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Hydroponic Strawberries & Tomatoes DWC


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Old 04-25-2010, 12:37 PM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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Default Hydroponic Strawberries & Tomatoes DWC

Well these plants have been going for about a month now. Bought them as seedlings in soil from a local nursery. I asked if they had any Day-Neutral strawberries, and they had no idea what I meant. So I got these Ever-Bearing(can't remember exact strain) and they have been going good since. My set-up is 3.5' x 1.75' and about 5' tall. Its made from an unused clothes rack we had, some cardboard, and wrapping paper. The fan was like $20 from Lowes, and got the 150w hps from a local hydro store, on sale for $70. The plants are in a 5 gallon DWC system. The lid I also got from the hydro store, its a 6 inch net pot, using Hydroton as well. I've been using General Hydroponics Maxi System and the recommended schedule they provide on their website. They have been on 18-6 since I got them. I don't really check the water because my tap water comes out at pH 7 and 0 ppm. When I did check it during peak vegetative nutrients, it was about 6.5 so anything between that and 7 is fine by me.

My real question is when will she flower/fruit? I've read around here a bit and most say they just begin to when they can, but I was wondering if I was getting close to that time.

Also, the tomato plant on the side was given to me by a friends mother who has been working on her own strains of vegetables for several years in her greenhouse so it should be a good strong one. Going to transplant that tomorrow but am wondering if I should just soil it so it doesn't out-grow my box. By the way, its a Sweet 100.

Thanks for any help. Pictures of set-up below.

OTIS

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Old 04-25-2010, 12:40 PM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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Some more pictures.....

OTIS
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:04 PM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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No replies?

OTIS
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:58 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Because of the color of the light it is hard to see the real color of the roots and foliage, but they look like they are doing good. Looks like lots of good root growth. Although I would try for a little lower pH, about 6.0.
Quote:
My real question is when will she flower/fruit? I've read around here a bit and most say they just begin to when they can, but I was wondering if I was getting close to that time.
A lot will depend on the variety, and if the plant has been conditioned first, kept in cold storage before planting. Also from what I understand most strawberry variety don't fruit the first year when started from seeds, rather than from bare root plants or plugs that were started from the runners of the mother plant, then placed in cold storage before planting.

Here are two articles written by Dr. Lynette Morgan. Ph.D on growing hydroponic strawberry's.
Maximum Yield - Indoor Gardening
The Growing Edge Community - Guide for growing hydroponic strawberries.
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Going to transplant that tomorrow but am wondering if I should just soil it so it doesn't out-grow my box.
Unless it's a small bush or dwarf variety, it will get much bigger than the box you have. You can always cut and trim it back, but if the box is all the space you have inside for it, I would just stick it outside.
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:40 PM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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Awesome response, thank you.

This plant was bought from a nursery in soil, then I washed the roots off and placed into the hydroton.

I had assumed they had already winterized the plant but maybe they did not, read somewhere most plants bought are already winterized.

As for the tomato, I think I'll try it out and if it does keep getting too large, I will LST(Low Stress Training) into a lattice to keep it more manageable.

I will borrow my buddies pH test kit sometime this week.

More replies the better, thank you though.

-C
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:25 AM
GGM GGM is offline
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Not sure of your questions, but you do know that you can put the end of those runners in netcups with a moist medium to make more plants.
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:44 PM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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I have read about that, but my question was is that where the strawberries come from? I guess I don't really know where the flower is supposed to be growing from, so I don't know what to look for.

OTIS
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:52 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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The flowers come out of the base of the plant (the crown) just like the runners in your picture, except they will either have a single flower bud, or a burst of flowers on it. If you are not in need of the runners to start other plants with, I would cut them off so the plant wont wast energy on something you don't need. I added a couple of pictures of the flowers on my strawberry plants last summer. I am also not sure if you said you were using a bloom formula for your nutrient solution or not, but it should be.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:00 PM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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Awesome again.

I think I am going to root a couple of these into smaller cups and then remove them from the plant, but no I am not using the runners other then that, but that is good to know that I don't need them.

I'm using the Maxi series by GH. Its a two part dry mix. I am now in the Bloom stage of the feeding schedule. I believe 1 1/2tsp/gal. and my res. is about 3.25 gal.

I have just recently changed my light schedule to 12/12 after reading the article you linked me to(awesome again btw).

I feel the plants are definitely nice and healthy, very robust. They leaves are about the size of my hand and nice and dark, so I assume they are getting adequate light. Just for the record its a HydroFarm 150w HPS.

The tomato has perked up, still don't have time to do much, so its getting stronger(had a bit of a 'lean'). Probably going to lattice the both of them together, making water changes a bit harder, but light more even. Will post pictures of this later/eventually.

Thanks for any/all help.

OTIS
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:32 AM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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Just wondering, do you have any pictures of the flower stalks before they produce the flower? I just don't think my plant is putting anything out except for leafs and runners.

OTIS
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:13 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTIS View Post
Just wondering, do you have any pictures of the flower stalks before they produce the flower? I just don't think my plant is putting anything out except for leafs and runners.

OTIS
Not from my plants, but I might be able to find some online later. Though it should be quite obvious that they were going to be flower buds, and only a matter of a couple of days before they open into the flowers.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:50 PM
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I used Google images and found, for some reason, a lot of marijuana images when searching "strawberry preflower", but anyways, I really do not think the plants I bought were winterized by the nursery and I will have to take some runners and re-do the hydro. These plants are just mazzive and I don't see how/why they wouldn't be flowering yet if they were going to.

OTIS
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:25 PM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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So I'm going to take some runners from the hydro plants and then try and transplant the hydro plant to soil and plant it outside. Whats the best way to take runners, and do I winterize them before or after I root them? Thanks.

OTIS
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:32 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Originally Posted by OTIS View Post
So I'm going to take some runners from the hydro plants and then try and transplant the hydro plant to soil and plant it outside. Whats the best way to take runners, and do I winterize them before or after I root them? Thanks.

OTIS
You'll want the runners to be able to grow roots first (not a lot, but just start), either in growing medium or potting soil. But soil can introduce diseases into your system (even when washed off). Let the roots start then cut the runner off and allow the plant and root system to grow into a medium sized plant. Then clean off the roots and trim the leaves off so all that's left is the crown and root ball. Then pack them in a small amount of moist sawdust in an mesh cloth bag, then refrigerate for about 2-4 months before replanting.

If I remember the articles correctly, it's 3-4 months, 6 months would be pushing it, and a year is not good. Although I have not tried to winterize mine yet, so I don't have first hand experience with how well they will keep. I have bought bare root (live plants) before, that is how they arrived. Packed in open mesh bags with a little sawdust. I do have some in the fridge that I bought from BloomingBulb and are about year old, but I have not tried to plant them.
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:37 AM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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Yeah I had been looking at some bare root plants, they were day neutral as well, but in total, for 5 of them, it would be $60+ for them to be delivered. I'm going to try and take the runners I have now, plant my hydro plant outdoors, probably in the bucket its in now, and just do it soil outside. Then, once it takes to the soil, I will transplant it into the ground for the winter. If my runners do not work, then so be it, I will try with another plant. I am just very upset that the nursery sold me a plant that wasn't going to fruit.......

OTIS
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:25 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
for 5 of them, it would be $60+ for them to be delivered.
Not sure why they were so expensive. I got the Strawberry Collection from BloomingBulb (30 plants) for $12.95+ shipping, about $17 total. But they sell them in 10 packs at $0.55 a plant, that's $5.50 for the ten pack+ shipping, probably about $8-$9 total. If ordering these type of plants I would recommend calling the company you are getting them from to make sure they can, and do ship them right away. They will usually ship them at different times for different zones. But there is nothing wrong with making your own bare root plants either.

P.S. Nursery usually do sell strawberry plants that are ready to fruit, so I would be surprised that they weren't. Were you ever able to contact General Hydroponics to make sure you had the right mix of nutrients for flowering/fruiting strawberry plants?
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:27 PM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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I have been using the General Hydroponics Maxi-Series weekly mixing schedule for the soil-less system. As for right now, it is at 1 1/2 tsp/gal of the soluble. The Bloom part is 5-15-14 and the Gro is 10-5-14, but I have stopped using that. I'm changing the water tomorrow and it is going to be 2 tsp/gal of the Bloom part. The plants have again sent out about 3 runners each but still no signs of flowers. Thank you for your response again. Will update pictures tomorrow.

OTIS
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:58 PM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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Did a water change today, the mixture was 1/2 tsp/gallon of MaxiGrow and 1 1/2 tsp/gallon of MaxiBloom and its in 3.5 gallons. Forgot to take pictures, lights weren't on yet anyways. Will tkae pictures tonight if I remember.

OTIS
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:56 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTIS View Post
Did a water change today, the mixture was 1/2 tsp/gallon of MaxiGrow and 1 1/2 tsp/gallon of MaxiBloom and its in 3.5 gallons. Forgot to take pictures, lights weren't on yet anyways. Will tkae pictures tonight if I remember.

OTIS
Any signs of flowering yet?
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:02 AM
OTIS OTIS is offline
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Still no, there are a new set of runners that I'm waiting on getting larger, but still no signs of flowers. Thanks for stayin up with it.

OTIS

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