Your hydroponic system is up and ready, so now the big question is, what can you grow using hydroponics? You’re probably dreaming of year-round bountiful harvests so you can enjoy fresh fruits and veggies with every meal regardless of the season. Luckily, hydroponics lets you make your dreams a reality!
Top Plants to Grow Using Hydroponics
Initially, your first crops should be simple plants, and then after you have a little experience, you can go on to more challenging cultivation choices. Below are eight of the top plants to grow using hydroponics.
Easy Hydroponic Lettuce
Crisp and crunchy, no salad is complete without lettuce. Luckily hydronic lettuce is one of the easiest veggies that you can grow using hydroponics. The plant boasts a shallow root system and needs no support. You can stagger your lettuce crops, so you have a continuous supply of the plant.
It takes 30 days from seed to harvest to grow lettuce hydroponically, and it grows best at a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0. Keep the temperature at 7 to 21 Celsius. For best growth results, choose from Romaine, Boston, Iceberg, Buttercrunch, or Bibb.
Hydroponic Strawberries for a Nutritious Sweet Treat
If you have ever cultivated strawberries outdoors, you know it’s a race to save a good crop from the birds who also enjoy the juicy fruits. Luckily, growing strawberries indoors hydroponically is easy and bountiful.
When grown hydroponically, you can enjoy sweet berries at any time. Harvesting is easy – no need to bend over to pick the fruit!
Enjoy fresh strawberries, all year.
Strawberries flourish in an ebb and flow hydroponic system, but you can also use deep water culture or nutrient film. Maintain a pH of 5.5 to 6.2. Purchase cold-stored runners to plant because seeds take too long. With cold-stored runners, you can enjoy the harvest in about 60 days.
The Challenge of Tomatoes
Yes, you can grow tomatoes hydroponically, but lighting is a bit tricky. Typically, tomatoes take 18 hours of light per day to grow and set fruit, so you’ll need to use grow lights. Grow time takes about 14 days. Maintain the pH level at 5/5 to 6.5 and the indoor temperature from 19 to 25 degrees Celsius.
Tomatoes are a great crop because they are packed with powerful antioxidants that can boost your immune system. They are also loaded with vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
Growing Blueberries Hydroponically
Blueberries challenge many gardeners because they need very acidic soil conditions to thrive, but you can grow them quickly in an acidic hydroponic solution. For best results, keep the pH from 4.5 to 5.8. They will need from 12 to 16 hours of light per day to set fruit.
You’ll want to start your blueberries hydroponically using transplants for best results. Keep the humidity from 65 to 75 percent. You can create staggered growth cycles so you can enjoy blueberries grown hydroponically year-round. It should also be noted that when growing blueberries hydroponically, they will need increased levels of sulfur to flourish.
If you are looking for a hydroponic crop that offers many health benefits, then blueberries are a definite consideration. Each of the juicy berries is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. Plus, they are filled with beneficial fiber. Many consider blueberries king when it comes to antioxidants which help protect your body from free radicals that can damage your body’s cells and lead to premature aging and cancer.
Hydroponic Spinach: The Superfood
Spinach is a true superfood. It is filled with calcium, iron, and magnesium. According to research, it can reduce your blood sugar, aid in bone growth, reduce hypertension, improve your eyesight, and even prevent certain cancers.
Growing spinach hydroponically is easy and rewarding. The plants are ready for harvest in 14 to 20 days when grown from seedlings. You can then harvest the leaves weekly for a non-stop supply of edible greens. When harvesting hydroponically grown spinach, always harvest the leaves on the outside of the plant and not the inside.
Spinach enjoys a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0. Keep the temperature from 18 to 20 degrees Celsius. With spinach, if you keep the temperature cold, then the spinach leaves have a sweet flavor.
Cucumbers for Sandwiches and Snacking
When grown hydroponically, cucumbers proliferate and produce impressive crops. You grow old-fashioned American sliders or go for the seedless European varieties. Another possibility is the smooth Lebanese cucumber types. Cucumbers love light and thrive at a pH of 5.5 to 6.0.
The juicy veggies are filling and remarkably hydrating. They are filled with antioxidants and help keep your gastrointestinal system regular.
Low Maintenance Hydroponic Beans
Beans produce well hydroponically and are very low-maintenance. You can choose pinot, pole, green, lima, or string. However, if you decide to grow pole or string beans, the plants will need trellis to climb and support the plant’s robust growth.
When beans are grown hydroponically, they take only three to eight days to germinate and then six to eight weeks. Grow the beans in a water pH level of 6.0 to 6.3.
Beans are known for being protein powerhouses. They are also filled with folate. A diet with ample beans helps promote heart health and balance blood glucose.
Bell Peppers in All Color
Peppers grow well hydroponically in the deep water culture method or using an ebb and flow technique. You’ll need to prune or pinch the plants to a height of about 20 centimeters to maintain fast growth, so they produce peppers and not an abundance of foliage.
Bell peppers take about 90 days until harvest. They thrive at a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Give them ample light; ideally, 18 hours per day. Keep the plants at least six inches away from the light for best growth.
Whether you choose red, orange, yellow, or green bell peppers, they are filled with vitamins A and C. They are also known for high levels of potassium. Each one will give you a fabulous dose of fiber, iron, and folate.
The sheer variety of vegetables and fruits you can grow hydroponically is impressive. Plants flourish in a hydroponic system and are bursting with flavor. Any of the top varieties are easy to grow and filled with nutrients.
Full of Vitamins A & C, potassium, fiber, iron and folate.