Hydroponics is one way to do successful indoor gardening. And if you’re planning to grow vegetables, know that certain types grow best in a hydroponic system. Thus, read more to find out the best vegetables for hydroponics so you can pluck them right away when it’s harvest time.
Now that you own an automated hydroponic system in your home, it’s time to start growing your vegetables. However, the big question is, what vegetables should you grow for your hydroponic garden?
Chances are, you want to grow them for your family’s consumption. Of course, that can happen. However, it’s important to take it slow before you run into some complications that could trigger you to drop the whole project.
Who doesn’t want to drop their hydroponics vegetable garden, right? As you keep reading, you’ll know more about the best vegetables for hydroponics and tips on how to grow them successfully.
Tips to grow your vegetables successfully
You may have a hydroponic CO2 controller to spend less effort taking care of your plants. However, you must stick to hydroponic-friendly vegetables since industrial ones in the market have fewer nutrients and poor quality nowadays.
There is also the consideration of space, time, and money if you’re dedicated to the whole notion of hydroponic gardening. For instance, you need to consider the current area, so it doesn’t make sense to plant 20 stalks of corn for a 24-inch container. Instead, you could choose a smaller type of vegetable, such as cherry tomatoes, for the size you own.
Furthermore, these are some of the helpful tips to grow your vegetables hydroponically.
– Proper lighting
Just because you use water to grow your vegetables doesn’t mean they don’t need sunlight. Sunlight is still essential for photosynthesis and nutrients, especially tomatoes and green leafy vegetables.
Fortunately, there is no need for sunlight if you currently own an automated growing system since it usually has a grow light included in it. However, if your system does not include a grow light, place your vegetables near the window, or you can buy a LED light if you want to. Plants need light 16 hours a day to simulate daylight.
Note that lighting is complicated since different vegetables require different lighting. Hence, we still recommend you to buy an automated growing system with a LED light such as this one so they can provide the proper lighting for your vegetables.
– pH Levels
You need to know that different water pH levels are different for types of vegetables. Not having the optimum pH level can reduce the number of vitamins and other nutrients for your plants. Hence, it’s essential to know the ideal pH levels of your vegetables and adjust the water accordingly.
Most plants thrive in a 5.5 to 6.5 pH level. However, it largely depends on the type of vegetables you want to grow. For this reason, we discuss the pH levels for the vegetables further in this article to help you in your growing journey.
– Temperature & Climate
Most vegetables thrive between 60 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to protect them from the heat generated by the LED light or the temperature outside your home. In short, you need to regulate the temperature required for the vegetables to thrive, whether the season is winter or summer, even if they’re planted indoors.
On the other hand, if you have an environmental controller such as this one from GrowDirector, you don’t need to take much effort. All you need to do is monitor the temperature and climate of your room through your phone or desktop.
Best vegetables for hydroponics
Now that you know some of the tips to grow your vegetables successfully in a hydroponic system, let’s head on to the best vegetables to grow. These are some of them for your indoor garden:
Good news if you’re into eating salads and sandwiches. Lettuce can grow in a Hydroponic system. It has high-speed growth with low maintenance when you want to grow them.
It is easy to grow lettuce in any hydroponic system. Hence it is one of the first choices when starting hydroponic gardening.
Furthermore, lettuce requires a cool temperature and pH level ranging between 6 and 7 to thrive. They also mature within a month or less.
Hydroponics is undoubtedly the best option to grow your greens at your home while increasing their nutrient absorption. Thus, it’s best to pick them straight from your indoor hydroponic garden.
Know that planting lettuce is possible with hydroponic farming if you’re still onto the salad and sandwiches route. And if you need another vegetable to add to your salad or sandwich, you can also plant celery.
Like lettuce, celery also grows in cool temperatures between 15 and 7 degrees Fahrenheit (23 and 15 degrees Celsius). Thus, growing celery is challenging if you live in a warmer climate or a freezing temperature.
For this reason, no need to worry if you have an automated growing system such as GrowDirector. The system will take care of growing your celery while you’re on your couch watching TV. However, it takes longer to grow for almost 140 days with this vegetable.
If you’re decided to plant this vegetable, place them 4 to 5 inches apart. In this way, it’s easier to pluck out the leaves and stalks for your salad. Make sure to set the pH level of water between 5.7 and 6.0 for successful growth.
Cucumbers are extremely common to grow in commercial greenhouses. If you think they are not possible with an indoor hydroponic system, you’re wrong. You can also grow cucumbers in the comfort of your home.
They grow fast and produce excellent yields. Also, you can choose any cucumbers – from American slicers, European cucumbers to smooth Lebanese ones.
Each of these types will thrive well in your hydroponic garden. While it is a cool plant, it thrives in warm temperatures. Thus, make sure to provide it with ample light and high temperature. You also need to set the pH level of water at around 5.5 and 6.0.
Another fast-growing vegetable, spinach, is suitable for your indoor hydroponic garden. In addition, it thrives well in almost all automated hydroponics systems.
You can also save water when you want to plant spinach. You only need less water to grow, compared to other vegetables. They also grow within a month to 40 days, and you can grow them quickly from seeds. The pH level for growing spinach should be around 6.0 to 7.5.
If you plan to grow a Sweet Spinach, set the temperature of your grow room between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Or else, you’ll be finding your spinach slowly growing if the temperature is slightly lower.
Furthermore, there are several options you can choose – Catalinas, Red Cardinals, Bloomsdale, and even Savoys. These varieties are easy to grow and take care of.
Beans are found in most of the meals. Hence, it is another vegetable you can grow in your hydroponic garden for its fast-growing and low maintenance.
You can choose several types of beans to grow, such as pinto beans, string beans, kidney beans, and even green beans. Lima beans are also another variant you can grow at home.
If you’re eager to plant string beans, you need a trellis to support them along their growing journey up to the harvesting stage. Germination for string beans will take from 3 to 8 days. You can harvest them starting at around 6 to 8 weeks after germination.
After harvesting, you can continue growing the beans for another 3 to 4 months. Beans thrive in warm temperatures and require an ideal pH of 6.0 to 6.3.
Kale is a superfood vegetable on the health trend in the past years. Good news if you’re a health freak since you can grow kale in your indoor hydroponic garden. In this way, you can stay healthy all year round.
This vegetable is quickly grown in a hydroponic system, as they need moderate temperatures and pH levels of 5.5 to 6.5 for them to grow optimally.
If you think it’s impossible to grow chives, you’re wrong. In fact, chives do not only add flavor to many meals, but it’s also easy for them to grow hydroponically. You can buy chives from your local store and plant them as it is.
Chives mature between 6 and 8 weeks. Once it reaches the maturity stage, you should harvest them almost every day.
You don’t need a lot of water when planting chives. However, you need to expose them to plenty of light to survive. They grow at a warm temperature with exposure to the lighting of about 12 to 14 hours. For pH, maintain a level between 6.0 and 6.1 for best results.
After you harvest chives, you need another three to four weeks for them to regrow. Therefore, it’s essential to be patient when growing chives every harvest.
Who thinks tomatoes are not included in the list? Of course, it is. The regular variant and cherry tomatoes can grow in a hydroponic garden. If you’re already tired of buying commercial tomatoes, it’s time to plant them in your garden. In this way, you can enjoy a more nutritious and flavourful dish with your tomatoes.
Furthermore, it’s essential to provide them with ample light and hot temperatures. Hence, it’s necessary to have your own LED light in your grow room. Make sure to set the pH level to 5.5 and 6.5 for tomatoes.
Bearing similarities with watermelon due to the net-like skin, cantaloupe can be grown in a hydroponic garden with a pH level of 6.0 and 6.8. Take note; however, when planting cantaloupes, you need nets to support them as they grow. You also need to plant them several inches apart to avoid bumping into each other.
When it comes to peas, you can choose any kind of them when growing them in a hydroponic garden. Hence, give them a shot for your dream vegetable garden.
Growing peas is best suited in a Deep Water Culture (DWC) method in hydroponics. In this method, the peas will mature within eight weeks after 1 to 2 weeks of germination. As they tend to favor a cooler climate, make sure to maintain the temperature in your grow room between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Any peas can be planted as mentioned. However, if you want the best peas suited for hydroponics, you can choose between Oregon Giant Pod and Mammoth Melting Sugar. You could also go for Snowflake, Snowbird, and Dwarf Grey Sugar.
Chard is another healthy green vegetable suitable for hydroponics, despite not being known by many.
Most green leafy vegetables are well suited for hydroponic gardening. Chard is not popular in hydroponics, but it’s excellent to add it to your garden because of its delicious taste.
When achieving the best taste and nutrients for chard, it needs to grow at a pH level between 6.2 and 7.0. Hence, tepid water and a neutral
Just remember to grow it at a cool temperature and provide adequate spacing of about 4 inches between two seeds. In this way, the plants won’t end up shading each other.
If you’re thinking root vegetables are not ideal for growing in hydroponic gardening, you’re quite right about that. Most root vegetables don’t thrive in this medium, except for radish.
Radish is a bit different compared to other root vegetables. It is well-suited to hydroponics because it is a cool-weather crop.
Radish prefers low temperatures to thrive, so you need to maintain the temperature of your grow room between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there is a need to increase the temperature for larger and longer varieties. They also do not need long hours of sunlight, as they can survive for about 6 to 8 hours a day.
Don’t forget that they need a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0 to thrive. This will allow you to harvest the radish within a month or so.
Vegetables are prone to hybridization, decay, and whatnot if grown in a medium without supervision. In this case, when growing vegetables for soil, it’s essential to monitor them and know the suitable parameters for optimal harvest.
Hence, this gives you the option for growing your vegetable hydroponically if you prefer less maintenance and monitoring. You can also enjoy a fuller taste and nutrient-filled vegetables you plan to grow as long as the temperature, climate, and pH level conditions are met.
As hydroponics is gaining more attention in our modern world, there’s no reason you should not hop on the trend. In fact, it’s more than a trend. It’s another option for aspiring gardeners to grow their vegetables.
Plants can be self-reliant. However, they also need love and care from us. No matter what vegetables from our list you want to try, you can successfully plant them as long as you follow our guide on the ideal temperature and pH levels for them to grow.