Most people would think that growing fresh, nutritious vegetables without soil is ridiculous. How would the plants get the proper nutrients? How will it grow properly? Isn’t it impossible to grow such large vegetables without soil? These are just a few questions people ask when they hear about hydroponics.
Hydroponics is a process where people can plant vegetables and other crops without the use of soil. Hydroponic farmers, instead, get the nutrients that their plants need through the water. Although this way of planting might seem futuristic, hydroponics has long been used by farmers way back in Mesopotamia. Perhaps, one famous example of hydroponics is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Modern farmers have improved from the old ways with ingenuity and innovation and have since been receiving bountiful harvests from hydroponic gardens. With that said, what do hydroponic farmers consider the best and easy crops to plant? Here are some of these plants:
One of the most popular and go-to crops to plant in hydroponics is lettuce. This earthy green is a healthy addition to salads and sandwiches. In addition, hydroponic farmers have noticed the rate that lettuce grows in a hydroponic setting. Since then, hydroponic-grown lettuce has been one of the best yielding crops and is a good choice for those just starting their hydroponic garden.
With a basic hydroponic system, you can quickly grow lettuce without a problem. For the best equipment, you can head on to https://www.hydrocentre.com.au/hydroponicsystems. Remember, to grow the best vegetables; you also need to have the best gear and equipment for the task.
Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? Botanically speaking, tomatoes are fruit. Commercially speaking, tomatoes are considered vegetables. Whatever you call them, tomatoes are also a staple when it comes to hydroponic gardens.
Enthusiasts and farmers alike enjoy growing tomatoes within their gardens. Aside from the great yields they produce, there’s just nothing that beats the taste of homegrown tomatoes. Hydroponic farmers also grow lots of tomato varieties with their setups.
Another leafy green that’s popular with hydroponic farmers is kale. Compared to lettuce, kale has been growing in hydroponic environments for years. Kale also thrives better in a properly maintained hydroponic setup.
Kale is a favorite in salads. It’s also a good substitute for beef and is dubbed as the “new beef,” making it a popular choice for vegan diners. Kale has more iron than beef per calorie. It is also a rich source of calcium that’s easily absorbed by the body compared to the calcium found in milk.
As a kid, a lot of us would remember Popeye downing a can of spinach for strength. Popeye’s strength from eating spinach is actually not that far-fetched, as spinach is one of the most nutritious greens around. These leafy greens are a rich source of potassium and Vitamin A. Spinach thrives excellently in hydroponic gardens.
Best of all, you can harvest just the leaves of a spinach plant and continue to harvest them when the leaves grow back. In the best conditions, hydroponic farmers can have 12 weeks of continuous harvest with spinach plants.
Peppers can be grown in hydroponic gardens and can also get a good yield. However, just like tomatoes, peppers need a lot of sunlight to grow properly. Although not all varieties of peppers can be grown, there are considerable varieties to consider.
For hot peppers, Jalapeno and Habanero are the top pics. For milder varieties, hydroponic farmers favor Fellini, Nairobi, Cubico, and Mazurka. After bearing fruit, it typically takes 2 or 3 months for the pods to mature and be ready for harvest.
Perhaps one of the most used herbs in the kitchen, basil is often grown by many hydroponic farmers in their setups as well. Basil thrives in either an NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) or a drip system. Take note that basil loves soaking in light as well. Most basil requires up to 11 hours of sunlight to grow properly.
Upon reaching maturity, you can trim and harvest it weekly. Fully-grown basil adds that necessary aroma and flavor to a lot of dishes. You can mostly find basil in pasta, fish, and meat dishes.
Another favorite aromatic ingredient in the kitchen is chives. Chives go well on a lot of dishes and are often used as a garnish. These small leafy herbs are easier to grow in a hydroponic setup rather than traditional growing.
Upon growing, it approximately takes 3 to 4 weeks to fully mature. After that, you can harvest chives. Be sure to leave a small portion of the plant intact as it only takes 3-4 weeks to regrow, allowing you another good harvest.
Growing plants without soil might sound impossible, but many people are already doing hydroponics for a long time. The plants mentioned above are some of the easiest and most popular to grow with hydroponic setups.
Aside from a bountiful harvest, hydroponic gardens also help conserve space. This way of planting is quickly becoming a good alternative for sustainable farming practices. In the future, don’t be surprised to see hydroponics being integrated with living spaces and commercial spaces.