Of the many benefits of hydroponic gardening, one of the most exciting for entrepreneurial growers is higher crop yield.
Hydroponic plants grow at a rate 30 percent to 50 percent faster than a soil plant under the same conditions.
Hydroponics is well-known for conserving water. But the set-up allows more oxygen in the root system, helping plants absorb nutrients faster.
And because plants don’t have to use energy to search for nutrients, that allows them to channel that into growing faster and producing more. In short, it makes them happier and healthier plants!
For the budding business-minded gardener, that can translate into higher profits, especially if plants that respond well to hydroponic mediums are selected.
If you are considering hydroponic gardening as a means to make some money, consider these five types of plants to get started.
Lettuce. First-timers in hydroponics should start with lettuce. The shallow root system is ideal for this system, so it requires little more than changing the nutrient solution regularly. Romaine, iceberg, Boston, Buttercrunch and Bibb lettuce are recommended varieties.
Spinach. This leafy vegetable thrives in a hydroponic system, particularly when techniques are used to keep the nutrient solution highly oxygenated. For sweeter spinach, grow at temperatures between 65 and 72 degrees. Savoy, Bloomsdale, smooth leafed and Tyee are suggested.
Strawberries. Love this fruit? Now you can enjoy it all year long with hydroponic gardening. These do best in an ebb and flow system, but nutrient film technique can work for smaller crops. To get started, purchase cold-stored runners that are berry-ready. Look for Brighton, Chandler and Douglass varieties.
Bell Peppers. These colorful veggies flourish in a hydroponic system, but they require a little more attention and care. For starters, they need a lot of light—18 hours a day. As plants grow, raise the lights to give plenty of room, but don’t let them grow to full height. Prune them as a means to encourage growth. Try Ace, California Wonder and Vidi types.
Herbs. Basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme and watercress are just some of the herbs that prosper in hydroponics, and they make another great option if you’re just getting started. Studies have shown that herbs grown in a hydroponics system are more aromatic and more flavorful. Just more reasons to get growing!
Not sure where to begin with hydroponics? Let us know! Call us at 800-531-4769 or visit www.GothicArchGreenhouses.com, and we can help you get start with systems or crop selections.