Best Plants to Grow Hydroponically

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Almost any plant can be grown hydroponically, although for some it's incredibly impractical unless you have a gigantic hydroponic growing setup. Corn, for example, would be impractical to grow hydroponically since its stalks can grow over eight feet tall. Good luck trying to fit that in your closet!

Root vegetables and melons also don't really lend themselves well to hydroponics, and require special setups and growing mediums. The best plants to grow hydroponically are typically plants that grow quickly, plants that go bad quickly if you buy them at the supermarket, or plants whose supermarket varieties are outclassed my home-grown alternatives, such as tomatoes.

Lettuce is a popular vegetable to grow hydroponically, as it will begin producing edible greens in as little as three weeks, and will continue producing greens for the life of the plant. If you decide to grow lettuce hydroponically, it's better to choose a leafy lettuce like romaine rather than iceberg lettuce.

Salads made from home-grown lettuce typically taste much better than those made with supermarket lettuce, so growing lettuce hydroponically is a great way to start getting healthy!

Herbs greatly benefit from being fresh-picked � dried basil is really no substitute for fresh in tomato sauce or on pizza. Pretty much any herb can be grown hydroponically. Excellent candidates are basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley, dill, and chives. Herbs grow quickly, and most herbs are able to be harvested in as soon as two weeks.

With the notable exception of dill, most herbs regrow and can be harvested from indefinitely as long as they do not succumb to disease, which would be a rare event with careful attention in a hydroponic setup. To reduce chances of infection, make sure your herbs are not overcrowded and avoid over-watering them.

If you end up growing more herbs than you can use by yourself and need to trim your herbs to prevent overcrowding in the growing container, you can always give some to your friends. Having a hydroponic herb garden to draw upon is a great way to spice up your cooking and impress your friends.

Do you often have cravings for a nice, ripe tomato fresh from a roadside stand? Tired of boring supermarket tomatoes that barely taste like anything at all?

Tomatoes are one of the best plants to grow hydroponically, especially for a beginner. Hydroponic gardeners love to grow tomatoes, so a wealth of information is available to you if you decide to grow tomatoes hydroponically. You can even buy kits in some hydroponics supply stores made solely for the purpose of growing tomatoes!

Tomatoes grown hydroponically taste great, and blow bland, mealy tomatoes that you might buy at the supermarket out of the water. If you decide to grow tomatoes hydroponically, you should expect to wait around three months before your first edible batch of tomatoes appears. Your vine should keep producing for around a year's time.

Neither aeroponics nor the nutrient film technique uses a growing medium. In the nutrient film technique, the nutrient solution is continuously pumped into the growing tray and rushes over the roots of your plants before being drained out back into the nutrient solution reservoir, ready to be drawn up by the pump and into the tray again.

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Author: Whitey Segura
Whitney is an expert gardener and owner of a company that manufacturers and distributes hobby and portable greenhouse kits and hydroponics equipment.

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