Seeds for Hydroponic garden-Growers are getting rid of field rows and raised beds in favor of soilless gardens.
You might be surprised to learn that almost any plant that is usually grown in soil can also be grown in water with the same or even better results.
Now that you’ve got your outdoor vegetable garden down pat, you’re ready to learn how to grow food without soil. Keep reading for a short introduction to hydroponics and tips on how to start your tank farm with the best vegetable seeds.
What is growing plants without soil?
Hydroponics is the newest way to garden. It involves growing plants in a growing medium that doesn’t have soil. Most hydroponic systems use a nutrient-rich water solution to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs that grow faster and produce more than crops grown in the ground.
There are a few different ways to set up a hydroponic system, but deep water culture and ebb and flow are the most common. In an ebb and flow system, a separate grow tray is filled with water and then drained. Deepwater cultures are easier to build because they only need one large container and a floating raft to hold up plants and keep their roots in the water.
Hydroponics is no longer just for businesses—easy it’s to build your own hydroponic system at home! Both deep water culture and ebb and flow systems are easy to build and keep up with simple things like PVC pipes, buckets, aquariums, and mesh baskets.
Pros of growing plants in water
Many growers think that crops grown with hydroponic systems have a slight edge over crops grown the old way.
The best thing about hydroponic gardening is that, unlike outdoor gardening, the grower can control all outside factors. You can change the lighting, temperature, nutrients, and, of course, water to make the perfect environment for growing a wide range of plants.
Pests and diseases tend to affect hydroponically grown plants less than traditionally grown plants, and when they do, they are easier to control. Hydroponic systems make it possible to grow even seasonal crops all year long. These gardens can be moved outside when the weather is good.
Even when people build their own hydroponic systems, they tend to take up less space and use less water than outdoor gardens. This makes the equipment a good investment for many people, especially those who don’t have a lot of space or resources for growing plants.
The best part is that there are no weeds in hydroponic gardens. Unless you put in weed seeds on purpose, that is.
How to begin planting seeds in hydroponic systems
Growers who are new to aquaculture should start with leafy greens and herbs. More experienced gardeners can grow crops that like heat, like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, indoors and without soil.
Just make sure to give fruiting plants that like heat the light they need to flower and make fruit. Tomatoes and peppers need between six and eight hours of direct light every day. Cucumbers need at least six hours of light, while leafy greens can get by with less.
Even though growing plants from cuttings is a common way to do hydroponics, the healthiest plants always come from good seeds.
Starting seeds for hydroponic gardens is the same as starting seeds for a garden outside. Plant seeds in potting soil in a seed tray and cover with a lid until the seeds start to grow. Use a heat mat to speed up the time until the seeds sprout. Just make sure to rinse all the dirt off the roots of the seedlings when they are ready to be moved.
You can also start seeds in rockwool or coco coir, which don’t need soil and make it even easier to move them.
The Best Vegetable Seeds for Hydroponic Garden
The best hydroponic seeds are pretty much the same as regular seeds. You can grow any kind of plant you want in a garden without soil. There are some plants and varieties that do better in small spaces, so we’ve put together a list of our favorite vegetable seeds that can be grown in a tank.
Prizehead Lettuce is our favorite plant and food variety. This loose-leaf lettuce doesn’t make heads, but its beautiful green leaves with red edges are crisp and sweet, making them great for salads and sandwiches. This old-fashioned variety can be ready in as few as 50 days.
Space Hybrid Spinach
One kind of spinach called “Space Hybrid” can handle hot temperatures, like those in a greenhouse. This easy-to-grow variety is ready to eat in 40 days, and its improved genes make it resistant to disease without sacrificing flavor.
Hybrid Lisboa Cucumber
Our favorite cucumber for hydroponic gardening is the Lisboa. This type of cucumber grows well in pots and is ready to harvest early. It doesn’t need to be pollinated to make tasty, symmetrical fruits. Lisboa is a productive variety that takes up little space. It grows well in a hydroponic garden and bears fruit in 49 days.
Sugary Hybrid Tomato
Think a hydroponic system can’t be used to grow tomatoes? Don’t give up! Most aquaculture farmers grow determinate and compact tomatoes because they are much easier to handle than their indeterminate cousins. However, full-size tomatoes can and do grow well in hydroponic systems.
Sugary Hybrid is a semi-determinate cherry tomato that is small enough to grow in a hydroponic system indoors. Sugary Hybrid is an All-America Selections Winner because its grape-shaped, juicy, sweet fruits can be picked in as little as 60 days.
Even though it seems strange, bush beans are a good choice for hydroponic gardens. Slenderette is a very productive plant that takes about 53 days to grow long, green pods without strings. Slenderette is the perfect green bean for indoor grow rooms because it self-pollinates and is very resistant to diseases.
Santo is our most productive cilantro cultivar for making leaves, and it can grow almost anywhere. This gem is almost too easy to harvest, even in a hydroponic system, because it grows straight up. Santo is ready to eat after 52 days, but it doesn’t bolt quickly, which is helpful in a hydroponic grow room that might be warmer.
Everleaf Emerald Towers Basil
Basil needs a lot of light and heat, but if the conditions are right, it can grow well without soil. Everleaf Emerald Towers is our favorite variety for hydroponics. This productive variety can grow up to three feet tall and only twelve inches wide. Everleaf Emerald Towers grows leaves that smell good and are easy to pick 40 days after they are planted.
Don’t let hydroponics scare you. Starting a garden without soil isn’t as hard as you might think. In the long run, it could save you space, water, and time. You can grow any plants you want in a hydroponic system, but we know that these seven vegetables and herbs will give you the best start possible. Happy growing!