Ever since farming was introduced many centuries back, the process has been revolutionized throughout the years. What seemed to be the only way of farming back then is now backdated, with the introduction of many new techniques and technologies in today’s era. One of the latest buzzes that gardeners are all talking about is the new hydroponic system that requires no soil at all. With the host of advantages that it brings about, many ask the question: what kind of crops can I grow hydroponically? The simple answer is that flowers, herbs, and vegetables are all able to thrive in hydroponic systems, except for fungi. In this article, we present to you a list of the more common crops that are suitable for hydroponic growing, along with some necessary information that you need to know. If you don’t have a hydroponic system yet, you can pick one up here or check out what we consider to be the best hydroponic systems here.
If the growing conditions are specifically set and tweaked to the ideal environment, basils can be grown and harvested any time throughout the year. Once they mature, they can be harvested but be sure to have them trimmed weekly. Basil not only grows well in traditional farming methods, but they also respond extremely well to hydroponic gardening.
With the absence of soil, you might think that chamomile will not grow very well but in fact, they also thrive in a soilless environment. With their high medicinal qualities that are believed to promote healing and reduce stress levels, chamomile is a relatively highly sought-after herb that gardeners look to when growing their own plants. Though they require a lot of sunlight, they are also tolerable to some shade. It takes about 6 weeks for chamomile to grow from seeds to their finished product, and about four to six weeks to become mature plants that are now ready to be sold or used to make chamomile tea.
A relative of the onion family, chives do not require a lot of space to grow, which is a plus point for indoor growing. Chives bring about a full range of flavors to the palette and are one of the go-to herbs used in a variety of dishes. Because they are highly adaptable to many different types of growing conditions, they are extremely easy to grow in hydroponic systems.
A relative of parsley with strong distinctive flavors embedded in the plant, cilantro is also widely used by gourmet chefs and amateur chefs in a myriad of dishes. Known as a highly successful hydroponic herb, they are able to withstand a range of pH conditions and do not need a strong supply of sunlight, and are hence able to continue growing in dimmer conditions. They require very little maintenance when they are growing, and only take about six weeks before they are ready to be harvested They are extremely easy to grow and even novice gardeners will have no problem growing their own cilantro.
Their high rate of growth makes cucumbers exceptionally ideal as fall crops. The seeds are normally planted in July, placed in the greenhouse during August, and harvested during the period of September to December. Cucumbers are just like semitropical plants, and thrive the best in high temperature, light intensity, and humidity, with high volumes of water and nutrients. They are easily grown in hydroponic systems, but the growing conditions have to be properly set in order to witness them growing rapidly in the heat.
Due to their fragrant aroma and aesthetic external buds in a light purple shade, lavenders are typically used to perfume clothes and work well as decorative pieces especially when they are dried. They are also commonly used to make aromatic vinegar and lavender water, making it a popular choice for gardeners to grow them. Their seeds do not germinate well, and you should use their cuttings for propagation. Though they require a longer period of time to fully mature and harvest, they are definitely worth growing hydroponically.
Leaf lettuce or semi-headed lettuce are the best varieties for hydroponic growing, which includes Boston, bibb, or black-seeded simpson. However, one thing to note about lettuce is that they require long durations of uninterrupted sunlight, so it is best to install a light fixture to supplement as a light source on cloudy and rainy days. They thrive better in cool temperatures, at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 degrees Fahrenheit during the night.
Even though mints are commonly grown on land, most of them are aquatic or semi-aquatic plants that require large volumes of water. Such varieties include spearmint, peppermint, and orange mint that grow best in water or near water sources. Since hydroponic systems provide just that, mint is a herb that grows really well in a hydroponic system. Their leaves will grow bigger and have more lush foliage compared to land-grown mints, so look forward to your fresh green mint that can be used in dishes or as decorative purposes.
Strawberries and other fruits can grow very well in hydroponic systems as well. They promise higher yields than the traditional farming methods and can produce a sufficient amount of berries to feed an average family of four for one whole year. Due to the versatile nature of hydroponic systems, strawberries do not have to grow seasonally as you can easily adjust the growing conditions indoors and outdoors with artificial light and the right temperature to help your strawberries grow healthily.
In a nutshell, most vegetables, fruits, and herbs grow really well in hydroponic systems, but it is good practice to do prior research before excitedly and blindly jumping into it. Online resources can recommend the ways of propagating since some crops have a better chance of germinating when they come in cuttings as compared to their seed forms. Regardless of what you grow hydroponically, be sure to constantly check your equipment if they are in good condition and functioning well, instead of just letting them be and risking a withered crop. Hydroponic systems are very easy to set up and maintain, so if you are thinking of trying your hand at it, go ahead and enjoy the soilless process!