Hydroponics. Persian princess Soraya, or how to grow premium strawberries from seeds

Soraya F1 Seed-grown Strawberry
Soraya F1 Seed-grown Strawberry

Growing plants is one of my main hobbies, and in this article I will show you how to grow delicious strawberries from seeds.

Why from seed? It’s easier not to bother, but to buy seedlings! – some will say. But alas, with purchased seedlings, not everything is as simple as it might seem at first glance. The main problem of purchased seedlings is fungal diseases and the presence of eggs or pest larvae. Even when purchasing seedlings from well-known European nurseries, you risk getting infected plants, and bringing unwanted guests to your garden plot in the form of thrips, spider mites, leafhoppers, whiteflies and others like them.

Growing strawberries from seeds allows you to get healthy, sterile plants in a short period of time, and avoid unexpected encounters with fungal infections and insect pests.

What you need to grow strawberries from seeds:

  1. Strawberry seeds

  2. Coconut substrate / mineral wool

  3. Growing tank

  4. Purified water

  5. Fertilizers

  6. Conductivity meter (EC meter)

  7. scales

  8. Luminaires for lighting seedlings

  9. Socket – timer

Strawberry seeds

As a planting material, we use Soraya F1 strawberry seeds for professional cultivation from the company of Dutch breeders ABZ Seeds… They look like this:

Fragaria ananassa Soraya F1 original seeds
Fragaria ananassa Soraya F1 original seeds

The seeds are already ready for sowing, and do not require additional dances with a tambourine in the form of stratification. You just need to sow seeds in the substrate and wait for shoots.

Coconut substrate

Coconut is an ideal starting medium for growing strawberries from seed. But, unfortunately, it requires flushing – initially there are too many unnecessary salts and sand in it. It is necessary to rinse the coconut substrate at least 3 times; for rinsing, use purified water – reverse osmosis or distillate. Everything is simple here: we fill the dry coconut substrate with water, let it swell, mix and let it settle. On top we will have a layer of coconut that we need, and down will settle sand, stones, dirt and heavy coconut fraction. We don’t need it. Carefully, so as not to scoop up dirt from the bottom, remove the upper fraction of the coconut using a drushlag sieve, and dispose of the remaining dirt with water, and repeat the washing procedure 2 more times, or until the electrical conductivity of the solution does not exceed 0.2 mS / cm (Here we need an EC meter)

Growing tank

Anything can be used as a container – from transparent plastic candy boxes to a regular tray from seedling cassettes. The main condition in choosing a container is to be able to arrange a mini-greenhouse – to pull a transparent cling film on top or cover it with a transparent lid.


For the preparation of nutrient solutions and for washing the coconut, purified water must be used – reverse osmosis is ideal for these purposes. It is highly discouraged to use ordinary tap or well water. If there is no reverse osmosis, you can buy distilled water at a gas station. But this is an expensive pleasure, it is better to purchase for yourself a budget reverse osmosis system, consisting of a prefilter and a membrane. Reverse osmosis can and should be used for drinking – your kidneys will thank you for not clogging your body with unnecessary salts.


Plants, like any living organisms, require proper balanced nutrition. Therefore, in order to provide strawberries with suitable nutrition, it is necessary to prepare a nutrient solution from fertilizers, which can be purchased at a specialized garden store, or ordered on the Internet – as you like. Here is a list of what you will need to prepare the nutrient solution:

List of ingredients for preparing the nutrient solution

1.Calcium nitrate (I recommend Yara Calcinit)

2.Potassium nitrate (potassium nitrate)

3.Potassium monophosphate (IFC)

4.Magnesium sulfate (can be pharmaceutical, in crystals)

5.Valagro Master 13:40:13

6.Magnesium nitrate (magnesium nitrate)

7.Rexolin APN or Brexil combi + (This is a micronutrient cocktail)

Conductivity meter (EU meter)

Used to measure the conductivity of a solution. An essential tool for monitoring the concentration of dissolved salts in water. It is not necessary to purchase an expensive device, you can get by, for example, a Chinese one.


An accurate balance with a scale of 0.01 gram is required. Used to weigh the components from which the nutrient solution is prepared

Seedling lamps

Growing strawberries from seeds requires a bright white light with a color temperature of 4000K. There are many different options for luminaires, with a fairly wide range of prices. But for good energy efficiency, you should use LED luminaires consisting of LEDs with high luminous efficiency – this parameter should be at least 150 Lm / W. Such light output is provided, for example, by Samsung or Osram LEDs. In order to understand what the light output of the luminaire is – you should pay attention to the amount of luminous flux – it is indicated in Lumens (Lm). Then it is necessary to divide the luminous flux (Lm) by the power consumption of the luminaire (W). The resulting number is the light output parameter of our luminaire.

Socket – timer

Needed to automate the plant illumination mode. Of course, you can do without it – manually turn on and off the lamps at the same time, but I guarantee that you will not be enough for a long time 🙂

Sowing strawberry seeds

For sowing strawberry seeds, we use pre-washed and squeezed coconut substrate. Pour a small layer of coconut into the container for growing – 1 to 2 cm thick, distribute it evenly over the entire container and tamp it slightly. We make small indentations with a pencil at a distance of about 1 cm from each other, and carefully place 1 seed on the bottom of each hole. You cannot sprinkle seeds on top, because they germinate in the light!

Next, we carefully moisten them with our nutrient solution using a spray bottle, be sure to cover our container with sown seeds with cling film or a transparent lid, and send them to a dark place for a day.

Important! The temperature during seed germination should not exceed 22 degrees Celsius, otherwise everything can turn out to be rather sad – the embryos will simply die. Strawberry seeds do not tolerate temperatures above 22 degrees, the optimum temperature for germinating seeds is 20 degrees. After a day, the seeds will absorb enough moisture and will be ready to germinate. Starting from the 2nd day, we place our container with sown seeds under a bright white light and forget about them for several days. At this stage, it is preferable to set the light mode on the timer to 16/8 (16 o’clock in the afternoon, 8 o’clock at night). Seeds germinate on the 3rd day.

7 days from sowing seeds
7 days from sowing seeds

The first two weeks after germination of seeds, it is necessary to keep our container with sprouts under the film, but every 3-4 days it is necessary to remove the film for 30 minutes to allow excess moisture to evaporate and provide the flow of fresh air to the plants. The entire film is removed from the beginning of the third week. Watering the seedlings can also be started from the third week, since because of the greenhouse that we have arranged in the growing container, the evaporating moisture condenses on the film and returns back to the coconut. Only you need to water carefully so that the nutrient solution does not get on the leaves of our seedlings. You can use a syringe to do this.

30 days from shoots.  On the eve of the picking of seedlings
30 days from shoots. On the eve of the picking of seedlings

Next stage – picking seedlings. Seedlings are picked 30 days after seed germination. The pick should be made into the substrate on which it is planned to carry out the full cycle of strawberry cultivation – it can be mineral wool, coconut substrate or peat. Strawberry seedlings are carefully removed from the container using tweezers, with a small lump of coconut, and placed in the chosen substrate, while the seedling must be deepened into the substrate to the first leaves. If necessary, you can add coconut substrate to the recess with the dived seedling.

After diving into mineral wool
After diving into mineral wool
Rooting in rock wool was successful
Rooting in rock wool was successful

The cut seedlings are spilled abundantly with nutrient solution and placed under bright white light, with a minimum illumination of about 20,000 lux at leaf level. A week after picking into a small mineral cube, the seedling will take root, and a small cube can be inserted into a large one – in case the pick was made into intermediate mineral wool cubes.

Further, the seedlings grow without transplants within two months to the state of full-fledged seedlings, ready to generate flower stalks.

58 days from germination.  A mustache is growing, which must be torn off
58 days from germination. A mustache is growing, which must be torn off

During these two months, the seedlings will intensively generate whiskers, which must be cut off, so that the plant does not waste its energy, but concentrates on its development, and is ready to release flower stalks on about 100 days from germination, which, after flowering and pollination will tie a wonderful delicious berry.

Watering the seedlings should be done as the substrate dries up, so that about 30% of the irrigation solution goes into the drainage (Example: 100 ml of nutrient solution is poured under the root, about 30 ml of drainage should flow out. – we reduce the amount of watering). The electrical conductivity (EC) of the watering solution should be in the first month (before the pick) – from 1.1 to 1.2 mS, in the second month (after the pick) from 1.2 to 1.3 mS, in the third month – from 1.3 to 1.4 mS, after three months – you can safely increase the concentration to 1.5 -1.6 mS, which corresponds to 100% concentration of the nutrient solution.

Preparing the nutrient solution

Starting Nutrition Profile for Strawberry Seeds, EC 1.67
Starting Nutrition Profile for Strawberry Seeds, EC 1.67

To prepare 1 liter of nutrient solution, we perform the following steps, in 3 stages:

Stage 1

We weigh:

0.66g Calcinite

0.4g Potassium nitrate

0.1g magnesium nitrate

We add these components to 0.5 liters of water, and vigorously shake the water until they are completely dissolved.

Stage 2

We weigh:

0.1g IFC

0.27g magnesium sulfate

0.14g fertilizer Valagro 13:40:13

0.03g Brexil combi or Rexolin APN

We add these components to 0.5 liters of water, and vigorously shake the water until they are completely dissolved.

Stage 3

Combine our two solutions together, shake them slightly, and we get 1 liter of nutrient solution with an EC of 1.67 mS. This solution should be diluted with water to the required concentration for each stage of seedling development. The prepared solution is stored in a cool place for up to two weeks. Shake the solution before use.

If you have read this article to the very end, then you are really interested in the process of growing strawberries from seeds in hydroponics, so I want to invite you to the chat of city farmers https://t.me/cityfarmers , in which you can learn more about the cultivation of strawberries, and ask your questions.

If you are interested in the story of my growing Soraya on mineral mats this summer under the sun – you can browse the channel https://t.me/strwberryhouse , on it the whole history of growing Soraya from seeds to berries, along with all the recipes for nutrient solutions for different stages of plant development.

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