Authored by Kenneth Crawford in Gardening
Published on 07-15-2009
The hydroponic growing of vegetables and herbs is a unique way of gardening. Hydroponics uses mineral nutrient solutions without soil as a method of planting. It is a method that has been used since the nineteenth century. Hydroponics has also become a standard technique in biology research and teaching.
Hydroponic growing is becoming a big commercial farming practice. The largest hydroponic facility in the world sold over a hundred million pounds of tomatoes in 2005. Hydroponic growing is not just for commercial interests though. Many people have started hydroponic gardens in their homes. They use this technique for vegetables, herbs, and houseplants for their own personal use.
When starting out with your first hydroponic garden there are some things you should keep in mind.
Since you will have limited growing space you should choose plants that have similar needs. As you develop your experience in hydroponic growing, you will find more and more plants that will be suitable to grow together. Some of the plants that grow very well with this type of gardening should be considered for your first attempt.
Basil is a fast growing and hardy herb that takes to hydroponic gardening well. The best way to start is to buy basil seedlings from a gardening center. You can grow as many as five plants in one container. After the plant is about twelve inches tall you can start harvesting from it.
Lettuce grows very well in hydroponics and it can be grown along with basil. They both have the same basic needs for nutrients and sunlight. When growing lettuce it seems that leaf lettuce will do much better than head lettuce. You can start harvesting your fresh lettuce in about forty days.
Another hardy plant that can be grown with lettuce and basil is spinach. It grows slower than lettuce so you will not be harvesting for at least sixty days. Growing spinach in this way will give you great results.
America’s favorite vegetable to grow is tomatoes. Tomatoes are great additions to a hydroponic garden however they are a smaller variety than most people are used to. These plants will start to bear fruit in about one hundred days and continue to produce for up to a year.
As you can see there are plenty of plants for a beginner hydroponic gardener to start with. Vegetables are not the only thing you can use. There are many varieties of houseplants that will work very well in a hydroponic garden as well. Begin reading up on hydroponic growing and putting your first garden together. Hydroponic gardening is a fun and educational way to garden.