Want to grow healthy fresh vegetables but have limited outdoor space? Curious about growing herbs and vegetables year-round? Many gardeners are turning to hydroponics.
Do you need special seeds for hydroponic gardens?
While we believe Sow Right Seeds are pretty special, there’s no difference between hydroponic seeds and seeds you would grow in a regular garden. So whether you purchase a fancy decor-enhancing indoor hydroponic system or build a creative DIY version, you can use Sow Right Seeds in any hydroponic garden.
However, some varieties of herbs and vegetables work better in hydroponics than others. So to help you have a successful gardening experience, here are our favorite top 10 seeds for hydroponics.
Best Leafy Greens for Hydroponics
Little Gem Lettuce
This miniature Romaine-style lettuce is easy to grow. It prefers shade which makes it a good choice for indoor growing. Its small size also makes it our pick for hydroponic gardeners.
Lolla Rosa Lettuce
The curly dark magenta, and green leaves of Lolla Rosa Lettuce will put on a show in your indoor garden. This variety forms a loose 7" head and can be cut down to 2” to regrow another harvest.
White Stem Pak Choi
Also known as Bok Choi or Chinese cabbage, this cruciferous vegetable is popular in stir-fries and Asian dishes. It has a very mild, sweet flavor and is grown for both its stalks and leaves.
Dwarf Siberian Kale
This Russian heirloom variety of kale produces lovely, slightly ruffled leaves. Dwarf Siberian is a productive plant and perfect for growing in containers and small spaces. Kale is incredibly nutritious and makes beautiful fresh salads. It is also tasty, simmered in soups and stews or added to stir-fries, smoothies, sauteed, and more.
Arugula is easy to grow and makes incredible salads with its unique peppery flavor. Since it bolts easily in hot weather, it’s an excellent choice for indoor hydroponic gardens. Leave the center leaf buds and harvest the outer leaves for quick regrowth.
Best Herb Seeds for Hydroponics
Herbs are another great choice for indoor hydroponics. Our top seeds for hydroponic herb gardening are:
Basil is an essential ingredient in many recipes. This dwarf variety is perfect for growing indoors. It grows into a rounded dome with leaves that are 1/2" long. It has a delicious sweet, spicy flavor. Greek Basil could be used in a unique pesto recipe.
Thyme grows well in pots and indoors, which makes it a popular choice for hydroponic gardens. Keep harvesting as it grows. Use thyme fresh or dried for a multitude of culinary delights.
Flat Leaf Parsley
Parsley is very easy to grow. It is often used as a garnish in addition to flavoring a recipe. Growing it indoors makes it accessible for adding a gourmet touch to a plated dish. It can also be dried and stored.
Cilantro is a popular herb grown for both its leaves (cilantro) and flavorful seeds (coriander). It is a quick growing annual that will add a distinctive flavor to your salsa, tacos, rice and beans, Asian stir-fry, and much more.
The intense, cool-tasting leaves of mint make it a fun choice for indoor growing. Its roots spread vigorously, which makes it a great plant for hydroponics. Add mint leaves to hot and cold herbal teas, salads, and desserts.
What is a Hydroponic Garden?
At its simplest, hydroponics is a gardening method that uses water infused with the necessary nutrients and minerals that would otherwise be provided by the soil. While this can be a successful gardening method for many kinds of herbs and vegetables, it also comes with its own set of challenges.
Advantages of hydroponic gardening:
- Plants grow quickly, sometimes 50% faster.
- Can often have a higher yield.
- Requires less space.
- Uses less water than growing in soil.
- No weeds.
Disadvantages of hydroponic gardening:
- Hydroponics systems can be expensive to buy or build.
- It requires some specific knowledge.
- A hydroponic system needs regular monitoring.
- Plants can get waterborne diseases.
- The roots are vulnerable without soil to protect them.
Additional tips for hydroponic gardens:
- Plants will need indoor growing lights for 6 hours of sunlight minimum. 12 hours is better.
- Need to keep the temperature at 68-70 degrees.
- The humidity needs to be kept at 40-60 percent in the room.
- Hard water is not as effective if it has lots of minerals.
- The water pH level needs to be slightly acidic - 5.8 to 6.2
- You will need to use fertilizers specifically for hydroponics.
- Use clean tools and wash your hands.
- Containers will need to be sanitized between harvests.
If you are new to hydroponics and want more specifics about how to set up a system at home, we recommend this article from the University of Minnesota Extension.
With these considerations in mind, you can have a successful hydroponic garden with seeds from Sow Right Seeds.
Learn more about indoor gardening with these articles from our Planter's Library.