Long bed "Hydroponic" strawberries.

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aquaponics' started by stanb999, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    This isn't technically hydroponic. Because the plants roots are in media not water only. This system produced 600 pints of strawberries in a 12x40 foot green house.

    I grew them like this.
    Slope grow bed so it can drain slowly. Mine slopes about 3" in 10ft.
    boards are placed on the ground to form rows.
    Black plastic is put down over the boards.
    Promix is put into the rows 2-3" deep.
    Cover rows with plastic. I used red because the studies show it is better than black.
    Make small holes and Plant into the promix.
    They are drip irrigated from a large tank of nutrient. I allowed the system to "drain to waste" But in reality their was near zero runoff.
    i irrigated in the following manner. Calculate so each plant gets 1 quart of nutrient per day. So for every 4 plants it gets 1 gallon. For me the bed contained 480 plants. So 120 gallons of nutrient was required each day. I had 120 1 gpm drippers (30 per row). So I had to run the timer for a half hour a day. I did it. 2 times a day for 15 min. each. once at 7am and once at 2pm.

    For nutrient I used Chem-gro strawberry per instructions.
    For plants we used Seascape from Norse.

    From panting to first harvest was 6 weeks and they produced into October with an average of 15 pints a week. But with larger harvests in June and early September.


    May 3rd
    13082730_1180577455339810_3892394599407678418_n.jpg

    May 28th 13260115_1198747770189445_774353359588991478_n.jpg

    June 16th
    13418969_1213705052027050_81704261703345684_n.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  2. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member

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    That is very long growing season! What variety/s did you use?
     

  3. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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  4. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member

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    Awesome. I will try them with weed barrier
     
  5. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Wanted to add. Make sure you follow the directions on the bag of fertilizer. You need to add more powder per gallon as the plants set fruit. AKA follow the directions.. Some don't :(
    As the first leaves come on if the temps are cool. Foliar feed calcium nitrate and Magnesium Sulfate 7 grams of each to one gallon of water. Spray lightly in the early morning or late afternoon. Not in the heat of the day. This is needed because the plants are growing at a break neck pace. Much to fast for the slow uptake nutrients.

    Also unless your water is very acidic. You should add iron as a foliar spray weekly when the sun hours are more than 14 hours per day. The plants are working so hard they actually raise the PH of Peat moss.

    Yes, the proper cultural practices are complex. But these take 12 weeks to fruit in the soil. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
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  6. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    This was one of the last harvests.. Oct. 3

    14494843_1328015967262624_6472041250240800519_n.jpg 14494646_1328016057262615_3917473410829296486_n.jpg
     
  7. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member

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    The Nourse website you mentioned sure does have a lot of strawberry growing information on it! It is a regular textbook!
     
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  8. krackin

    krackin Well-Known Member

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    Nice job. Bet you have a little rat bait here and there. I did open field organic strawberries for a few years. Tough job. Excellent income the one time it all worked. I made nearly .37 an hour, yup, clear.
     
  9. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    No rats or mice, or other critters in the greenhouses. Just not an issue here. We do have several "barn" cats tho. But the cats are excluded from the greenhouses. The profit on this crop was small, just a few hundred. But the crop is producing again this year with the only cost being the nutrient. So This year will be much better... profit wise.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member

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    You have inspired me to plant 10 berries this year.

    So far the spring has been ridiculously wet, and there has been some flooding in the county. The berries seem to like it, though: all of them have broken dormancy.
     
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  11. krackin

    krackin Well-Known Member

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    I think you will do fine. Most of my covered space is tomato production now. I'm thinking everbearers more now, that and late highbush blueberries. What I did in the past for berries came on mid June through July which was too difficult where I need to do sweet corn work then. I can sell more sweet corn per piece than berries, easier pickin'. I really liked doing berries all the same. Best to ya.
     
  12. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Wish I had soil for corn.... But I just don't have tillable soil. Do try the everbearing. They are well worth it. Mine are growing well and in full bloom. 6 weeks till berries.
     
  13. LincTex

    LincTex Well-Known Member

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    Outstanding, Stan! Very inspirational!

    Is excess heat in the summer a problem?
     
  14. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Our summers are generally too cool. For instance the hottest temp ever recorded here was.... 91. Most days are mid 70's with low 50's in the morning. So no not at all.
     
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  15. LincTex

    LincTex Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if I could make this work in Texas.
     
  16. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    They like it cool. But i'm sure there are university studies.
     
  17. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    The plants are coming in great this year. All we did was fully prune them down in the fall. Then as they started to regrow we started the nutrient flow. Slowly at first, then back up to regular. IMG_20170517_154405.jpg
     
  18. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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