So you are going to try your hand at hydroponic gardening. Welcome to the club. After one crop, you will find that you were missing out on the best-kept secret of home gardening available. Contrary to what you might think, there aren’t many plants that you can’t grow in a hydroponic garden. In fact, if it’s a plant and requires water, it can be grown in a hydroponic garden. Plus, it’s easier to accommodate this type of gardening in tight and small spaces in your home.
“What about root vegetables” might be what you are thinking at this moment. Yes, even root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes can be grown without the soil they become roots in. Yet, growing root vegetables may be a bit challenging for your first hydroponic garden so why don’t we take a look at the crops new gardeners have found to reap a great deal of produce the first time around.
Before we do though, you should consider the brands and types of indoor hydroponic gardens available on the market. If you are a beginner, you should consider an Aerogarden, which are relatively simple to use. They also come in a variety of sizes that will fit in any home. So, without any further ado, let me give you the list of crops you should consider when gardening using this method.
1. Cherry Tomatoes
These little red orbs of goodness are quite receptive to hydroponic gardens, especially those that are placed indoors. Tomatoes are very fond of the sun though and need it to produce fruit. So, if you are able to, be sure to place your hydroponic garden where it will get ample sunlight, or, if you don’t have that option, you might want to invest in a grow light that stands alone, or get the kits that include the LED grow light.
Hydroponic gardens are terrific when growing leafy greens. Besides that, when you have a nice selection of lettuces available, all you need to do when you want a salad is to trim off a few leaves at a time. The problem of leaving lettuces in your refrigerator long enough for them to get rusty at the root will no longer exist, and you will have a constant source of fresh lettuce as long as you have your garden. Romaine and Bibb lettuces are excellent starter lettuces.
You can go crazy with herbs in your hydroponic garden. If you have the room and can afford two, you could use one just for planting the flavors you use in your kitchen frequently. There are quite a few herbs that thrive in a hydroponic setting including basil, chamomile, chervil, cilantro, chives, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, sage, mint, oregano, lavender, marjoram, mint, catnip, anise, dill, fennel, coriander, and parsley.
Do you see a pattern of water vegetables being the best choices for hydroponic gardens? Cucumbers are no different. They also produce a great crop when planted in a hydroponic setting. Just as with the tomatoes, cucumbers require a great deal of sun as well, so make sure your crop gets enough natural or artificial sun. You may also want to consider bush cucumber plants opposed to the vine variety because you will need a trellis to support the latter after it gets to be a certain size. This can prove to be difficult for an indoor garden.
We all know how great spinach is for us. It’s low in fat and cholesterol and full of protein, fiber, thiamin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. There is no doubt that when you are planning a healthy diet, spinach is high on the list of best foods. It’s also a great crop to start your hydroponic garden. You can treat it like your lettuce, cutting off a few leaves at a time, which can ensure a constant supply of fresh spinach in your home.
Sticking with the theme of “watery vegetables”, it seems peppers are also lovers of hydroponic gardens. Capsicums, as they are known in some parts of the world, are also lovers of sunlight so stick them in the same garden with your tomatoes and cucumbers. The nice thing is, these flavor-packed vegetables are not only low in calories, they are also chock full of vitamins A and C.
This superfood is another leafy green that flourishes in a hydroponic garden. Unfortunately, the non-organic varieties of kale are coated with pesticides and organic brands aren’t always in season. If you save space in your indoor garden for kale you will have this healthy vegetable available for your meals year round. If you are a person who enjoys healthy juices, then this is a great idea. And, you will be positive that the kale you have is free of dangerous chemicals.
We have one fruit on the list, but it’s seriously a popular one. You may want to read up on growing strawberries first, but with a hydroponic garden that has a great design, like the Aerogarden, it shouldn’t be too hard to have this great tasting colorful berry all year right in your home. Strawberry starter runners, which can be found where they sell garden supplies in your area, can be put in your refrigerator for a few months. Then, you plant them in your hydroponic garden. The blast of cold over those months will ignite their growth, and they should start flowering soon after they are planted.
Hydroponic gardens, especially those that are indoors, are beneficial to your health and wellbeing of your family. When you have a constant supply of readily available vegetables in your home, odds are, you and your family will eat healthier. Not only that, think of all the money you will save at the grocery store. Added bonuses are the freedom from chemical pesticides and your step toward a self-sustainable food supply.