It’s possible to grow almost any vegetable hydroponically – that is by suspending the roots in nutrient-rich water without soil. Some vegetables, however, are more suited to being grown hydroponically than others. Green vegetable, vining plants, like tomatoes, root crops – a huge variety of herbs can all be grown hydroponically, but at Lets Grow Cook we prefer to focus on the sure-fire winners, so we’re writing today about the best hydroponic vegetables and easy hydroponic vegetables to grow. We’ll also cover some of the primary reasons for growing vegetables hydroponically – like the fact that they grow about 30 per cent faster, usually produce a higher yield and need much less maintenance. Oh, and we love that you can grow vegetables hydroponically YEAR ROUND!
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What Are Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is the art of growing plants in water without soil. While plants normally get their nutrients from the compost or soil, with hydroponics you add nutrients and minerals at the most optimum level so that your plants get exactly what they need to produce effectively. Growing vegetables with hydroponics can produce larger yields, no mess and you can grow just about anything.
This is a series of articles that we’ve put together about hydroponics – so there are many more details on
- The benefits of growing hydroponically
- The best hydroponic starter kits
- The best herbs to grow hydroponically
- The best fruits to grow hydroponically
- Hydroponics for Beginners
But for now, in this guide to the best vegetables to grow hydroponically, settle in and let’s get started!
The Best Vegetables to Grow With Hydroponics
Hydroponics allows you to grow vegetables regardless of the climate or the season outside. You can simulate the ideal environment for your vegetable and so promote its fast and healthy growth. Hydroponics enable you to get the right temperature, light, humidity and nutrients for your vegetables and this help to increase the yield of each plant too. Some excellent hydroponic systems will easily get you started without a big investment. Here are the top hydroponic systems to get started growing vegetables hydroponically
And here are the best vegetables to grow hydroponically.
Grow Lettuce and Salad Leaves Hydroponically
Lettuce and salad leaves are fabulous vegetables to grow hydroponically. They need little space, virtually no attention and you can harvest your first hydroponic lettuces in just a few weeks. Growing your own lettuce is a perfect way to save money growing vegetables as it tends to be expensive to buy at the supermarket. Lettuces grow REALLY fast in a hydroponic system – and it’s the vegetable that we would recommend you start with if you want to pick just one vegetable to grow hydroponically because you’ll see success really quickly and then start growing other hydroponic vegetables.
Grow Hydroponic Tomatoes Easily
Technically, I know, tomatoes are fruits, but we tend to eat them as vegetables and they’re a perfect example of an easy vegetable to grow hydroponically. Tomatoes are a vining plant and they’re perfect for hydroponics are they need little ground space. You can grow many different varieties of tomatoes hydroponically – cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes. Tomatoes are easy to grow hydroponically, however, they do need a lot of light, so if you don’t buy a hydroponic kit with lights, be prepared to buy some grow lights. Check out these easy hydroponic tomatoes to grow.
Grow Chilli and Sweet Peppers Hydroponically
If you’re growing tomatoes hydroponically, then you might as well also grow chillies and sweet peppers as they need the same hydroponic growing conditions – good temperature and lots of light. Chillies will take up to 3 months to mature. Jalapeno and Habanero are particular good varieties of chillies to grow hydroponically. And when they’re ripe and ready to harvest, you’ll want our guide to storing and preserving chillies here.
Growing chillies hydroponically and growing peppers hydroponically really is easy and they’re two of the easiest vegetables to grow hydroponically.
Grow Cucumber Hydroponically
Cucumbers have a large water content and those vegetables that love water and contain lots of it are great vegetables to grow hydroponically. Cucumbers, are, like tomatoes, a vining plant and can give very high yields. Virtually any variety of cucumber will grow well hydroponically, but you’re going to need to ensure it’s kept warm and has good light. If you want to grow cucumbers traditionally, then our guide to growing cucumbers is here.
Grow Spinach Hydroponically
Spinach is one of my favourite vegetables – I use it extensively in Indian cooking, as my salad leaf of choice and I grow it in pots in the garden too. Spinach tends to be a cool-weather vegetable, so doesn’t need either much light or heat. Spinach is easy to grow hydroponically and it’s also easy to harvest leaf by leaf, or you can harvest the whole plant!
Grow Beans Hydroponically
Beans are an excellent low-maintenance vegetable that grows really well hydroponically. Hydroponic beans are particularly productive. We think that green beans are a great vegetable to grow hydroponically. You’ll see the seeds start to germinate after about a week, start harvesting your first beans in 6 to 8 weeks. You can also likely keep cropping the plant for up to 4 months!
Grow Kale Hydroponically
Mushroom and Kale Lasagne has to be one of my favourite home-cooked dishes (it’s from the Riverford Organics cookbook and it’s Moorishly amazing. That’s why finding a great and easy supply of kale is key to me! Kale is a simple vegetable to grow hydroponically and produces big yields.
Why Grow Vegetables with Hydroponics?
There are a huge number of benefits to growing vegetables hydroponically, and we’ve covered this in great detail in our article on the benefits of hydroponics – so head on over there to find out more detail. For here and now, you should grow vegetables with hydroponics because
- Hydroponically grown vegetables are a great efficient use of space
- If you have no suitable outside space you can grow hydroponic vegetables
- There’s none of the mess of compost or soil with hydroponic vegetables
- On average hydroponic vegetables grow 30% faster than traditionally grown vegetables
- Hydroponic vegetables tend to have higher yields than traditional vegetables
- There are fewer pests around your vegetables with hydroponics
FAQs on Growing Easy Hydroponic Vegetables
Got questions about growing vegetables hydroponically? Or want to know what to look for with hydroponic vegetables and we haven’t answered your questions? Check out our frequently asked questions about hydroponics and vegetables below, or ask us yours in the comments.
Are some vegetables more suitable for growing using hydroponics than others?
Yes. While technically all vegetables can be grown hydroponically, some are more suited to it than others. Much depends on the environment that you can create. Tomatoes, for instance, and peppers, need a lot of heat and light to succeed.
Final Words on the best Hydroponic Vegetables to Grow
It’s technically possible to grow any vegetable hydroponically, but you’ll get the most success in vegetable growing if you go for vegetables that are the easiest to grow. Faster growth, higher yields and less mess are just some of the reasons to start growing vegetables hydroponically. It’s simple to get started growing vegetables hydroponically and the only thing you’ll ask yourself is why you didn’t start sooner!
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