Welcome back to our Native Growers Guide Blog Series. In this post we will be looking at some of the best crops to grow using a hydroponics system. As we know there are so many different plants including many vegetables and herbs that will sucessfully grow in a hydroponics system, in this post we will be looking at 5 of the most sucessful plants you can grow in your hydroponics system.
Herbs are a popular choice all round when it comes to hydroponic growing and today we want to take a closer look at basil. Basil is the oh so popular and delicious Italian herb that not only adds flavour to dishes but has known anti inflammatory properties and is high in anti oxidants and vitamins.
Basil grows very well in a hydroponics system and is one of the most popular and commonly grown herbs in hydroponics. Basil will grow in both NFT systems and drip systems. Once it has reached maturity, you can harvest and trim basil weekly.
Basil favours a warm environment with a ph level of 5.5 - 6.5 and also likes a lot of light - basil needs at least 12 hours of light per day to ensure full and healthy growth.
What can't you do with tomatoes? They are a truly diverse fruit and are a great choice for growing in a hydroponic system. Tomatoes are a rich source of Vitamins A and C as well as Folic Acid and are high in anti oxidants known to help prevent heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer.
Starting your hydroponic tomatoes from transplants, rather than seeds, will tend to give a higher sucess rate and overall yield. Tomatoes grow in all types of hydroponic systems and as the plants grow and mature they will need staking or support to keep an upright and neat plant shape.
Tomatoes grown in hydroponic systems favour a hot environment with a pH level of 5.5 - 6.5 and high amounts of light - tomatoes need at least 16 hours of light per day for a high yield.
Spinach, that green leaf superfood that goes with so many dishes. Spinach is quick growing in a hydroponics system and is packed full of iron, vitamins and minerals as well as anti oxidants and is known to lower cholesterol.
Spinach seeds are often started in rockwool for germination and will grow well in all methods of hydroponis with about 40 days growing time. Spinach can be harvested all at once or a little at a time and if kept in the right conditions you can get a continuous harvest from spinach for up to 12 weeks.
Spinach prefers a cool to warm growing environment with a pH level of 6.0 - 7.5 and because of the cooler conditions it doesn't need too much light - about 10 - 12 hours a day is enough.
So maybe cucumber sandwiches have declined in popularity but the cucumber is still a great vegetable to include in many other dishes. Cucumbers are known to help reduce ageing and regulate metabolism and are packed with micro minerals including iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium.
Cucumbers are a fast growing and abundant vegetables which thrives when grown in a hydroponic system. Having a high water content means they love moisture and thrive when given regular watering through your hydroponics system. Cucumbers grown in hydroponics will need support as they mature and grown to stay strong and healthy and provide a high crop yield.
Cucumbers prefer a hot climate with high humidity and a pH level of 5.5 - 6.0 with high amounts of light intensity - about 12 - 14 hours a day will give you the best results.
Lettuce is a favourite for salads of all types and flavours and is such a diverse vegetables that grows particularly well in hydroponics. Lettuce is a low calorie vegetable that is high in vitamins such as vitamin A, C and K as well as plenty of micro minerals.
Lettuce is a brilliant choice for growing in a hydroponics system as it takes up very little room, is low maintenance and can be harvested as you go. Suitable for growing in all methods of hydroponic gardening and being a short, stocky crop it requires no staking or support as it grows.
Lettuce prefers a cooler growing environment temperature with a pH level of 6.0 - 7.0 with low levels of light for about 10 - 12 hours per day.
Nutrients for Maximising Crop Yield
To get the most from your hydroponic grown herbs, fruit and vegetables, you need to make sure you are choosing the right kind of nutrients to help it reach its full potential.
For leafy crops such as the Basil, Spinach and Lettuce where it will be harvesting before flowering you will need a vegetative stage nutrient that focusses on strong root growth and bushy plants as well as a boost in the leaf chlorophyll production. Nutrients that we stock here at Native Hydroponics and are aimed at the veg phase include; BioBizz Root Juice, Advanced Nutrients Tarantula Powder and Growth Technology Formulex.
With fruit and vegetables that go through to the flowering and fruiting stage such as tomatoes and cucumbers the vegetative stage nutrients can be used during growth but to boost the fruit itself a nutrient aimed at the flowering phase will be a lot of help. Flowering booster nutrients stocked at Native Hydroponics include; Fox Farm Cha-Ching, Atami Bloombastic and Advanced Nutrients Big Bud Liquid.
You can also check out our full range of Nutrients and Boosters for every phase of the plants growth cycle.