The AeroGarden strawberry are an absolute treat. Fresh strawberries are sweet and succulent.
With AeroGarden strawberries, it’s still possible to grow them regardless of the season, because it’s not affected by the outdoor environment.
Strawberries are some of my favorite things to grow in an AeroGarden. Enjoy the taste of summer all year round.
Let’s get into the 3 step process of growing strawberries in an AeroGarden:
- Pick and Plant Strawberry Seeds
- Grow and Care for the Strawberries
- Harvest the Strawberries
1. Pick and Plant Strawberry Seeds
Growing strawberries with your AeroGarden requires a bit more work than most other crops do. There are no pre-made strawberry seed pods available, so no AeroGarden strawberries from seeds unfortunately. You’ll need to create your own.
Strawberry plants that are grown from seeds can take two or three years to mature and start producing fruit. But with a bit of time and effort, it’s still possible to achieve fantastic results with your AeroGarden by using Grow Anything pods and planting them with strawberry crowns.
In order to grow strawberry plants in your AeroGarden system you will need the following:
- AeroGarden Grow Anything Seed Pod Kits
- Strawberry Crowns
- AeroGarden Indoor Garden Kit – Sprout, Harvest, Bounty, and Farm Family
Aerogarden doesn’t directly sell strawberry crowns, but these can be bought from garden centers or online. Here are some great online selections:
- 10 Eversweet Everbearing Strawberry Plants – Everbearing types of strawberries have two harvesting seasons.
- Hirt’s Gardens – Everbearing Ozark Strawberry plants
- Jewel Organic Strawberry plants
Find various seed pod options for growing fruits and vegetables on the AeroGarden website, including your ability to customize your own package of 6, 9, and more seed pods.
Now that you have everything you need to produce strawberries, let’s have a look at how to plant them in your Aerogarden.
Planting Your Strawberry Plants
When growing a new plant and you have used your Aerogarden previously, then you will need to sanitize your garden before you begin. This ensures that any root pathogens that could harm your crop are gone.
To sanitize the AeroGarden, simply follow the steps listed below.
- Fill the water reservoir with a mixture of fresh water and either 1/4 cup (0.95 l) of chlorine bleach or 5 cups (1.18 l) of white vinegar.
- Circulate this mixture through the Aerogarden system for at least 5 minutes with an air pump.
- Once completed, rinse out the reservoir and refill it with cool fresh water, and circulate this through the system for another 5 minutes.
- Drain the water tank.
- Reset the nutrient timer.
- You are ready to begin growing strawberries!
As you’re growing strawberries from crowns and not seeds, there’s no need to use the grow sponges that came with the Grow Anything pods, unless the roots are small. In most instances, the grow sponge can be discarded or just saved for future use.
The following steps guide you through the process of planting your strawberries in the AeroGarden grow baskets.
- Unpack your strawberry crowns. These are usually packed in dirt, so carefully separate the crowns from each other and remove as much of the excess dirt as possible.
- This is best rinsed off with fresh, room temperature water.
- Fill the water reservoir with room temperature tap water or distilled water up to the “Fill to Here” mark.
- It is best not to use mineral or softened water as this can hinder the plants growth or even damage it.
- Set aside the grow sponge and gently feed the strawberry roots through the plastic grow basket. The crown of the plant should be sitting above the top of the sponge or basket. Most of the time, the root system will be too large for the sponges.
- If the roots are small, then you will need to prepare a grow sponge. Using a pair of scissors, carefully cut a wet grow sponge down half its length, if the roots are longer, then cut the sponge a bit lower down to accommodate the root length. Once this is done, then gently place the roots inside the sponge.
- Place the grow baskets, with or without the sponge, into the seed pod slots on the grow deck of the AeroGarden.
- If you are using a sponge, then feed this through the grow basket label first.
- Add the liquid plant food to your AeroGarden for nutrients. Following the instructions on the bottle, add the appropriate amount of nutrient liquid to the AeroGarden. It is important to neither overfeed nor underfeed the plants at any stage of the growing cycle, but this is particularly critical at this stage. Over/Underfeeding can cause growth issues with the roots.
- Lower the grow light of the AeroGarden until it is 2-4 inches (5.08-10.16 cm) above the top of the plants. For optimal growth, you’ll need to adjust the grow light height to keep at this distance throughout the entire growth cycle.
2. Growing and Caring for Strawberries
Now that your crowns have been planted, let’s have a look at how to grow and tend to your strawberry plants. Grown with a little care and attention, you could be sampling fruit from your plants in under a month.
With the AeroGarden system, as with all hydroponic systems, it is important to check that the liquid plant nutrients and water levels are good.
Some tips here are not wait until the water level is too low before you refill the water. Plants love clean, fresh water. Top the water up frequently to keep the water with nutrients balanced.
As noted earlier, it is also critical that whenever you add nutrients into the grow bowl, you add exactly the amount specified on the bottle. This should be done every two weeks, and you should be prompted when to add nutrients by the AeroGarden’s Nutrient timer.
Since you’ll be frequently adding liquid nutrients, you may want to look at the 1 liter size of Liquid Plant Food, because it can provide over 100 AeroGarden feedings.
Besides keeping an eye on the water and nutrient levels, here are the factors that can a difference to the quality of your plants:
Grow Lights for Strawberry Growth
It’s important to maximize the amount of light your plants receive. Always keep the light 2 to 4 inches from the top of the plant.
If there are taller plants, you can consider some gentle pruning to ensure an even spread of light throughout all the plants. Leaves that are too close or touching the lights will quickly become dead leaves because it’s too hot.
Water Temperature for Strawberry Growth
Always use room temperature fresh tap water or distilled water.
Air Temperature for Strawberry Growth
Strawberries can be tolerant of lower temperatures down to 22 °F (-5.56 °C). Ideally they should always be kept between 60 °F (15.56 °C) and 80 °F (26.67 °C). As these are grown indoors, it is unlikely they will suffer from frost damage, but take care because if this does occur it is likely the plants will die.
Watch out for dry leaves, because it’s a sign the growth environment is off. If there are dry leaves, look at the temperature, lights, and water levels. Take proper care and correct the levels.
Strawberry plants require little maintenance and pruning. In normal circumstances, you should leave all the healthy leaves in place and only remove leaves that are turning brown or have died altogether. It’s also to remove those leaves from the grow surface to discourage mold growth.
The only other instance where it may be necessary to prune leaves is when one plant is substantially larger than the others and blocking a large amount of light. In these cases, prune these back as little as you can get away with, this is to ensure an even spread of light throughout the grow deck.
Pollination of Strawberries
Unlike outdoor strawberry plants, you will need to pollinate your plants manually across the strawberry flowers. Strawberry plants do have an advantage in that they are self-pollinating, however, helping the process leads to more bountiful harvests of delicious strawberries.
You should pollinate the plants as soon as you see flowers, this can be done with a soft artist’s paintbrush or a make-up brush. The outside of the flowers (the petals) are the male part of the flower, and the center is the female part.
The pollination process is simple. Brush the male parts of the flower lightly then brush the female part of the plant. AeroGarden also has a handy pollination tool designed specifically for the task.
AeroGarden Be the Bee Pollinator for Indoor Gardens, Use on Tomatoes, Peppers, Strawberries, and More
- Specially designed pollinating tool with bristles vibrates and distributes pollen within each blossom
- Easy-to-use - simply touch the pollinator to each flower for an extra heavy fruit set
- Use on tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and other flowering fruits and vegetables
- Increases yield by 300%
- Requires 2 AA batteries (not
Clean the Water Reservoir
Rinse out and refill your AeroGarden system once a month. Every second feed it’ll help if you completely empty the water tank and refill it with fresh water and nutrients.
This ensures a healthy root system and negates the chance of overfeeding that can occur from nutrient residue. That’s the additional nutrients that weren’t previously absorbed by the roots.
3. Harvesting Strawberries
You can be harvesting your indoor strawberry garden in as little time as a month for the growth period.
If you happen to get the everbearing type of strawberry variety mentioned earlier, you’ll get a second harvest if cared for well.
To harvest your strawberries, use the following guidelines to ensure the healthiest way to harvest your fruit, without stressing the plant.
- The optimum time to harvest is when the strawberries are fully ripe.
- Try not harvest too often, leave at least three days in-between harvests, if possible .
- Use gardening shears or scissors to cut the berries from the stem as opposed to pulling them, which can damage the plant.
- Harvests can last up to three weeks depending on the variety of strawberry you have.
The beauty about the AeroGarden system is that you can pick fresh fruit when you feel like eating them. The Plant to Plate freshness is one of the best benefits of the AeroGarden systems. However, if you need to store some of your fruit for later, then I have listed some storage tips below.
How to Store Your Strawberries
When it comes to storage of strawberries, colder is better for ripe fruit.
- Once harvested, strawberries can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days. It is best to keep them in the coldest part of the fridge, usually this is towards the back.
- Do not keep them in door compartments as this is the warmest part of the fridge and can substantially shorten their storage life.
- Fresh Strawberries can be frozen whole, this method can keep them edible for up to two months. They do lose some flavor and texture once frozen, so always try to keep the quantity of strawberries you freeze to a minimum.
- If you are lucky enough to have a huge harvest, then making preserves from your harvest is also an option.
Of course, the simplest thing to do is just to enjoy the fruits of your labor as you harvest them!
Growing and Harvesting Strawberry Tips and Tricks
In this section we are going to reiterate some major points you need to know to help you and your family enjoy fresh strawberries straight from the garden.
- Ensure the roots are cleaned thoroughly, but gently, before planting them in the AeroGarden. Too much dirt in the root system can taint the water.
- When planting, only use a grow sponge if the roots are short. In most instances, the grow basket will be all you need for the plants to grow in your AeroGarden.
- Remove dead and brown leaves frequently.
- Never use water that is too cold or too hot. Always use water that is close to room temperature.
- Strawberries require plenty of light, keep the light at its optimum height throughout the growth process. If one plant is blocking the light from others, then this should be pruned to allow other plants to get the light they need. Keep the pruning you do at this stage to an minimum.
- Always remember to pollinate your flowers. Plants grown outdoors are pollinated by bees and the wind. Indoor plants need to be pollinated manually to ensure a bountiful harvest of full-grown strawberries.
- Feed every two weeks, following the guidelines printed on the liquid plant food bottle. Every second feed, it’s best to change the water completely. Plants thrive on a supply of fresh water and it also helps to stop a build up of nutrients occurring.
- Harvest the berries when they are at their ripest and try to avoid harvesting more than once every three days.
- Always cut to prune and harvest. Never pull the berries from the plant as this can damage it and affect future crops.
Growing AeroGarden Strawberries Final Thoughts
Fresh strawberries do take a bit more work to get a good harvest, but strawberries require this work regardless of how and where they are grown. It is a testament to the adaptability of AeroGarden systems that they can be grown in an indoor hydroponic system at all.
The process itself once the strawberries are planted is as straightforward as any AeroGarden grow system.
It is best to do some research before you purchase the strawberry crowns for your system. Everbearing plants will give you more crops, if you want to continue your grow after the initial fruit crop.
Fresh strawberries are something the whole family will love. With a bit of care and attention, your AeroGarden can provide a plentiful harvest within a few weeks, that will have you eating fresh berries for up to three months.
Looking for other things to grow? Check these growing and harvest articles: