I'm growing strawberries everywhere but the ones in my aquaponics don't seem to have that sweet strawberry taste. Any ideas why?
Seems like the pH strawberries prefer is much lower than most AP systems operate at; plus temperature and light quality/hours seem to matter: http://www.gardening-guides.com/gardening-alternatives/hydroponic-s...
I think the flavor of my strawberries improved when I changed media from Hydroton to pebbles gathered from a creek bed. Some minerals in natural abundance might be one key requirement to natural taste.
Some commercial AP operators also recommend a lower PH but I seriously doubt it affects the taste of strawberries. However, that would be an easy thing to test.
I run my system between 6.2 and 7.0 and strawberries have excellent taste. The media is stalite and I have no experience with any other. It's not practical for me to check and adjust PH daily to keep it 5.9 or close to that so I usually adjust mine up once per week and let it drift back down till the next week.
You might want to try a lower PH, along with different varieties of strawberries - I believe the variety is key.
Please let us know what you learn about this.
Or put some of them in a dirt garden and compare. Like George says, if it's just the variety of strawberry there's no sense making changes to the system.
Thanks for the input. My pH is typically in the low 6s so that probably isn't an issue. I do have the same strawberries in dirt and they taste OK. One thing I noticed is the outside of the berry ripens much faster than the inside so it's hard to pic that perfect time to pick them. These are newer plants (1st season) and the production is low so I have to wait some time between ripening to taste test them. I'm thinking of taking them out of the media and transferring them to NFT.
I've only grown strawberries once in hydroponics, then decided they took up too much room in my limited space, but I can tell you that the flavor of all my vegetables is better, both in hydroponics, aquaponics, and in dirt when I add trace minierals. I used to put horse feed in my dirt garden to get the mineral content, but now I use the Mittleider natural mineral micro-nutrient mix. http://growfood.com/shop/category/materials-2/ Very inexpensive; $13.95 for a packet that can be mixed with 25lbs of 13/13/13 to 16/16/16 NPK fertilizer.
I have moved some of them to NFT but still on the aquaponics system. They look better. Jury's still out on the flavor.
I have 3 separate systems all with strawberries. These are mature systems with varying pH from 6-7. In all the systems young growth seems ok but as the plants get larger they can't seem to sustain leaves. The ends turn brown on the some. Some yellow and die. I've checked calcium and phosphates and adjust pH with potassium hydroxide and garden lime when needed so I assume I'm good in that department. I add Epsom Salt periodically. My TDS are 2500 and nitrates are off the scale. Any ideas what's happening to the strawberries?