The concept of growing a kitchen garden is not new. People have always been planting chillies and tomatoes outside their kitchens to add a quick dash of taste to their daily meals. In cities, the practice is not that frequent mostly because of the lack of space and shortage of time. But people have started taking a positive attitude towards the same in recent times. Growing a bit of herb or some tomatoes is quite easy because these do not require very heavy manual labour or time. Once the seeds have been planted you will need to tend to the plants and provide water and minerals at the right time and ensure that the plants receive adequate sunlight.
Bust the stress
Backyard gardening is a great way of releasing stress and enjoying the power of creation. Watching a plant grow from a seed to big enough to hold fruits is a different kind of satisfaction. You will savour the flavour of the food more owing to the effort that you had put to growing it. Also, growing your own vegetables definitely has its benefits like:
- Getting fresh produce at the table every day.
- When you grow your own food, you ensure that it is free from any kind of insecticides and pesticides.
- Lastly, vegetables bought from the store are picked early to ensure that they reach the buyers while they are still ripe. But in your own garden, you decide when to harvest the fruit or vegetable. Therefore, they contain more nutrients than the ones bought at the stores.
Traditional and newer farming methods
Growing food is extremely easy and satisfying. Vegetables of everyday use such as lettuce, celery, or tomatoes are extremely easy to grow and you can learn it even if you do not have a green thumb. If you are a fan of the traditional method of using soil then you must have sufficient space to keep all the tubs, along with adequate sunlight for almost six hours or so and definitely a proper source of water for the plants on a daily basis. Alternative means of farming are also available these days which offer a faster way of food production in slightly tweaked growing conditions. Hydroponics is creating waves at the moment and ensuring that people can produce herbs and vegetables in smaller spaces.
In this new system of farming, you plant your greens in nutrition enriched solution rather than the traditional soil. For warmth, you can use LEDs or even sunlight. Hydroponics kits are available with all the instructions and the nutrition solutions so that you can get started once the kit has been set up. Hydroponic gardens are most useful when made smaller in size so that they can be placed anywhere to get sunlight. The availability of perfect growing conditions and lack of weather hazards and pests allows the plants growing with hydroponics to grow faster and healthier. So, your hydroponic garden could well be producing quite a lot of your favourite fruits and vegetables. Therefore, it becomes essential to focus on fruits and vegetables that the entire family loves to eat. Certain vegetables can pose slight problems for the hydroponic setup.
What fruits and vegetables to grow with hydroponics?
Hydroponics, as the name suggests, is farming in water and therefore, requires a small-sized production unit. Large-sized vegetables such as pumpkins and watermelons, therefore, are a strict no-no because they can grow to bigger sizes and ruin the entire greenhouse.
It is best to invest in leafy greens like spinach, mint, lettuce, cabbage, basil, as well as tomatoes and potatoes. Most food preparations are easily spruced by the addition of one or more of these herbs and vegetables. Strawberries can also be grown with the help of hydroponics. It is, in fact, one of the best items that suit the hydroponic system and can be easily fitted in any of the many types of varieties available.
Potatoes are used in most food preparations and can be grown with hydroponics if only the smaller variety of the same is used. The food or starch in potatoes, carrot, etc. is all stored in the roots. So, your containers must have a suitable depth to accommodate their growth.
Tomatoes, peas, beans, etc. can also be grown in this system. Since these are climbers, they will need adequate support for their stems. Vining veggies thrive quite well in hydroponics set up.
Leafy greens such as mint, lettuce, and basil can be grown with the help of hydroponics. In fact, these thrive quite well in the nutrition-enriched liquid. There are a lot of varieties to choose from which can grow faster than the others. Mint, alone, has a lot of varieties such as spearmint, ginger-mint, pepper-mint, etc. If you are planting lettuce then try varieties such as sweet butter, romaine, etc rather than iceberg alone.
Beans can also be grown successfully in this farming system if the right amount of support than being provided because beans plants tend to become bushy.
How to take care of your hydroponics set daily?
Growing plants in your hydroponics patch is easy provided you take daily care for the plants and ensure that the set is working properly. Here are a few tips:
- Humidity is good for your plants so spray some on them
- Ensure that the hydroponic system does not get drained or flooded by water as neither is good for the plants
- Sometimes, you may find that the nutrition solution has been soaked up. Add plain water to the container rather than more of the nutritional solution. Your plants do not need more nutrition.
- Check the plants for signs of deficiency or pests.
- Keep an eye on the temperature of the room especially if it is in a greenhouse. If the room is too hot open the windows to let in some breeze.
- Insects like dragonflies and spiders are good for your plant because they will destroy the bad ones and help in the growth of your plant.
It is best to turn this into a daily routine so that you can be around some greenery and ensure that your vegetable patch is growing quite well.