Paul Nickerson

Swamped Strawberries

In Aquaponics, Propagation on November 4, 2010 at 11:07 am

I recently harvested a pair of strawberry plants from an outdoor garden here at the school. Upon introducing them into the initial grow bed, I realized that they seemed to have become water logged rather rapidly. After a bit of research, I found that although strawberries do seem to do well in Aquaponic systems, they are highly sensitive to environmental change, be it temperature, or water fluctuation. Unfortunately, my plants underwent both changes.

Having waited too long, I transplanted my plants shortly after the first frost, and brought them into my room, which is closer to about 65-70 degrees. Furthermore, the garden staff had stopped watering these plants for the season. I am afraid that going from such an environment, to that of my room, shocked the plant, and is resulting in negative effects.

To address the problem of over-watering, while still allowing my other plants to maintain the watering cycle, I developed a system that would allow the initial plants to continue their normal ebb-flow cycle, while keeping the roots of the strawberries from being soaked at all.

Strawberry Box

I used a square, plastic container (from store bought blueberries), and attached the input hose to its inside corner. I filled the container with growing stones, and place it on top of the grow bed, allowing the flood level of the bed to barely touch the bottom of the new container. Planting the strawberries inside this upper level allowed them to receive a minimal amount of water, while the other plants still flood to the original level. Although the plants seem to be responding well to this, I am still afraid the original shock of the changes has resulted in permanent damage.

If anyone has any suggestions on how I can work to save the plants from further damage, or if there are any really big oversights that I need to know about in regard to strawberries, your comments would be GREATLY appreciated!


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