At first glance, growing plants without soil sounds like an endeavor that would be doomed to fail from the start and you may be wondering what can you grow with hydroponics?
However, hydroponics have been around for a number of years and this method has been very successful. Basically, with hydroponics, you can grow certain plants in either liquids, sand, or gravel. The prefix “hydro” means water.
A hydroponic system is an efficient way of growing healthy, nutrient-packed vegetables, herbs, and greens that are grown off-season or in small spaces. When in soil, plants have to grow very large root systems to literally branch out to find nutrients.
In hydroponics, you’re “bathing” and feeding the plant roots with a hydroponic nutrient solution. This feeds the plants while also discouraging the roots from growing too long.
What Kinds Of Plants Can You Grow Using This Method?
Naturally growing herbs are perfect for hydroponic gardens, because they tend to be on the small side, don’t need deep root systems, and can be set up in a kitchen window for easy access while cooking.
Some common herbs you can get started growing are tarragon, peppermint, regular green mint, oregano, basil, sage, lemon balm, and rosemary. Start your herbs from seedlings and then transfer to hydroponic pots. Snipping a leaf or stem here and there to add to your dish actually encourages these herbs to grow better.
You can grow certain types of fruits in a hydroponics setup. It’s great to have fresh fruit indoors year round. One of the best fruits to grow is strawberries. They are small and compact, they enjoy the water, and you can extend their short peak growing season for much longer.
Don’t just stop with strawberries, though. All the berries can be grown successfully in a hydroponic setup. Try out blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Grapes can also do well. They need some space, because they have vines.
Other popular fruits include melons because they love water. Dwarf citrus trees like lemon trees or orange trees make a nice addition to your hydroponic garden.
You can also grow plenty of delicious veggies with hydroponics. Tomatoes, while technically a fruit, are one of the most popular choices. These bright red summer gems actually thrive, even when the soil is taken away. Tomatoes come in a variety of sizes, so choose smaller ones like cherry or Roma tomatoes. The large beefsteak varieties might be too heavy for a hydroponic setup, but it depends on what you have.
Tomatoes are vine vegetables and they do so well, which means other types of vegetables like that will also thrive. You can grow peas, cucumbers, and pole beans.
Any type of bush-style green bean or wax bean is another great choice for hydroponics. These crunchy veggies taste great raw or can be cooked as well.
Believe it or not, you can grow potatoes in a hydroponic set up. They need a lot of depth in order to grow their best, since they’re a root crop. Potatoes do most of their growing below the typical soil surface. Provide them with enough space and they will give you delicious potatoes. There are fingerling and other smaller types that don’t need as much space.
What are some other veggies that grow beneath the soil that also work in a hydroponics situation? Those include onions, leeks, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, yams, and radishes. They all require extra care because they are designed to grow beneath the soil.
Any type of lettuce variety does very well just growing in water. You can try iceberg, Romaine, butter lettuce, and others. Spinach, especially baby spinach, is a great idea, too. Bell peppers of any color will do well in a hydroponic garden. To go along with your cucumbers, grow celery, too.
Cabbage is another type of vegetable you can grow in hydroponics. It’s a cold weather veggie, so if your grow room is too warm, it might not thrive as well.
Happy for Hydroponic Growing
No more need for messy dirt, purchasing soil, or bringing the outdoors in. As a bonus, you can grow a much larger plant using hydroponics than you would in normal soil, because the roots are getting those nutrients right to them. Some plants won’t do very well in hydroponic conditions, so you wouldn’t grow them. Those examples include corn, zucchini, and summer squash.
But as long as you grow the correct plants and with the best nutrients, and you will get an amazing amount of yield.