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Seasonal Crops?

thyme plant

 It’s the thyme of the season…

Do you need to plant your hydroponic vegetables according to the seasons?

If your hydroponic vegetable garden is going to spend all its days inside, in air-conditioned comfort, then the crops you grow won't need to be matched to the seasons.

juicy red strawberry from your basement

Granted, you'll have to provide light, humidity and the proper
temperature range, but with a little knowledge and diligence, you can
grow cool or warm season crops year-round... one of the beauties of the
hydroponics method.

Pick strawberries in your basement while a snowstorm rages outside!

However, even with air conditioning and central heat, most of us tend to keep our homes on the cool side in the winter (68-75° ) and a little warmer in the summer months (78-82° ).

If you cannot provide adequate heat or air conditioning to the grow room, or the unit will spend at least some of the year out on your patio, or... if you have graduated to a greenhouse (nirvana!), then don't fight nature... plant crops according to the seasons.

   The Hydroponic Growing Seasons

Here's a list of vegetables well-suited to hydroponics, and when to plant them (in North America):

WARM WEATHER CROPS: Start seedlings in March-April, transplant in May. Done by late August.

Keep daytime temp 70-80°; nighttime 60-70°. Max temp = 90°. 3-4 feedings per day during summer grow season.

Green peppers
Green beans
Warm variety lettuces
Squash (needs lots of room)
Melons (needs lots of room)

COOL SEASON CROPS: 2 growing seasons: Early spring (February 20); and early fall (August 30).

Daytime temps 60-70°; nighttime 50-60°. Minimum temp = 40°. 1-2 feedings a day in cool weather.

healthy radishes

Broccoli & cauliflower
Cabbage & bok choy
Swiss chard
Peas, snow peas and sugar snaps
Green onions, leeks and chives
Carrots (stubbies)

   Separate Gardens for Different Crops?

It's a good idea to grow lettuce and herbs separate from the tall tomato, pepper and cucumber vines. Why?

  • The taller plants will shade the lettuce and herbs and they won't receive enough light. 
  • The lettuces are quick growing plants, harvested regularly; whereas the vining crops are slow growers and may get in the way of frequent harvesting of lettuce. 
  • Lettuces do not required the HID lighting necessary for fruiting plants. Save the expense of HID for more fruiting plants. Use T-5 fluorescents for lettuce. 
  • Lettuce also enjoys a lower EC (nutrient concentration)  than tomatoes, peppers and cukes.

                           HERB LOVERS

We also advocate a completely separate hydroponic herb garden for your kitchen.

Herbs are a long-term growing system which should not be disturbed by quick growing vegetable crops. Keep it in your kitchen for easy access for cooking.

Read more about kitchen herb gardens here: Hydroponic Herbs.

Hybrid? Open Pollinated? Learn about the different types of seed here: Vegetable Garden Seeds


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