill to an inch inside if the roots could use a little extra help to get started.
Now you are ready to carefully rinse the potting soil from the roots of the strawberry plant.
It is not necessary to remove all the soil. This process is as much to keep your water clean as it is to expose the plant’s roots.
Now you can place the strawberry plant in the net cup and add whatever media you chose to hold the plant in the net cup and in the container.
Here I used foil around one container (so far) as a light block to help slow down algae growth.
The Maxigro I am using is intended to let the plant develop a good leaf and root system. By itself, it is best suited for leafy greens like lettuce and kale and more. I am going to switch to Maxibloom come flowering stage. I am not affiliated with the General Hydroponics company (as of yet) but I liked what I saw grow using the nutrient mix.
You can check out Khang Starr on YouTube or mhpgardener for good points regarding the Kratky method of Hydroponic gardening.
I also found a site that you might find informative /and the site also has a PDF on the original Kratky method.
Growing strawberries using the non-circulating hydroponic system does involve one extra step and that is to have a second nutrient solution that you would add when the plant is in the bloom/fruit producing stage. There are strawberry nutrient mixes that may allow you to a one time fill; ask them at the hydroponics store or gardening center.
Enjoy! and be sure to let us know how you make out with your plants.