Technological innovations had been implemented in agriculture and aquaculture. Plants are no longer exclusively grown in soil. Experiment on easy to grow vegetables were tested and among those that can be grown through the indoor hydroponic system are leafy greens. This is very beneficial if you have very limited space for planting vegetables.
What is hydroponics? This is the method of growing plants sin use of soil and instead, they are submerged in nutrient-rich water. This method had been proved to be effective in farming a wide array of vegetables, herbs and other plant types. However, not all plants can be cultivated with this method. Most plants that are found suitable to grow hydroponically are likewise suitable to more advanced hydroponic method known as aquaponics. With this method, the hydroponic is combined with aquaculture, the raising of aquatic animals like fish. Grown together in the same environment, a symbiotic relationship exists between the planted plants and raised fish. The plant supplies food to the fish while the waste of the fish serves as fertilizer to the plant. What an amazing product of man’s ingenuity!
With hydroponics, the plant needs three things, namely water or moisture, nutrients and oxygen. There are different kinds of systems and the one suitable to beginners is the raft hydroponic system for easy to grow vegetables.
Raft hydroponic system and easy to grow vegetables
For a novice in hydroponic technology, the raft system is the advisable method. This is also known as “deep water culture” or “lettuce raft”. This is a perfect method for beginners as it is easy to construct and it does not cost too much. In fact, this makes you harvest more quickly than through the conventional gardening. In choosing the vegetable, see to it that the variety can survive excessive moisture and that it does not grow too big to overload the raft.
The concept behind this system is very simple to follow. You merely allow easy to grow vegetables to be planted in a raft that is made of rigid Styrofoam. This raft will float in nutrient rich pool of water. The raft consists of the reservoir, the aerator and the raft. The reservoir is the container of the water and the Styrofoam raft has to fit into this. The aerator functions to circulate the nutrients in the water.
Lettuce as best vegetable to grow hydroponically
The system is commonly referred to as “lettuce raft” simply because lettuce is the best choice of easy to grow vegetables that survive in the raft hydroponic. The lettuce does not require too much attention. When the outer leaves are big, you can harvest them. The inner leaves will grow fast to replace the harvested leaves. You then will have a continuous supply of the green leaves. You can plant different varieties to provide you with a variety of lettuce harvest. The most common though for this gardening method are Romaine and Bibb varieties. In this water culture, you do not plant seeds, you plant seedlings. Before you submerge in water, ensure that the roots of the seedlings are already long enough to reach the water they are planted in otherwise you seedlings will die.
Other leafy greens suitable to hydroponic farming
The raft hydroponic gives you pleasure of experimentation with other green leafy easy to grow vegetables. Just like lettuce, spinach is adaptable to hydroponic gardening. Planting spinach this way lets you avoid the presence of sandy grit in it. You can snip the needed quantity and leave the plant to keep growing and producing the nutritious leaves. But here is a precaution. Do not let them grow too big for your raft because the plants will be overcrowded to lack needed air circulation.
As there is enough room to experiment on other leafy easy to grow vegetables, you can also try your “green thumb” with kale, aragula, chard and mustard greens. All these greens are nutrient-filled to provide you a healthy diet. Actually, you can experiment on many lightweight crops using the hydroponic technology. Herbs like parsley, chives, basil are also good options. What you just have to bear in mind is to avoid heavy plants like melons, beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. You do not only grow vegetables through this method, you can also have a water garden of flowering plants.