Hydroponics is growing plants in a water mediums instead of soil. This can be done indoors or outdoors, but because of the ease, many people choose to keep their systems indoors. You can make your own system or purchase a complete system to grow your favorite plants. Some schools use hydroponics to grow plants for biology classes to keep costs down, while giving students a way to watch the growth of the plants.
Most vegetables can be grown hydroponically. The exception to this is root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, radishes, rhubarb and onions, because they need more of a soil medium to keep the fruit of the plant from rotting.Root vegetables can grow in a hydroponics system, but they will not produce as well. The more popular vegetables to grow hydroponically are: tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, lettuces, artichokes, beans, cabbage, corn, eggplant and endive, just to name a few. Leafy vegetable plants grow best, but tomatoes and cucumbers are the more popular to grow. Hydroponic vegetable growing is becoming more popular, because the plants produce for a longer period, in some cases tomatoes can produce for up to a year.
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When growing herbs in a hydroponics system, keep in mind they are slower growing, but once mature they will produce a larger harvest of aromatic herbs for your cooking. Basil is the most popularly hydroponically grown herb, but most herbs can be grown this way. Marjoram, mint, rosemary, chives, thyme, sage and oregano are a few of the other herbs which can be grown in a hydroponics system.
The list of flowers that can grow in a hydroponics system is almost endless. Growing hydroponic flowers, like any other plant, will depend on your space. Larger or taller flowers like rose bushes, or gladiolus will require more space to prevent over crowding. A few flowers that thrive in a hydroponics system are: amaryllis, dahlias, chrysanthemums, iris, freesia, lily, gerbera and orchids to name only a few. Orchids are one of the most popular flower to grow in this system, because it keeps the constant moisture levels of the plants at an optimum level, and gives the flower the humidity needed to thrive.
Like vegetables, the growing season of fruits can be greatly extended when grown in a hydroponics system. Berries, such as: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, black berries, boysenberries and loganberries are the most popular fruit grown this way. Other fruits, such as: bananas, papayas, pepinos and currants are a few other fruits that can be grown in a hydroponics system.
When you take a cutting from a houseplant, place it in water to root, basically you are growing that plant in a hydroponics system. A true hydroponics system requires a bit more in equipment, but the idea is the same. Most houseplants can be grown hydroponically, such as philodendron, ficus, dracaena, mother-in-law tongue or snake plant, lily, and a host of other indoor plants and flowers can be grown this way. Even African violets and palm trees can be grown hydroponically.