As promised, here's the article dedicated to the much-loved strawberries!
Sweet and juicy, these little fruits can be grown on your balcony, giving you a lot of satisfaction.
Why are strawberries perfect for urban farming?
Despite the vast difference between the forest environment and the urban one, strawberry plants adapt well to container cultivation. They are among the favorite plants of urban farmers because they require minimal space, minimal care, and, at the same time, can produce a large number of fruits.
But which varieties are best for city cultivation? There are about 600 varieties, but in this article, we will specifically refer to the classic white strawberry and wild strawberries, considered the best species for balcony cultivation (as selected in our catalog) by our agronomists.
As it's evident, there is a close relationship between cultivated strawberries and wild strawberries. However, the latter stands out distinctly due to its high cold resistance, tolerating values well below freezing. Of course, they also stand out in terms of size and flavor! Small wild strawberries have an elongated shape and closely resemble cultivated strawberries but in miniature. These plants typically don't exceed 20-25 cm in height.
The pulp is softer, sweeter, and more aromatic, and it tastes better compared to that of classic strawberries. When harvested, it's challenging to bring them home; they're almost always consumed on the spot. The sweet and refreshing aroma takes us back to childhood memories, like a Sunday walk in the woods.
How to transplant strawberry plants?
The city's climate is milder compared to rural areas, allowing us to start planting right away instead of waiting for April! If you start now, you'll be ahead and will see your first fruits sooner. So, what are you waiting for?
But remember to choose a cold-resistant variety. Wild strawberries are perfect for transplanting at this time, and they are much easier to grow than classic strawberries due to their hardiness. The quickest method is to order our varieties that arrive conveniently at your doorstep and are ready for transplanting in your garden. Check out our catalog! You'll find varieties perfect for urban life!
Make sure to cover the plant's crown area at the same height as the soil surface, not too low or too high! If you plant multiple seedlings in the same container, it's a good idea to space them at least 20 cm apart, allowing room for lateral development.
General tips to keep in mind
To grow wild strawberries, choose a shaded location, not in full sun, as direct light could burn the leaves. Being a woodland plant, it prefers sandy and well-draining soil. An excellent solution is coconut fiber, which has a much lighter and crumbly consistency compared to traditional soil or peat, and it's also eco-friendly!
At Hexagro, we have chosen to use coconut fiber as a substrate to give a second life to this coconut industry by-product and, in return, grow natural and healthy plants—an excellent compromise for the circular economy, to which you can contribute too. If you want to learn more, read "Why choose coconut fiber as a growing substrate?"
Recreate woodland moisture with an irrigation system
The soil should be kept reasonably moist by regularly watering it, depending on the climatic conditions and the development phase. This makes an irrigation system essential for growing wild strawberries. As a forest plant, it requires well-drained soil, meaning it shouldn't be too wet or have water stagnation, as strawberries are particularly sensitive to root rot and crown rot.
A good dose of nutrients required!
To have a vigorous and productive plant, you'll need moist and nutrient-rich soil. These are the elements that naturally thrive in the woods. If the soil is poor, you'll need to intervene with good organic fertilization. This way, the strawberry plant can absorb healthy nutrients, grow well, and have a superb taste.
If you're an urban farmer, the easiest way is to administer liquid fertilizer, preferably organic, easy to use, and not messy! You can conveniently dilute it in water and water the plants. Even better, if you want someone else to do the work for you, check out the new fertigation systems that perform two actions in one: fertilization and irrigation.
Grow your strawberries with ease: discover Poty, the guided garden!
If just the thought of keeping in mind all the precautions described above gives you a headache, you'll be pleased to know that with Poty, the automated vertical garden developed by Hexagro, you can receive all the Growing Kit you need at home with just one click.
All you need to do is transplant the wild strawberry seedlings into Poty's middle levels, and your plants will have the right amount of shade to avoid direct sunlight, the automated drip fertigation system will keep the soil consistently moist, and the organic nutrients will give your fruits an incredible taste.
Discover how to start your strawberry cultivation with Poty now!