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Strawberries 2013

Strawberries May 2013

This is my first year in Aquaponics to plant only what we will eat, in my backyard family Aquaponic garden. Last 1 and 1/2 years we planted every seed we could get our hands on, and the ones that survived our experimenting and grew we grew until maturity.

This was a wonderful experience as we learned how to garden, how things grew, about bugs, about Aquaponic systems, and other useful info.

Seascape Strawberries from Johnnys seeds

I purchased 25 of the Seascape variety of Strawberry plants from Johnny’s seeds. I planted the tiny plants that arrived as twigs with roots and no leaves in 20 each 2″ net pots in my Friendly Aquaponics Micro 64/128 Raft Aquaponics System on March 22, 2013.¬† I planted 5 plants in the dirt in pots. They have not produced any red berries yet!

On May 15 we had our first bowl of berries for breakfast. That was strawberries producing fruit in about 7 weeks, in our Friendly Aquaponics Deep Water Culture (DWC) Raft system. Not only that, but last freeze was supposed to be May 15 and turned out we had 3 more nights of near freezing temperatures, each at least a week apart. So the real growing season was dotted with destructive temperatures.

I covered the young plants, in the 4’x8′ raft, with my shade frame that was covered with plastic to become a “cold frame”, or “hot house”, or a mini greenhouse. It worked resulting in wonderful red breakfast food!

greenhouse cold frame

Seascape Strawberry, info from Johnny’s Seeds

Being day-neutral, this variety was originally bred for California climates, but is gaining popularity elsewhere in the country due to its potential for high yields of large berries. Excellent choice for containers (and raft systems -bj) as it does not produce runners.

Production and berry size in day neutrals can sometimes decline during the hottest part of summer. Cooler temperatures of autumn will bring a return of berry size and yield.

Soil pH for strawberries should be between 6.0 and 6.8

This info from Johnny’s, above, shows that Strawberries like their environment a little acidic, pH 6.0-6.8. My system pH is usually 7.0, for the last 4 weeks as been pH of 7.8, so this was a good test. The berries are growing well!

Day-neutral means the plants produce all season long, and especially all of mid season. Some plants perform better early, mid, or late season.

Good Reading:

Enjoy Season-long Fruit Harvesting 

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