Growing crops hydroponically allows gardeners the opportunity to have fresh, home-grown vegetables at their fingertips. Home-grown vegetables taste better, cost less and, when grown in hydroponic gardens, are available all year long. The best hydroponic crops are those that don't require a lot of growing room; avoid crops that spread or take up a lot of space. Most importantly, select crops that everyone in the family enjoys eating.
One of the most popular hydroponic vegetables is the tomato, and all varieties of tomato will thrive in hydroponic conditions. Grow big, meaty beefsteak varieties such as Trust, Geronimo, Blitz and Quest. Cluster or truss tomatoes are smaller in size and grow on one vine. The Ambiance, Tradiro and Locarno are all good varieties of cluster tomatoes that grow in a hydroponic garden. Cherry tomatoes are a good choice, too: Sweet Million, Flavorita, Sakur and Sungold are a few varieties of cherry tomato that flourish in hydroponic conditions.
Lettuces are the most popular of all salad greens. The lettuce plant requires little care and maintenance and is an ideal beginner plant for new hydroponic growers. Leaf lettuces are a good choice for a hydroponic system; red and green romaine, green leaf, red leaf lettuces will all thrive. The bibb lettuces Salina, Rex and Vegas are small head lettuce varieties that grow well in hydroponics. Other salad greens that flourish in a hydroponic garden are endive, chicory, arugula, cresses, chard, spinach and kale. Choose varieties of lettuces that are resistant to tip burn and bolting.
Peas are a highly nutritious vegetable and are very easy to grow in a hydroponic conditions. Sugar snap and snow peas thrive in the hydroponic garden. Once the pea plant is established in a hydroponic environment, it produces crops all year long. Snowbird, Dwarf Gray Sugar and the Snowflake are varieties of the sugar snap pea that grow well in hydroponic conditions. Snow peas are the type of pea where the pods are also eaten (they are sometimes known as Chinese peas). Mammoth Melting Sugar and Oregon Giant Pod are two types of edible snow peas that grow in hydroponic gardens.
Pepper plants are a good selection for a hydroponic gardening. Peppers come in a large variety of colors and flavors. The sweet bell pepper is a popular choice for hydroponic gardens. Initially all bell peppers are green, and change colors as they mature. Varieties of red bell pepper include Mazurka and Cubico. Orange cultivars are the Eagle and Fellini and yellow peppers are Fiesta and Gold Flame. Hot, spicy, peppers flourish in the hydroponic garden as well, so plant a few habaneros, cayennes and jalapenos.