Hydroponics, or the art of growing plants with water and without soil, is not only a healthy method of growing tasty berries, but it is also an efficient method for growing in a limited space. The space requirements for any hydroponic system are less since soil is not used in these systems. You can grow berries hydroponically, though the specifics of each type of berry will vary slightly in aspects such as the amount of nutrients needed and the amount of necessary light.
Things You'll Need
- Hydroponics grow kit
- Plastic dome
- Plant nutrients
- Berry plant cuttings
- Plastic wrap
Set the medium in the hydroponics kit. The medium can be varying from sand to water to perlite. Keep in mind that the medium should be inert. Starter plugs can be used as well to make hydroponic berries easier.
Set the berry roots into the medium. Cover the berries with a clear, plastic dome. Some kits come with the dome while others don't, so make sure there is something available. Allow the roots to become established.
Simulate winter. Place the plant roots in microbial solution, wrap the plant in clear plastic wrap and then place the berries in the fridge for a few months. Keep them in the refrigerator for a minimum of two months to allow the plant to rest.
Make sure the berries get appropriate lighting. The appropriate lighting will vary based on the berries. For example, strawberries need a full 7 to 8 hours of direct sunlight or lighting that mimics sunlight for indoor growing, while blackberries need less direct light.
Give the berries the appropriate nutrients. Hydroponically grown plants have nutrients mixed with water that is put directly over the root system. The exact method varies depending on the growing medium, such as adding nutrients to the water medium or spraying the roots with a mixed water-and-nutrient solution for other systems. The nutrient needs vary by plant, so talk to the supplier about the exact amounts necessary for the specific berry plant. Change the solution every two weeks for most berries.
Make sure the temperature ranges are appropriate for the specific berries. For example, strawberries should be kept in temperatures ranging from 64 to 77 F.