Want Organic? Live in the City?
Your Answer Could be Indoor Hydroponics!
Health equals wealth, the saying goes. You may prefer organically grown foods, and yet they can be expensive and not always available. Growing herbs, leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables within the limited indoor space at home is doable using a wide range of products available to fit your space and budget.
Some benefits of having your own indoor grow system:
1. Fresh food from your indoor system tastes wonderful. You'll love the freshness and flavor an extra sprig of fresh mint, some spicy Thai Basil, or a luscious red heirloom tomato will bring to your meal.
2. Veggies from your indoor system can be healthier and even reduce your shopping costs a bit. You can grow what you like, without any pesticides, wax, ripening gases, or chemicals. And without the premium price for grocery store organics.
3. You can try interesting varieties you may not find in the store. If you rotate vegetables over time, you can eat the veggies you choose any time of year.
Basic hydroponics involves soilless farming, which you can do from the comfort of your house or apartment even with no yard. No need to till, plant, or fumigate, because you grow vegetables independent of soil quality, year-round, while saving up to 95% of the water used in traditional agriculture.
Here are some tips to help you create an indoor hydroponic vegetable garden:
1. Seed Selection
Pick disease-resistant varieties that are open-pollinated rather than genetically modified. Choose seeds that have manageable plant size and don't mind growing in moisture-rich conditions.
2. Nutrient Solution and Grow Medium
You will use a nutrient solution mixed with water to provide nutrients to the plants. You can make this solution at home depending on the type of nutrition each plant needs, or you can simply order a safe-to-use nutrient solution online from a reliable platform.
Some herbs with shallow roots will grow in nutrient-rich solutions. Others require a medium like coconut kernel or foam to maintain some structure for the plant. There are a variety of soilless media, such as vermiculite, sand, coco or perlite, but coco is one of the more popular media because of its high water-holding capacity.
4. Are Veggies Easy With Basic Hydroponics?
Some herbs that grow well in a hydroponic system include oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, tarragon, peppermint, lemon balm, curry leaves, lemongrass, peppers, cilantro, and more.
Some vegetables that are suitable for hydroponic plant systems are lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, celery, cauliflower, peas, cabbage, radishes, carrots, gourd balls, fenugreek, okra, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, spinach, and many others. Most can be grown all year round.
5. Plants Need Sunlight!
Although your plants may not need soil in hydropincis setup because their nutrient needs are met by media and nutrient-infused water, they still need 6 hours or more of sunlight!
Indoor lighting in a specific spectrum can work, and some products have built in full-spectrum lights, timers, and so on.
6. Adjust Water pH
Most herbal varieties grow well at pH levels lower than tap water. Tap water is also chlorinated, fluoridated etc. and won't be ideal for your hydroponics setup straight out of the tap. An incorrect pH of the water in which plants are growing can limit the ability of plants to absorb nutrients from it.
7. Monitor the Temperature
59-81 degrees F is the ideal temperature range for plants to thrive. Keep in mind that artificial lighting can also increase the temperature of a room.