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An easy way of cultivating your veggies in your own kitchen
Owning your own vegetable patch is the best thing that you can come across in modern city life. Limited space has been dominating your green thumb for a long time but thanks to hydroponics things are about to change now.
Hydroponics is a new science that helps you to grow vegetables of your choice without soil. This means that the plants will be growing in water mixed with essential nutrients that ensure proper growth of the plant in a controlled environment.
Freshwater is continuously circulated around the roots of the plants with the help of an air pump and viola you have your little kitchen garden within your living space. A hydroponic garden allows the water to be circulated around the roots so efficiently that it improves the growth of the plants. So, you get healthy herbs and vegetables in any season.
Hydroponic kits can be purchased easily and it contains all the gear necessary for setting up the indoor green garden. The benefits of resorting to hydroponics are many, however, it has to be remembered that not all plants are suited to this type of farming.
Some of these will attract pests and bugs while others like citronella will keep them away.
If you have decided on adapting hydroponics to grow your kitchen garden here are some quick tips on plants that you actually grow with satisfying results.
- Mint: The mint is a typical indoor plant that grows very fast. It has underground rhizomes that help it to spread fast. It should be potted separately to separate it from the other herbs. There are three varieties available like the spearmint, chocolate mint, and peppermint. Mint makes even the most ordinary hot chocolate or tea extremely tasty.
Tips: Mint like the partial shade so place it where it can also get the morning sun. Growing this herb from started plants is easier that beginning with the seeds.
- Basil: This herb is used in most homes and prefers a sunny spot with not too much drafty or cold wind. You can use a sprig or two of basil with vegetables, cheese, or even dishes with tomatoes in it. The Greek Miniature Basil is great for growing indoors. It does not become very tall (approximately 6 inches or so) and can be used in almost all dishes. Even the larger varieties can be grown easily. Basil can grow easily if you start with the seeds. Just keep pruning it from time to time so that the leaves keep growing and the plant turns bushy.
- Chives: This is a perennial herb and belongs to the onion family. It gives off a fresh taste and crunchiness which is loved by all. You can add it to omelets, soups, and even cheese preparations. The hollow stems of the chives should be divided every three years approximately. Try growing any of the onion or garlic chives. These are quite tasty and hence popular. Chives need a lot of moisture so growing it with the help of hydroponics system should not be a problem. In fact, growth should be quite satisfactory. Normally, three months are necessary for a proper harvest to be ready but in the case of the hydroponics system, it should be faster. While harvesting chives, clip it near the base, to encourage a healthy harvest.
- Cilantro: Cilantro is either loved or hated by people because of its peppery zing tasty. It finds a place in spicy recipes. It is frequently a part of Mexican, Mediterranean, and Asian recipes. If you are growing the Calypso variety then they are likely to grow almost 18 inches long. The other variety that is good for growing indoors is the Santo. Both varieties grow best if they get more sunlight or light shade. It takes about three weeks or so for Cilantro to be ready for harvest.
- Oregano: Another great green herb that can be grown indoors and is always used in the preparation of dishes is oregano. This herb finds use in Greek and Italian preparations. You can also use it in dishes made with tomato and garlic. Oregano prefers a lot of light and sun. Even though it is perennial this herb plant needs to be replaced every two years. Try using the starter plants rather than the seeds if you want faster growth.
What things to consider in hydroponics?
Growing any plant with hydroponics offers control over the growing condition. The replacement of soil with nutrient water is a case in point. Proper aeration is an important condition required for the growing of the plants. The tub of the plant should have a functional hole which allows the passage of air and the entry of sunlight.
The air stones have to be placed properly. The water has to be sterilized with chlorine properly to keep away pests. You can use grown-up plants into the hydroponics system after removing some of the soil in which it was previously kept. It becomes easier to grow the plant. If you are planting seeds instead of you will have to follow the instructions given in the packet.
Why must you grow your own vegetables?
Growing veggies have always been popular even though the limited space available in the city has posed constraints. Growing your own greens ensures that the fruits and vegetables are free from pesticides and chemicals. In the case of hydroponics, it becomes extremely easier because plants growing in this set up rarely use pesticides.
For a kitchen garden, it is best to use smaller kits so that you can move them about freely in different windows to get adequate sunlight and air. The kit and set up has to be maintained frequently so that it functions in an optimum manner.
The water level and the amount of nutrients will have to be monitored on a daily basis so that the health of the plants and their growth can be controlled. Hydroponics is the future of agriculture and the source of healthy homegrown vegetables.