Strawberries and Organic Aquaponics

The strawberry plant is actually a relative of the rose, hailing from the Rosaceae family, in the genus Fragaria. Strawberries are fun to grow because the plants produce many times their own weight in juicy strawberries.  Strawberries begin to ripen approximately 4 weeks after the first flowers open. As the top 10cm of soil harbor most of a strawberry plant’s roots, they are particularly susceptible to drought if the top soil in the container gets too dry. The productive part of a strawberry plant is the crown. It is from the crown that strawberry plants produce both runners (called stolons) and flowering fruit stalks which produces the fruit. Off-shoot plants are supported by the runners until their roots are in contact with soil. From there, the shoot establishes an independent root system and the runner will shrivel and separate from the mother plant. The most commonly grown commercial strawberry species is the Fragaria x ananassa, Garden Strawberry.

The Basic Strawberry Types

  • June-bearing Strawberry- June bearers are the most common and produce the largest strawberries. As the name implies, June bearing strawberry plants produce a fruit around the month of June in northern climates.

  • Everbearing Strawberrys- Everbearing strawberry varieties actually do not produce all the time as the name implies. However they do produce twice or three times during the changing seasons in northern climates. Everbearing strawberry varieties produce less or no runners, unlike the June bearing varieties.

  • Day-neutral Strawberrys- Unlike June bearing varieties, day neutral strawberries will produce a good yield in the first year they are planted. They flower and set strawberries whenever the temperature is between 35 and 85 degrees F'. The drawback to day neutral strawberry plants is that they produce smaller strawberries than do the June bearing and Everbearing strawberry varieties. Their fruit is usually small to medium in size, rarely exceeding one inch.

  • Alpine Strawberry- The Scientific taxonomy name is Fragaria vesca, and goes byvarious common names beside the most used name 'Alpine". It is also called wild strawberry, woodland strawberry,  European strawberry, or fraise des bois.

Growing Strawberry Plants

Growing Strawberry Plants

The 5 basic anatomical parts of a strawberry plant: leaf, roots, crown, stolon (“runner”) and daughter When growing strawberry’s in containers, they are happier when they are planted in small groups. So plant several together in an evenly spaced gathering. Pinching off the flowers is a good idea in the first flush. During the first year, remove all the flowers from the plant. You want to allow them time to establish and become stronger before they put their energy into fruiting. In that way they will thank you the following flush by producing an increased crop. Over time the strawberry’s root system will grow upwards and it will lifting itself up from the soil. So you will want to top up the soil in order to keep the roots covered as the months...

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Strawberry Seeds

Strawberry Seeds

Strawberry Seeds General Information There can be more than 200 strawberry seeds on the outside of a strawberry. Strawberrys are referred to as a “berry,” but they are not a true berry like blueberries and others. Their seeds are not true “seeds” either.” The red strawberry flesh is actually accessory tissue, while the tiny tan flecks are actually fruits in and of themselves. These tiny tan fruits contain the seeds. The seed-containing fruits are called “achenes” Or can also be referred to as an akene, achenocarp, or an achenium. Germinating Strawberry Seeds All wild and alpine varieties should be placed in the freezer for 3 weeks so as to “cold stratify” them, simulating the winter. This will improve the percentage of germination. Traditional Strawberries:  The germination type substrate (17% compost) should be approximately 2cm deep and pre-moistened to 30%. Sprinkle the seeds over the damp seed substrate and add a light dusting of pure peat moss over the planted surface. Strawberry seeds germinate faster with some light hitting them. The germination time averages 21-30 days. Once the strawberry plants have sprouted, do not transplant into a container until the 3rd true leaves appear. Alpine Strawberries: Press into soil but barely cover them. Cover the germination tray or cell with newspaper to exclude light and to keep out of direct sun light. The germination will be between 2 to 5...

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