If you love gardening and want to take your skills to the next level, a hydroponic garden can keep your green thumbs moving all year round. As an efficient, indoor, soilless alternative to your backyard garden, hydroponic gardening allows you to grow whatever you want and regulate the environmental factors yourself. Whether you’re searching for your next big food experiment or a way to garden without using the backyard, you’ll be surprised at all the different things you can grow with hydroponics.
For Beginners: Herbs, Strawberries, and Leafy Greens
Hydroponic gardening takes time, patience, and practice to understand fully—just like any other hobby. Before you dive deep into growing complicated and space-consuming crops, such as melons, learn the basics with these simpler options for hydroponic crops:
Sometimes, starting small is the easiest way to teach yourself a new hobby. A hydroponic herb garden can sit right on your countertop or hang on your wall in a vertical setup. Not only will you learn the basics of the essential elements in a hydroponic nutrient solution and pH levels, but growing your own fresh herbs means you’ll also save yourself a pretty penny when shopping for ingredients. Pick the outer leaves off as you need them, and fawn over the freshness of home-grown hydroponic herbs all year long.
Strawberries are truly the gift that keeps on giving in the culinary world—and they’re oh so easy to grow! However, the fact that the best strawberries grow only during the springtime may keep you longing for fresh, juicy berries during the rest of the year. Growing your strawberry plants in a hydroponic system will provide them with the perfect environment. That way, you’ll always have a yummy addition to your favorite salads and desserts—or even just a spontaneous snack.
Lettuce and Spinach
Leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach, thrive on water—making them excellent beginner candidates for your hydroponic garden. Much like herbs, you can pick leaves as you need them to promote continuous growth and lengthen your plants’ lifespan.
Though they’re a bit trickier to grow than the beginner options, the wide variety of unique peppers make them a notable entry on the list of different things you can grow with hydroponics. The difficulty of growing peppers comes from their need for 18 hours of light per day from a light source about six inches above the plants. Though they’re needy, they’ll reward you with a quick snack or seasoning for any dish you make.
Let’s be real—tomatoes are challenging to grow, whether you have them in a container or a backyard garden. However, growing them in a hydroponic system allows you to have better control over their surroundings. The ability to troubleshoot your tomato plants in a hydroponic garden and pinpoint sick plants can save your crop. Like peppers, tomatoes require a lot of light throughout the day. Different varieties of tomatoes may challenge you more than others.
Overall, having the option to control the environment your plants grow in down to the nutrients that they absorb can help you grow delicious fruits, vegetables, and herbs. If you’re up for the challenge of a hydroponic garden, it can give your out-of-season dishes the fresh pop of flavor they need during the colder months.