Hydroponic gardening is increasing in popularity with the availability of Aerogardens™ and other easily available retail hydroponic systems. We’ve covered the basics of hydroponic gardens in another blog post, so in this article, we will discuss the types of seeds that grow best hydroponically.
Can All Seeds Be Grown Hydroponically?
While it is technically possible to grow all seeds hydroponically, not all are well-suited to this gardening method. Large, bushy plants like squash and melon or plants with deep root systems like artichokes may not be particularly suited for a hydroponic garden. Root vegetables like beets and carrots may be difficult to grow in a soil-less environment.
Leafy greens, herbs, and certain vegetables do grow well in a hydroponic system because of their compact size and rapid growth. The type and size of your hydroponic system should be taken into account when choosing your seeds.
Best Herb Seeds for Hydroponics
In our experience, herbs are a great way to start with hydroponic gardening, especially in the Aerogarden™ and similar systems that are designed for indoor, countertop use. With these gardens, you will always have fresh herbs at hand for cooking.
We have combined our favorites into our Hydroponic Herb Seed Collection. This collection includes:
- Basil - Basil grows very quickly and thrives when pruned regularly. If planting basil with other herbs, be sure to keep it pruned so it does not overshadow neighboring plants. This will also keep the plant from becoming woody and bitter.
- Cilantro - Cilantro is a cool-weather herb that does very well with stable temperatures indoors. It has a bright fresh flavor that is essential in Latin cuisine.
- Chives - Chives are one of the most popular herbs to grow hydroponically. The plant is small in size and as a perennial, it can provide a constant harvest of mild onion-flavored leaves for your cooking.
- Sage - Sage is another herb that enjoys the benefits of the stability that a hydroponic system can provide. It particularly likes the steady light of a hydroponic garden. Sage may look different when grown hydroponically and may grow as a more vine-like plant rather than the bush it becomes when grown in soil.
- Peppermint - Peppermint and just about any member of the mint family will do well when grown hydroponically. Because mint is so hardy and spreads so quickly, it might do too well unless you prune your plant regularly.
- Parsley - Parsley has a fresh flavor that can be used as a palate cleanser or as a garnish. This is another cool-weather herb that does well indoors. Harvest regularly to keep the plant producing and from over-running your hydroponic garden.
Best Vegetable Seeds for Hydroponics
Leafy green vegetables are some of the most popular choices for growing hydroponically. Because they have shallow root systems they are easy to maintain without any additional support systems. Reap even more benefits from your greens by succession planting them every couple of weeks so you will always have a mature harvest ready to go.
Our Hydroponic Vegetable Collection contains 6 packets of heirloom leafy green vegetables. This collection includes:
- Lettuce - We have included 2 varieties of lettuce for some diversity in flavor and texture. Lettuce proliferates and will be ready for harvest in about 30 days.
- Spinach - Spinach thrives on the nutrient-rich solutions in a hydroponic garden. It is also highly nutritious and tastes wonderful either fresh or cooked.
- Kale - Kale is the classic “superfood” and can be grown year-round in a hydroponic system rather than only during the cooler months.
- Swiss Chard - Swiss Chard grows especially quickly hydroponically. This highly nutritious green can be ready to harvest in about 30 days. After harvesting, it will grow back and can be cut again.
- Watercress - With “water” in its name, you should know that Watercress will do well in a hydroponic garden. Watercress can be harvested when leaves reach a desirable size after 4 to 6 weeks of growth. You can expect a second harvest about 4 weeks later.
If you enjoy growing your own food, hydroponic gardening is a great option. You can always have fresh vegetables and herbs close at hand. When it comes to choosing the best hydroponics seeds, be sure to take into consideration the size and type of your hydroponic system and always purchase high-quality seeds like our open-pollinated, non-GMO heirloom seeds that have been tested for germination and reliable production.