The best Aerogarden fruit to grow-There is one sure sign that summer has arrived where I live (Southern Ontario). Fresh strawberries are sold at farmers’ markets in this manner.
You know, the ones in the small green baskets.
Locally grown strawberries have a distinct flavor. They are significantly smaller than off-season varieties, sometimes even half the size. But WOW, do they pack a flavor punch.
Fortunately, the AeroGarden system recognizes the value of growing your favorite off-season vegetables and fruits on demand. This is why they provide a “grow anything kit” seed pod kit to aid in the pursuit of an indoor garden.
While growing strawberries in the seed pods provided may be appealing. Unfortunately, this will result in nothing more than a bright green bush in your AeroGarden grow. This may be nice for some, but if you want to grow strawberries in your AeroGarden, you’ll probably want some fruit to show for your efforts.
Aerogarden Fruit: Growing Strawberries on Aerogarden
While strawberries are not among the many AeroGarden seeds available, new strawberry shoots and existing plants can be grown in an AeroGarden using a grow basket. The strawberry plant will be able to send new shoots through the growing medium that is spread out across the AeroGarden by using a grow basket.
You must find a strawberry plant root ball. Strawberries are a type of perennial plant. This means that if properly cared for, they will reappear in the following growing season (even after a harsh winter).
As a result, strawberry plants are best grown from a root ball that has already begun to develop. Otherwise, it could take years for a plant grown from seed to bear fruit.
How to Prepare Strawberries Seedpods
Even if you don’t want to save your AeroGarden fruit pods from previous grows, this could be the time to break the rules. Reusing seed pods can help you save a significant amount of money in the long run. Growing strawberries in an AeroGarden does require some finessing to get things right.
Hydroponic strawberries thrive in agricultural grow sponges such as Rockwool. The rockwool’s stable ground provides an excellent foundation for root development. Grow sponges are another excellent option that can be found in any hydroponic store or online.
If you’re short on time or don’t want to pay the extra money for grow-sponges, compact peat moss will suffice for your indoor garden.
Step 1: Prepare and trim the Strawberry root ball
When you buy strawberry crowns or bulbs, they are usually quite large, roughly the size of a golf ball.
Because there is limited space in your grow pod, make sure you trim back most of the loose root ends around the root ball at the stem’s base. While this may appear to be severely harming the hibernating plant, it actually aids in root development. This works by causing the plant to concentrate its energy on new growth.
Pro tip: Dip the trimmed root ball into root stim powder. This will significantly lengthen the recovery time of the planted crown.
Step 2: Insert the root crown into the Rockwool or grow sponge.
It is critical that the root crown fits comfortably in the grow sponge or Rockwool. This will save you time fumbling with the plant and knocking root debris into the reservoir of the grow tank.
Adding debris to your tank will undoubtedly damage your pump over time. If the root crown does not fit, remove it and continue trimming! You can also choose to remove more sponge or growing medium if you believe the roots have already been sufficiently damaged.
Step 3: Insert the grow basket into the AeroGarden chamber.
Give the root crown a gentle tap once you’ve ensured that it’s properly positioned in the grow basket. This will ensure that any loose debris falls away.
Any loose debris, as I mentioned in the previous step, will wreak havoc on your AeroGarden water pump system. Take the extra precaution and eliminate it from the start.
If you have very large root crowns, you could also try skipping the growing medium entirely. Place the crown in the growing basket instead. Push down on the grow basket; when you hear a click, the basket is securely in place.
Step 4: Fill the water tank with fertilizer.
Filling the water basin and adding liquid fertilizer or nutrient tablets is an essential step that should not be overlooked. Growing strawberries in a hydroponic growing system like the AeroGarden is convenient because you rarely have to think about watering your plants.
With most AeroGarden models equipped with an intuitive water level low warning system, you can concentrate your efforts on eating the fruit and much less on plant maintenance.
Step 5: Collect pollen from the strawberry flowers.
When starting out as a gardener, it’s easy to forget that all fruits and vegetables have a flowering phase. This could be at the start of the plant’s growing cycle, depending on the species. In other cases, such as when broccoli plants go to seed, it is nearing the end of the cycle.
The goal in both cases is for the flowers to produce seeds. Plants have little chance of surviving without wind or insect pollination. Pollination will have to be done by hand because you will be growing indoors with no wind and hopefully not too many bugs. This entails gently tapping the flowering area with a cotton swab to aid in pollination.
You could also gently press a clean electric toothbrush against the flower to vibrate the pollen into the correct spots. The fruit will begin to form once successfully pollinated.
If you’re only interested in growing strawberries in your AeroGarden and don’t want to grow anything else, you should skip the seed pods and go with the AeroGarden Grow Bowl instead. These grow bowls are intended for root ball plants such as strawberries, tulips, and bulb varieties.
Fill a grow bowl with a growing medium such as coconut coir and scatter a few strawberry crowns around it. Because you will need to remove the seed pod container completely, this decision commits you to growing these bright berries exclusively in your AeroGarden for the next few months.
You can also find our other articles on Aerogarden: What Can You Grow in an AeroGarden. Enjoy!