Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil. Perlite, gravel, vermiculite, rockwool and sand are among the alternative growing mediums used in hydroponic gardening. Hydroponically grown vegetation receives nutrition directly to the roots from a soluble pH-adjusted solution. Nutrient delivery varies based on the type of hydroponic system in place. Delivery systems range from a constant flow, a timed flow and need-based absorption.
Flowering vegetation grown in hydroponics can be a two step process if you prefer to start the flowers from seed. Start any type of flowers from seed in a small hydroponic system, and then transfer the seedlings into another hydroponic system or into soil. Flower grown hydroponically are nutrient specific. You cannot plant species with different nutrient requirements in a single hydroponic unit. Orchids, roses, peonies, petunias, sunflowers, pansies, iris, lilies, begonias and carnations are among the types of flowering vegetation grown in hydroponics.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, squash, chard, snow peas, sweet peppers, spinach, hot chilies, broccoli and beans are types of edible vegetation that can be grown hydroponically. Bananas, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and papayas are among the types of fruit that you can grow in a hydroponic garden. The benefits of a hydroponic garden include minimum space requirements, elimination of soil born diseases and pests, faster growth and higher yields. As with soil grown fruits and vegetables, allow the edible vegetation to ripen on the vine and your crops will have more flavor.
As with other types of hydroponically grown vegetation, plant herbs in your hydroponic garden based on similar nutrient requirements. Rosemary, basil, thyme, chives, spearmint and parsley have similar pH levels and nutrient requirements, so you can grow them together in the same hydroponic unit. A concern with herb vegetation grown hydroponically is that they do not have as much flavor as herbs that are grown in soil. You can optimize the flavors of your hydroponic herbs by adding nutrients specific to each cultivar. Other ways to enhance vegetation growth in a hydroponic garden is by providing the proper amount of sunlight required by each species. Many herbs enjoy full sun. If your hydroponic herb garden is indoors, utilize powerful grow lights such as metal halides and provide adequate air circulation with fans.