Hydroponics gardens can give every family access to fresh produce no matter their location or income. With immediate access to your garden, you easily incorporate healthy food into more of your meals. If growing indoors, can do it year all year round. It’s a great way to start eating healthier, making some extra income, or having more control over your food.
One of the questions that I get asked the most is what plants are the easiest to grow for hydroponic beginners. As a beginner, you want to have some early success to build your interest and confidence. Below are the 5 easiest plants for hydroponic beginners.
Leafy greens are the easiest plants to grow for beginners to hydroponics. Greens like spinach and lettuce are versatile and grow fast in hydroponics. In only a couple of weeks, you will be able to have a harvest. Leafy greens are not only for salads, they also go great with wraps and sandwiches.
When growing leafy greens on a larger scale I like to use NFT systems but they also grow well in ebb and flow systems.
If you want to know more about hydroponic lettuce, check out the link below which shows the lettuce I grew in my garage.
My Top Pick
Herbs, like leafy greens, grow fast and are easy to grow in hydroponic systems. For most herbs, there is no need to change lighting or nutrient regimens, since we harvest them in their vegetative state. For those that flower, you will need to switch nutrient regimens when they get to their flowering stages.
You can harvest small amounts of your herbs at a time, both extending your harvest and stimulating your plant to produce even more. Counter-top hydroponic systems, like these Aerogarden counter systems, allow you to easily add fresh zest to your meals
A tomato plant was the first plant that I grew using hydroponics. It’s a great plant to learn the process of flowering and fruiting. Since tomato plants can produce a lot of tomatoes if you don’t get it right or if something goes wrong, there’s time to recover and still get some produce.
It’s important to provide support for your hydroponic tomato plants because the weight of the fruit can cause the plant to tip or the branches to break. Hydroponic tomatoes grow well in hydroponic buckets (bubble buckets) and drip systems.
My Top Pick
Like tomatoes and other water-loving vegetables, cucumbers grow great in hydroponic systems and produce a bunch of cucumbers. When deciding on a cucumber variety for your hydroponic system you will need to decide between a bush or vining variety. As vining cucumber plants grow they will need to be supported by a cage or trellis. They often need more room, especially height, compared to bush varieties.
Most cucumbers are susceptible to powdery mildew which can take over your hydroponic garden. I suggest choosing a variety with high resistance to the disease.
Cucumbers grow well in many systems. I’ve used ebb and flow systems, dutch buckets, bubble buckets, and even tower systems.
Who doesn’t love fresh strawberries? I think there are many advantages to growing strawberries in hydroponic systems. They grow faster, are more abundant, and have fewer pest issues. Harvesting strawberries is easy, but no matter how many I grow I can never seem to grow them as fast as I can eat them.
There are many plants that do well in hydroponic gardens. I suggested starting with the easier plants first, as some plants are trickier to grow than others.
The goal is to learn, have early success, and have fun. As you learn more about a plant’s nutrient needs and needs of the specific plants, you can expand your garden with new plants.