In this guest post is by Lu from Easy Indoor Greens (see bio below) she shares the best plants to grow indoors with hydroponics.
Fancy some homegrown veggies to save yourself a trip to the farmer’s market? Growing your food in the garden is the best solution. But what if you don’t have enough space dedicated to gardening?
Not to worry, though. With enough light and an easy gardening kit, you’re on your way to harvesting fresh veggies all year-round.
How To Grow Food Indoors?
There are several ways you can grow food indoors, one of which this post will focus on is hydroponics. With hydroponics, there’s no need for soil, which means you don’t need a patch of dirt or bags of soil and fertilizers to get started.
This benefits urban gardeners, especially those who live in tiny spaces or those who don’t have a dedicated plot of land for gardening. It’s a plus not having to deal with the mess that you would when doing traditional soil gardening.
I have a dedicated blog post about hydroponics if you want to learn more about this gardening system, which you can read here.
Growing Food Indoors With Hydroponics
You can choose to have a DIY version of a hydroponics system and while there’s a learning curve for that, the process is fun and rewarding.
On the other hand, there are hydroponic kits or ready-made systems that are also available and these are super easy to work with, with some – like the Aerogarden and Click & Grow, being fully automated.
Whether you have it DIY or buy an indoor smart hydroponic garden, in general, a simple hydroponics system will have the following parts:
- A reservoir for the nutrient-water
- An aerator or air pump with hose
- Net pots to hold the medium
- Your chosen growing medium
- LED grow lights
What Can You Grow Indoors?
The awesome thing about growing food indoors using hydroponics is that you can plant most of the popular veggies you love without having to wait out a season. Do keep in mind that some plants grow faster and are easier to tend to in hydroponics while others can pose some challenges.
While there are plenty of options, starting out with these three easy-to-grow plants is the first step you can take toward a successful gardening journey.
You can never go wrong with lettuces when using hydroponics. Most beginners in hydroponics choose lettuce as their go-to veggie to start. They don’t really have special growing requirements, are not heavy feeders, and can be grown year-round.
Not only that, hydroponics tends to produce excellent lettuce yields and the best part of that is that they’re generally super easy to grow. But not all lettuces are created equal. Some varieties are best suited for hydroponics while others are just not.
Nothing beats fresh herbs picked from the garden to be used as garnish for your meals and salads. And what better way to enjoy your hydroponics lettuce than pairing it with your favorite herbs? Perhaps, you need to whip up some pasta and just need a few herbs to garnish it with.
You don’t have to line up in the grocery just to get packaged herbs that may be costly. Grow them and just cut off what you will need. You get to save money, time and there’ll be no wastage. You can even watch your indoor garden of herbs regrow in a short span of time.
If you have a go with herbs, I strongly recommend starting with basil in your hydroponics system. Basil germinates really fast, is not fussy, and is ready for harvest in about 30 days.
Of course, you can grow other herbs like dill, cilantro, and parsley and all of them would be fun to grow in the kitchen.
Just find a spot near a window to give them the light they need. If not, you can also grow your herb garden in a basement, as long as you supply them with artificial lighting.
Microgreens add more flavor to your dish and make them look a lot more appetizing. And they happen to be super easy to grow, especially when you have microgreen kits that do the work for you. Usually, these kits only need you to add water and then you’ll be left to observe in awe as the seeds come alive and grow into baby greens.
Talk about easy and quick, your microgreens will be ready in 10 days – for some, it could be as little as five to seven days.
You can read more about growing microgreens without soil by clicking here.
Final Words on Growing with Hydroponics
There are so many types of plants you can grow indoors, including fruiting plants and edible flowers. The three mentioned above are the ones that should get you started in hydroponics with ease. Once you get the hang of this gardening system, you’ll likely experiment on growing more varieties of plants.
You’ll be surprised at how plants can thrive just fine even when they’re inside. And as you become more confident with your skills, you should have a bountiful supply of fresh vegetables and herbs in your kitchen.
Lu Hernandez is an at-home gardener who’s become passionate about growing plants indoors in tiny spaces. She blogs at Easy Indoor Greens to show beginner gardeners how easy it is to grow anything even if you don’t have a dedicated garden space outdoors.