How to Grow Strawberries Under a Grow Light

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Things You'll Need

  • Basket or pot

  • Sphagnum moss

  • Potting soil

  • Water

  • Strawberry plants, ever-bearing type

  • Scissors

  • Grow light in fixture

  • Fertilizer

  • Small paintbrush

Strawberries can be grown indoors using a grow light.

Strawberries are a popular summer crop, but once the weather changes fresh berries can be very hard to come by. For gardeners who can't get enough of this sweet, red fruit, strawberries can be grown indoors, as long as adequate lighting is provided. Try your strawberries in hanging baskets under grow lights for best results.

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Step 1

Line the basket with sphagnum moss. It should be fairly thick on the bottom but can be thinner on the sides. Fill the basket the rest of the way with potting soil. Water until the soil is soaked and allow it to drain.

Step 2

Trim the roots of the strawberry plants so that they are no more than 5 inches long. Remove any damaged or diseased sections.

Step 3

Plant the strawberry plants in the soil. Spread the roots out so that they are not bunched up before you cover them with soil. Bury the roots up to where they join at the stem. Don't overcrowd the basket, as the plants need room to grow and spread.

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Step 4

Place the grow light near the strawberry plants. Hang it above them or place it on a stand near them. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the correct distance from the light to the plants. It is important to use a full-spectrum grow light, as the strawberries will not develop or ripen without the proper kind of light.

Step 5

Expose the plants to light for at least eight hours per day, though the light can be on up to 16 hours, if you choose. The plants need a rest period where there is no light for at least eight hours each day. If the strawberries are placed in a location where they get as much sunlight as possible the need for artificial lighting is reduced.

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Step 6

Tap the flowers gently with the paintbrush, going from one to another, to spread the pollen throughout the blossoms. Strawberries are self-pollinating, but though that means you can get berries from a single plant, when grown indoors they still need some help spreading the pollen from flower to flower. Otherwise there will not be any fruit.

Step 7

Water the berries whenever the soil gets dry. Fertilize lightly once a month. Avoid getting berries wet, to minimize potential fungus problems.

Tip

Don’t use June-bearing strawberries, as they are unlikely to produce fruit at other times of the year. Ever-bearing types are best, but day-neutral berries will also work in most cases. You can use a strawberry pot instead of a hanging basket, but when growing indoors the air circulation provided by a basket helps to prevent fungal problems in the plants.

Warning

Use caution when watering the strawberries. If water gets on the grow light it could cause an electrical short. You also want to avoid water running through the planter and onto the furniture or floor.

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references

Cindy Quarters

A recipient of a business and technology degree from the master's program at West Coast University, Cindy Quarters has been writing professionally since 1984. Past experience as a veterinary technician and plenty of time gardening round out her interests. Quarters has had work featured in Radiance Magazine and the AKC Gazette.