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  #1  
Old 12-30-2009, 09:07 PM
natty18 natty18 is offline
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Default strawberries

i am new to hydroponic growing techniques and am thinking i might grow strawberries hydroponically vertically using some pvc pipe and cutting holes in them. coco and pertile mix for the media and hps light.

how many hours of light do they need?
what determines vegetative or flowering growth?
length of days?
temperature?


any help would be great!

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  #2  
Old 12-31-2009, 04:09 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
how many hours of light do they need?
Need or would like? Strawberry's like about as much light as they can get in general. Some varieties are bred for cooler claimants, and most will still do fine in part shade, so generally speaking the more light the better. In Alaska they get almost 24 hours of sunlight during summer months, and Alaska is well known for producing HUGE fruits and vegetables.
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length of days?
I grow outside in natural sunlight but if I were growing strawberry's with artificial lights I would want strong lighting and would have them on 18 to 20 hours (maybe 12 to 16 if they were small).
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temperature?
Well that would mostly depend on the variety. As I mentioned before some variety's are bred for cooler claimants but in general they like warm temperatures. If I had control of the claimant I would set it for 85 degrees, no cooler than 80 unless they were for cool claimants. They should do fine all the way up to 95 degrees and for a few days even up to say 105. Though from experience growing them in California, I would recommend the air temp be 85 to 90 degrees, with low to medium humidity, and plenty of air circulation. The nutrient temp however should be between 68 and 72 degrees for all plants.
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what determines vegetative or flowering growth?
This is quite simple when broken down:

Vegetative Growth/stage- refers to the leaves
Flowering Growth/stage-refers to the flowers/fruit

Now for the not so simple part because not all plants grow the same. When they say Vegetative Growth/stage they are usually referring to plants that don't flower until near the end of there life cycle, then flower. They refer to this part as the Flowering Growth/stage, because this type of plant is just about full grown before it start to flower. Strawberry's are what is called a continuously flowering/fruiting plant. Strawberry's actually have both stages at the same time, so they don't have a vegetative growth or a flowering growth stage but both at once. They also need the nutrients for both stages of growth thought there entire life cycle.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 12-31-2009 at 06:38 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2009, 07:19 PM
GGM GGM is offline
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Think he/she means what triggers flowering/fruiting, sunlight hours? age of plant? temperature?
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:06 AM
natty18 natty18 is offline
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Originally Posted by GGM View Post
Think he/she means what triggers flowering/fruiting, sunlight hours? age of plant? temperature?
yeh thats what i meant... but i think he/she answered the question.

thankyou!!
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  #5  
Old 01-01-2010, 05:16 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I have only grown strawberry's for one season hydroponically, but in California I had them almost every summer growing in soil. I cant speak to what exactly educes fruiting/flowering for strawberry's but I have never had a problem with them doing so.

Though there are two basic types of artificial light, one is generally for vegetation and one is for fruiting. The difference is in what spectrum of light they put out. As I mentioned before strawberry's are a continuously fruiting plant and that's the difference. Strawberry's fruit/flower their entire life. The sun gives off different spectrum's of light depending on the time of year. Some plants tell when to fruit/flower by the spectrum of light. Plants know that it's early spring by this spectrum of light, they also know when it's fall for the same reason, and just before fall most plants start to flower/fruit.

All sunlight is from the same source, the sun. During the spring the sun is at a different angle in the sky than in the fall. The atmosphere plays a part in the spectrum also (ever seen a sunset). Strawberry's fruit all summer so I am not sure how much the spectrum of lighting plays. Bottom line, I have never had a problem with them fruiting, but If I was only able to give them one spectrum of light it would be the late fall for fruiting. I am not an expert but I like to try to help if I think I can.

P.S. I'm sorry if I get the question wrong, sometimes I do that. As with every one else I just want to help, don't be afraid to ask anyone to clarify something. Personally I would rather spend many hours explaining something than for something to go wrong with your crops. I'm not an expert but want to help any way I can and will do my best to do so.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-01-2010 at 05:47 AM.
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  #6  
Old 01-01-2010, 10:48 AM
natty18 natty18 is offline
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Default cool :)

basically the set up i have in mind is going to have the strawberries in vertical pvc pipes about 15 - 20 cm apart. they will be around 8 ft tall and be in vertical columns in a circle sourrounding two lights set up one on top of the other in cooltubes. i will most probably use a coco and perlite media and have them fed with an automated drip.
what do you think of my set up?
any reccomendations for nutrients?

cheers
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2010, 10:00 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I don't think I would have the plants any closer than 20 cm, that's about 8 inches. I cut 3'' holes 8'' apart for my strawberry's, that seemed to work well for mine, but I wasn't growing vertically (pictures attached). Vertically might allow them to be a little closer though. The pictures are the latest ones that I have of them but they did get bunched up real well. Shortly after the pictures I had to give up on the strawberry's because the summer temperatures were making the nutrient temperature too high, slowly killing the plants.
Quote:
basically the set up i have in mind is going to have the strawberries in vertical pvc pipes
I think the vertical design you are going for is like the one that I have also (pictures attached), side ports going all the way down to the bottom of the tube of course. That should work fine for strawberry's although I am not sure about using the perlite, only because it's real small and will probably fall through the holes in the baskets. The plans I have for this design is for an areoponic system. I just think running a drip line to each basket would be difficult. Another problem I can see as a drip system is the exposed roots inside the tube. As the roots grow through the baskets, they will become exposed to the air and will dry out quickly. I am not sure how you will be able to get enough moisture to them as a drip system. You could fill the tube with the growing medium and not use baskets at all, but that would cost to much for me to consider doing. Though I am not sure the diameter of tube you will be using, mine is planed for an 8'' to 10'' wide tube.

It sounds like you will have the lights in a central position, and the vertical tubes with the plants in them surrounding the lights (picture attached). I have no doubt that will work, but don't think it will be very efficient. There will be at least 50% of the tube with the plants in it that wont get enough light to grow anything. For me, that would kind of defeat the purpose of using vertical tubes in the first place.
Quote:
any reccomendations for nutrients?
I only have experience with one type of nutrient, General Hydroponics Flora Series Nutrients. So my recommendation here would be a little one sided, because I haven't used anything else to compare them to. I personally like the Flora series myself, so I am sure you would also. If you do decide to go with them use 10 mL each of Micro, Gro and Bloom per gallon of water. This mix is good for all continuously flowering/fruiting plants like tomato's, peppers etc.. I had 32 strawberry plants and counted over 200 flowers on them at one time, some plants had as much as 15 to 20 flowers on one plant, even clusters of flowers. It might be a bit one sided, but don't think you could go wrong with the Flora series nutrients.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-02-2010 at 01:46 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2010, 12:37 PM
natty18 natty18 is offline
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the tubes would be smaller in diameter and only have holes in them on one side (the side facing inwards toward the light) that would mean that only the one side would have the plants and therefore be effcient.

the drippers will run along the tops of the pipes and be a continuous slow drip down the pipe.

as for the perlite i may use expanded clay instead which would be bigger.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:01 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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the tubes would be smaller in diameter and only have holes in them on one side (the side facing inwards toward the light) that would mean that only the one side would have the plants and therefore be effcient.
Yes that would be the only side that would get enough light to grow plants, but I don't really see that as efficient. Effectively it would be the same thing as long flat tubes lying down sideways with plants growing on one side of the tube (the top) with the lights hanging above (the typical hydroponic setup). For me the purpose of going vertical would be to utilize all sides of the tube instead of just one side.
Quote:
the drippers will run along the tops of the pipes and be a continuous slow drip down the pipe.
I assume you are talking about dripping down the inside of the tube here. This would be the only reason to go vertical with the tubes if you were only using one side to grow with. Though the nutrient solution will flow nicely down the tube, it wont be able to get the center part of the tube where the exposed roots would be. The exposed roots would be the most vulnerable because without the growing medium sounding them they will dry out very fast. Some of the solution will wick it's way to these exposed roots, but as the root system gets bigger there will be less and less moisture to go around for all the roots.

You could add a mister/emitter or two to the top of these tubes, so the solution will also rain down through the center of the tubes getting these exposed roots. But in using the misters/emitters I don't think there would be a need for dripping also, the misters/emitters will take care of that. This is what I plan to do in my tubes, although a little different. You see a small tube in the center of the pictures in my tube design. That will be 1/2 inch P.V.C. with an end cap on one end, and the hose from my pump on the other end. Then I will simply screw in the misters/emitters directly into the P.V.C. and place the tube with the misters/emitters in the center of the growing chamber. This will rain thought the entire tube getting the exposed roots as well as the growing medium.

There is also another possible solution to the exposed roots. In another thread of this forum there was a link posted about building a fogger. This fog would get these exposed roots with a fog of nutrient solution. I have not built one of these but plan to incorporate its use in my future designs.

Link to Building a fogger youtube video that GGM posted
Quote:
as for the perlite i may use expanded clay instead which would be bigger.
The clay pelts will be big enough to keep them from going through the baskets, but I am not sure what the benefit is in using them mixed along with the coco chips. The coco chips will hold moisture better than the grow rocks, and even though the coco chips are not reusable they are not that expensive compared to grow rocks. Witch brings me to my next point. I mixed grow rocks with coco chips for my bell peppers because I wanted to fill the containers and did not have enough grow rocks. This worked fine because the coco chips held extra moisture, however as I mentioned the coco chips are not reusable and the grow rocks are. Well, when the time came to clean and reuse the grow rocks it was a nightmare to separate. They both have the same buoyancy in water so the only way I found to separate them was to pick every grow rock out one by one.
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2010, 06:41 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hopefully I have not been to discouraging, and keep in mind that I am not an expert, but want to give others the benefit of what I have learned in hopes your hydroponic systems were better than mine. Also hopefully you will share your experiences with the rest or of us for the same reasons. If I don't bring up possible problems I wouldn't be doing anyone any favors. I would hope you and everyone else will do the same for me.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-04-2010 at 02:17 AM.
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2010, 09:30 PM
natty18 natty18 is offline
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Default seeds?

thanks gps frontier! input is always helpful! ive decided to still go ahead and try this system and experiment around with it. im planning too grow some heirloom varieties. know where i can get them?

will upload pics when i get around to building it.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:41 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Great, I look forward so seeing the setup.

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