Soil growing has been the way of growing strawberries for centuries. While this has been effective, the search for even more effective methods led to hydroponics.
Hydroponics does not require soil. Instead, the hydroponic strawberries are grown in a water-based nutrient solution. The roots of the plants draw nutrients from the water rather than the soil. They also get the oxygen they need via an oxygen pump.
Hydroponic Strawberries vs. Organic Strawberries
Comparing hydroponic strawberries and organic strawberries, both differ in a number of ways, with each having its pros and cons. In this article, we will cover the differences to reveal which growing system is better for strawberries.
What are Hydroponic Strawberries?
Hydroponic strawberries are grown in a water system rather than in soil as with traditional agriculture. This comes with many benefits, the most obvious being the lack of parasites that could add to the cost of production. Less space is also required when growing hydroponic strawberries and it is usually easier to maintain.
Another benefit is that it would be easier for you to control temperature and lighting conditions with hydroponics, especially when growing them indoors. Research has also shown that crops grown via a hydroponic system tend to grow faster and bigger than those grown in soil.
Though there are so many advantages to growing hydroponic strawberries, there are certain issues to consider. Setting up a hydroponic system is fairly expensive. The system is also more time-consuming to maintain.
You will have to check up on the hydroponic strawberries on an almost daily basis, whereas strawberries grown in the soil won’t require attention. Power outages could ruin hydroponic strawberries.
Water-borne diseases are also a cause for concern. In addition, hydroponics could be tough for novice gardeners without expertise or technical knowledge of the process.
Hydroponic Strawberries vs. Organic Strawberries: Water
Water efficiency is an important part of any plant growing process. The less water that is needed, the more you can save up in production costs. Growing hydroponic strawberries is more water-efficient than growing in soil.
Many reports from farms have stated that hydroponic strawberries would use up to 85 percent less water than growing them in the soil. The reason for this is pretty obvious. With hydroponics strawberries, the plants have their roots submerged in water and nutrient solution while when growing strawberries in the soil, the water is sprayed on them.
However, not all the water sprayed on the soil is available to the strawberry plants. Most of the water is wasted which makes hydroponics a better option in this regard.
Hydroponic Strawberries vs. Organic Strawberries: Planting
Soil farming makes use of an entirely different planting process from hydroponics. In soil farming, strawberries are planted in rows on the ground. In a hydroponic system, growing containers are used in growing strawberries.
The hydroponics method adopts an elevated system that makes it easier for people to reach. This ensures you don’t have to stoop down to reach ground-growing plants.
Hydroponic Strawberries vs. Organic Strawberries: Pests
Hydroponics is a soil-less planting technique, so pests would not be a problem. This means farmers can save up on pesticides and other practices required to control pests on a soil-based farm. In addition, farms that do not grow fruits or vegetables using pesticides tend to be a lot better for consumers.
In addition to pests, hydroponic strawberries do not have to compete with weeds for nutrients. This saves up your spending on nutrients and fertilizers for the plants.
In this regard, hydroponics takes the win. It is obviously the better choice if you don’t want to spend extra warding off pests and weeds.
Hydroponic Strawberries vs. Organic Strawberries: Yield
According to research, the yield from hydroponic strawberries is typically higher and better than from strawberries grown in soil. The losses from both systems tend to be greater with strawberries grown in the soil. Hydroponic systems set up at an elevated height tend to have higher picking rates are higher.
Hydroponic Strawberries vs. Organic Strawberries: Setup Cost
The startup cost of a hydroponic system might be its most significant issue. Starting a strawberry farm in soil tends to be cheaper making it a great choice for newbie growers.
While there is the promise of great yield and higher profits if the farm is able to make it to harvest, it doesn’t make hydroponic farms any cheaper to run. There is also the issue of expertise. While running a hydroponic farm is easier, you would need knowledge of the process to get started.
Are Hydroponics Strawberries Safety for Eating
Hydroponics strawberries are completely safe to eat. They are grown with natural nutrients in a natural system. The only difference is that they are not grown in the soil and do not interact with soil microbes like regular plants grown in soil.
This might be one of the reasons why some consumers do not really take well to hydroponic plants. Overall hydroponic strawberries taste better than soil-grown strawberries and tend to grow bigger.
Hydroponic Strawberries vs. Organic Strawberries: Which is Better?
While startup costs tend to be very high for hydroponic farms, you will enjoy a better yield and more profits at the end of the growing season. The low maintenance of hydroponic farms doesn’t really compare to soil-based farms.
With soil-based farms, you won’t have to regularly check on the strawberries as much as hydroponic strawberries. There is also the issue of expertise and maintaining the right pH of the water solution in hydroponic. If not done properly, the plants won’t grow well. Hydroponic systems also have a higher risk of waterborne diseases.
There are many benefits to both systems. There is also the debate about whether hydroponic strawberries are organic. Many growers, consumers, and online sources prefer to claim that hydroponic strawberries are not organic as they have not touched the soil.
So, which is better? Overall, hydroponic strawberries are better. The startup costs might be high, but the yield and quality balance out. There is less nutrient waste to worry about, reduced water costs, and a more efficient system.