6 Plants That Every Hydroponics Beginner Should Grow
Hydroponics is a type of gardening that grows plants in a solution of water and nutrients rather than soil. In cases where gardening space is limited, hydroponic beginner systems are preferable.
If you live in an apartment or house with no gardening space but want to grow your plants, you can start with a hydroponic system. Then, you can set up a simple design and have a bountiful harvest.
The best hydroponic beginner has three starter-friendly systems: water culture, wick, and ebb and flow. Once you set up your system, it’s best to start with the easiest plants and advance to other plants later. Here are some of the plants I consider beginner friendly.
Lettuce is perfect for making salads, sandwiches, burgers, and vegetarian recipes. It’s one of the most common vegetables grown in hydroponic systems. Lettuce can grow in any hydroponic system you set up; it takes two months to start harvesting.
Tomatoes can be grown hydroponically but require more light. I recommend investing in grow lights to grow healthy tomatoes. The pH levels range from 5.5 to 6.5. Also, growing your own tomatoes is better than buying them in the stores.
Cucumbers are vining plants that thrive in commercial greenhouses. However, you can also grow them in your simple hydroponic system. There are various choices to pick from American slicers, seedless variants, elongated European cucumbers, or smooth Lebanese cucumbers.
All types of cucumbers flourish in hydroponic systems, but you may have to regulate to high temperatures and provide ample light. The pH levels should be at 5.5 to 6.0.
Green beans are also productive and low-maintenance plants great for your hydroponic systems. They can be used in most meals, and what better way to serve your family healthy vegetables. You can choose to grow pinto beans, pole, string, and green beans.
If you plant to grow string or pole beans, be prepared to set up a trellis to support your growing plants. The plant takes 3 to 8 days to shoot from germination, and harvesting starts from 6 to 8 weeks. After harvesting, you can continue growing the plant and expect to harvest two to three more times from the same plant.
Basil is one of the most common herbs used in most households. The herb thrives in NFT and Drip hydroponic systems. It grows fast and takes 3 weeks to reach maturity. After that, you can harvest almost daily for months. Basil requires a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5. warm temperature, and 11 hours of uninterrupted light daily.
If you love strawberries, you might as well grow them in your home. Strawberries are expensive to buy and seasonal. But if you grow them, you can enjoy your fruits all season and save some cash. In addition, the plant is easy to maintain as long as you provide enough nutrient solution, water, and light, you can have them all year.
What Is The Easiest Hydroponic Plant to Grow
Vegetables, fruits, and herbs are the easiest plants to grow in hydroponic systems. These plants are easy to grow, take less space, and take shorter periods to reach maturity. If you are vegetarian, leafy greens such as kales, spinach, lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, and other vegetables would be best suited.
I love spicy food, so my hydroponic system has tried bell pepper, hot peppers, basil, mints, chives, cilantro, and rosemary. I use them to make soup dishes, cocktails, and meat dishes. You can also try out fruits such as cherry tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, and other small fruit trees.
What Plants Cannot Be Grown Hydroponically?
Hydroponics at home for beginners is easy to set up in your small space. However, not all plants can grow well in such a setup. Unlike soil farming, you can control hydroponic systems to have bountiful harvests.
The plants you should avoid are vining plants such as grapes, passion fruits, or zucchini. However, if you have space vertically, you can set up a trellis to support the plant, but you should avoid them for beginners.
Beginner hydroponics growers should avoid tall plants like corn, trees, and bushy plants. Usually, the height adds weight to the plant, and the water system can’t support it to maturity. Furthermore, trees take years, and they either break and fall or destroy the hydroponic system as they grow bigger.
Tuber plants such as onions, radishes, turmeric, ginger, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and other root plants are not for hydroponic systems. Root plants are challenging to grow hydroponically because the edible part is located on the roots. Such plants thrive in soil and water-based systems, limiting them from reaching their potential.
In addition, avoid plants that bear large fruits, such as melons, watermelons, squash, cantaloupe, butternuts, and winter melons. These plants are tough to grow and require considerable space and expert knowledge to grow them in hydroponic systems. For a hydroponic beginner, avoid any plant that would stress you out. Start with easy plants and advance once you find your way around your hydroponic system.
Starting your gardening journey as a hydroponic beginner can be exciting. You have a plethora of plants that can be grown hydroponically. Be sure to plant something you enjoy eating or cooking at home. That way, you can reduce grocery bills and enjoy fresh food.
As you prepare to start your hydroponic garden, also make sure you consider water sources, light, and temperature to avoid your plants having stunted growth. Other than that, I hope you enjoy your gardening experience like no other.