Growing Aerogarden Strawberries: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
Is it possible to grow strawberries in the aerogarden?
Many growers have the same question in their minds. Thankfully, you can grow delicious, juicy, and fresh strawberries in an aerogarden system.
This form of indoor fruit gardening comes with a plethora of benefits:
- Get maximum yield
- Save the plants during winter
- 5x growth speed
- Watch the plants grow
Growing indoor strawberries during winters is fun. It is possible to grow succculent off-season varieties in the aerogarden.
If you are desperately looking for an easy-growing method, follow my guide below. To help you through the process, I have provided some growing tips and care measures. Just follow them, and you will keep enjoying the ripe mature fruits for a long time.
Things You Will Need to Grow Aerogarden Strawberries
There is no denying the fact that growing fruits in the aerogarden is a serious task. I personally recommend strawberries to intermediate growers who understand the aerogarden systems and have some experience in taking care of the plants.
The setup process is vital. It determines how well your crops will grow over the next few weeks. Even small glitches can be crucial for plant growth. So keep the things handy before you start.
- An advanced aerogarden system (preferably Bounty Aerogarden)
- Strawberry Crowns
- Empty Grow Baskets and Domes
- A large grow bowl
- Plant Nutrients (often sold with crowns)
- Electric Toothbrush for Children (for pollination)
Strawberry from Seeds or Crowns- What’s the difference?
If you have grown herbs or tomatoes previously in the aerogarden, there is an obvious query in the mind- why use crowns and not seeds?
Yes, you can definitely grow strawberries from seeds in the aerogarden. But it takes time… almost two years of intense plant care. It is possible to start with seeds and get the first harvest by this span.
Growing strawberries from crowns ease your job during the initial setup processes.
Stepwise Guide to Raise Strawberry in Aerogarden Systems
If you are using a new aerogarden system, just unpack and get started. But if you are reusing a grow bowl and other parts, clean the whole system thoroughly and sanitize before using.
Step 1: Prepare the Strawberry Crowns for Plantation
When you get the strawberry crowns from a local store or online, they may come with a lot of dirt deposits on the roots. At the first glance, you will see that the roots are too long having lots of hairs. You have to prepare them before inserting them into the grow sponges.
- Wash the roots very carefully under running water to clean the dirt.
- Cut the long root hairs carefully.
- Trim the main root if it is too long for the grow baskets.
Note: Always use sharp cutting tools when trimming plant parts. Blunt cutters may injure the crops making room for infections.
If you want to reuse an old seed pod kit, get some new sponges, plant labels, etc. It’s fine to reuse the grow baskets and plastic domes.
Step 2: Implant the Strawberry Roots in the Grow Sponges
You need to do this with a lot of attention. The young roots are too tender to handle.
Check the holes on the grow sponges. The holes are generally smaller than the roots.
- Cut the holes on the sponges to make enough room.
- Hold the roots carefully and press slowly to insert them into the sponges.
Avoid using the grow sponge for large roots. In fact, some growers suggest avoiding the grow sponges for strawberry plants. But if you want high-quality fruits, I prefer using a sponge.
Step 3: Set the Grow Sponges in Grow Baskets
Once you have set the strawberry roots properly into the grow sponges, it’s time to insert them into the grow baskets. The plants should stand upright when you place the sponges into the basket.
If you are reusing grow baskets, make sure to clean and sterilize them before inserting the grow sponges.
Step 4: Place the Grow Baskets in the Aerogarden Slots
This is easy. You just have to place the grow baskets in the seed pod slots of your aerogarden grow bowl.
- Hold the grow basket carefully without touching the plant parts.
- Push down the basket into the hole and press gently
The click sound confirms that you have set the seed pods firmly into the slot. Repeat the same for all other slots.
Step 5: Add Water and Plant Nutrients
To grow large juicy strawberries, your aerogarden system requires plenty of water supply. However, you must fill the tank up to the indication mark on the grow bowl.
A transparent grow bowl helps you to see if the grow baskets are touching the water. Check your system regularly for low water/plant nutrient alerts. Keep changing water and adding nutrients in the required quantity for fast and healthy plant growth.
The roots of the strawberry plants cannot tolerate water. They rot fast when placed too close to water. The grow baskets should be placed at a greater height from the water in the grow tank.
Step 6: Configure the Grow Lights
Indoor plants need artificial lights for healthy growth. In the case of strawberries, light and temperature settings depend on the variety you wish to grow.
In general, your plants should receive 16-18 hours of light. Don’t forget to keep the lights off for at least 6-8 hours a day. Plants need dark hours for resting. Continuous light exposure can damage the strawberries.
Step 7: Perform Artificial Pollination
Alike other aerogarden plants, you will not get natural pollinators (insects) to do the pollination for strawberry flowers. Do it immediately when the flowers appear. Delay in the pollination process can ruin all your efforts.
You can follow any of the three following methods:
#1. Blower Fan Method
I am not if you can adjust the fan speed to the required level. However, slow breeze definitely does a great job of cross-pollination.
#2. Toothbrush Method (highly recommended)
You have done so much hard work for several weeks. It is wise to follow the best strawberry pollination method for assured success. It takes only a few minutes to rub the electric toothbrush on the flowers.
#3. Shaking Method
This is a simple task…just give a gentle shake to the strawberry branches. That’s all! The mild jerk releases pollens and spreads to the other flowers.
Step 8: Identify and Harvest Mature Strawberry Fruits
Once you have done the artificial cross-pollination for the strawberry plants, it can take around 25-40 days to produce the fruits.
The red variety ripens when you can see a uniform red sheen from the base of the stem to the tip of the fruit. This can differ for various species.
Harvest the fruits when they ripen to allow more space for the new flowers. With regular harvesting and intensive plant care, you can keep enjoying fresh harvests for another 6 months or even more.
How to Take Care of Strawberry Plants in Aerogarden
Aerogarden systems minimize the need for regular plant care as you do for soil gardening. However, your aerogarden strawberries require some regular caring and monitoring for healthy growth.
- Change the water once every 15 days to avoid mold development near the roots
- Watch out for low water and nutrient alerts on the system. Add fresh water and nutrition dose when required.
- Prune the leaves that block lights from reaching the inner branches.
- Remove the dead brown leaves immediately to prevent pest attacks.
Aerogardening is the best method to grow strawberry plants indoors. You will get maximum high-quality yields, faster harvests without much effort.
I hope you found this guide helpful. Just follow my tips, and you are only a few weeks away from enjoying fresh luscious strawberries on the platter every day.