Hydroponic Vegetables and Herbs
Vegetable, flower or herb plants grown without soil are considered hydroponic plants. Using nutrient-enriched water, seeds and plants grow and produce fruit and vegetables without soil. You can grow a hydroponic garden either outside or indoors, or in a greenhouse. By using hydroponic growing techniques, it is possible for you to have fresh produce year-round.
Those culinary herbs you like are easily grown using the hydroponic method. Spearmint, peppermint, catnip and those specialty cultivars like chocolate mint are fast-growing herbs that you can use in cooking and beverages. Chives, which are a bit heavier, grow best using sand as the soilless growing medium. However, when grown in this manner they’ll need to thin out every few months due to the accelerated growth caused by the ease of obtaining food.
You can also grow rosemary, oregano, and basil in water gardens. Lemon balm, cilantro, and dill are good choices to use for filling in the areas between taller vegetable plants. If you plant fragrance herbs such as lavender, anise, and pennyroyal, you’ll find they will scent the air around the garden.
The varieties of flowers that you can grow in a hydroponic system are limitless. Chrysanthemums, tulips, xenia, daisies, and roses will produce beautiful blooms for fresh cut flowers year-round. You’ll find smaller flowers such as marigold, snapdragons, and pansies add color to the garden. Even cultivar flowers that vine like the wave petunias, geraniums and nasturtiums will provide cover for the garden container and use less vertical space.
When deciding on which hydroponic vegetables to plant, don’t forget to plant leafy vegetables like hydroponic lettuce. Spinach and the many varieties of leaf lettuces grow easily and are nice to use around the edge of a hydroponic garden. When fully grown they are less than eight inches tall forming a green border around taller, climbing or trellised plants. You can also plant kale, collards, and leeks in the center of the garden where their height and thickness will fill in the area left open by climbing vegetables and fruits.