Growing broccoli and strawberries indoors

by Dan
(Plainfield Il.)

Outdoor tomato line

Outdoor tomato line

Hi Stella,

Things are going great here with some herbs, tomato, pepper, lettuce and cucumbers etc. I have enclosed several pics of my current indoor and outdoor gardens. I have several questions however that I hope that you can shed some light on. 1. Is it best to start strawberries from seeds, or just "jump start" them from seedlings. 2. How long does it take for a strawberry plant to start producing in a hydro system. 3. What is the productive life expectancy of a strawberry plant (seasons/years)? 4. I know nothing about growing broccoli, so please advise to the first 3 questions above regarding broccoli also. Add my last question to the list about what is a good way to harvest broccoli, by taking the entire plant, or by "cutting" parts/stalks?

Thanks in advance for your guidance!
Dan Wagner
____________________________

Hi Dan,
Your garden looks super! Our forum system will soon have the capability of allowing multiple pics, can't wait!

I will be honest, we have never done strawberries in hydro, but we have grown them in soil gardens in the past. But we have visited a hydro strawberry farm to gather info. We are going to do strawberries when we get to our new digs in the forest; more room. We have had great success with broccoli in hydro, and they are so tasty!

So here goes to answer your questions:
Strawberries:
1. Use baby plants, not seeds. Even commercial farms do this.
2. It takes 4-5 weeks to start producing berries.


3. Strawberries can be grown as annuals or perennials (you can pull them out and discard after one season of crop, or nurture them as a perennial crop if your setup is good for that). You can get 3-5 years of production out of a strawberry plant. Cut off the runners that arise to keep the plant compact and productive. After it quits bearing, cut the plant down to 2-3 inches and let it go dormant for a while. This is why a lot of folks use vertical towers specially dedicated to a strawberry patch. Check out the two links at the bottom for more info on strawberries.
----------------------
Broccoli:
1. Use baby seedlings, not seeds.
2. Broccoli takes 50-60 days, it is only an annual, not perennial, but there is a way to harvest for maximum production:
3. Don't wait too long to harvest broccoli or the thick cluster of blue-green buds will separate and turn into yellow flowers (bolt). At this point it is past it's prime. Harvest when the buds are still tight and dark green. Cut the main head cleanly off down the stalk 6 to 8 inches to encourage maximum side shoot production. After the main stalk is harvested, the plant will produce numerous tender side shoots--each 1 to 4 inches across--for as long as six weeks afterward. Four to six cuttings of side shoots are possible.

Here are the links for strawberries:
Aquaberry Farm
Vertigro

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