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Hydroponic Farming At Home: Best Gardens, Vegetables, and Fruits [2022]

Are you looking to survive the next pandemic with your survival garden? Or are you just purchasing your 10th Aerogarden because you love to grow things on an epic scale?

If so, you’re in the right place! In this guide,  you will learn about the best fruits and vegetables that thrive in hydroponic and aeroponic gardens for a variety of systems that are easily purchased online. 

I’ll go into detail on 3 of the most popular systems, their features, and pro-level tips for growing herbs, fruits, and more! 

Hydroponic Farming At Home

Using hydroponics or aeroponics as your main gardening source is extremely beneficial. The plants grow 5 times faster and stronger since their roots have direct contact with the nutrients. Sometimes I feel they literally grow right before my eyes! My favorite part about it is that I can grow inside during the winter, and some systems can go outside as well during the summer months! I have experience growing with Aerogarden, iHarvest, and Gardyn.  They are all amazing. All that being said, let’s dive right into the best fruits, vegetables, and herbs to grow, starting with the easiest.

Hydroponic Lettuce

Lettuce grows amazingly in any style unit, first of all. In Aerogardens, you can fill every hole with lettuce “pods,” It is by far the easiest thing to start growing when you are a beginner. It’s important as a newbie gardener to have a WIN under your belt, so I definitely recommend it.

When I first started, I tried doing tomatoes, cucumbers, dwarf bananas, and let me tell you, I ended up throwing them all out due to mold, not knowing how to prune, and that was a sad moment for me. I also didn’t really like lettuce when I first bought my Aerogarden, so I didn’t want to grow it. Now I’m using them in my juicer to make green juice, and it couldn’t be more fresh and tasty.

Hydroponic Seeds

I love the heirloom salad kit that Aerogarden sells, but you can always use your own seeds as well. Rareseeds.com and Johnnyseeds.com are fantastic for finding rare and exotic lettuces that you can’t find at the store, making the process even more fun. The iHarvest and Gardyn systems are also GREAT for growing lettuce.

However, if you’re like me and love the idea of growing fruit like peppers and tomatoes, these units are nicer for that. This is because the water reservoir is HUGE, so you don’t have to block off 2 out of 3 holes like you do with Aerogardens and fruiting plants since their water basins are too small to support a fruiting plant in every hole. I have seen people in the Facebook groups do this with success, planting in every hole, but they are few and far between and appear to be expert growers.

Hydroponic Herbs

Not all herbs are created equal here in terms of how easily they grow, so I’m going to break it down for you. With regard to systems, you could put it in any system, but this time around, I am choosing to put them in my Aerogarden Farm XL so that I can have an abundance of herbs for my juices. I want them to get super tall so that I can use bunches of them at a time.

Thai Basil

Thai basil sprouts very easily and is tough to kill. When I grew it, I had no idea it would have a licorice flavor, which was really interesting to me. I use it in tea, snip a bit for salads, eggs, and more. You can put it on anything you want, really. Just be sure to cut off the purple flowers if they pop up. This means it is going to seed, and it will change the flavor of the leaves.

Mint

Mint is historically easy to grow and difficult to kill. It also easily spreads outdoors, which is why some people refuse to grow it outside of a hydroponic system. Pro tip right now, no one likes the Aerogarden Mint. Do yourself a favor and buy spearmint or peppermint seeds. They are also super easy to propagate, so you might be able to ask a local seed store if you can have a cutting of mint. Some people have trouble getting mint to germinate, and in Aerogarden systems, people recommend putting a quarter on top of the hole and THEN put the clear dome on top of that.

Chives

Chives are basically like grass that tastes like onion. I love them, but I do find that it feels like a waste to have in my hydroponic system because you can only fit so many seeds in one pod, and it doesn’t feel like much as it grows. I’ll keep you updated on this to see how tall I can grow it because that would be a game-changer. In general though very easy to sprout and grow.

Genovese Basil

You would think basil is easy to grow and hard to kill, but sometimes it is a struggle. In systems like the Aerogaden, you have to be sure to keep the light super low so the basil doesn’t get leggy. This means it grows tall but isn’t bushing out. To combat this, you need to aggressively prune the basil so it starts to grow leaves down below to achieve that bushy look. It also can take a while to germinate, so hang in there!!

Curly and Italian Parsley

Parsley is super fun to grow, and I love using it in all things. It makes a great replacement for basil if you are looking to do a Caprese salad. I’ve never had an issue growing it. It does grow tall, and at first, it will have very few leaves near the stem. I enjoy the flavor of Italian Parsley more than Curly Parsley as it is a bit stronger in flavor and is nice and flat.

Dill

Dill is a drama queen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen dill stand straight up one day and then fall over completely the next day. Don’t be alarmed. This happens, and there is nothing wrong with the dill. I’ll be honest I love walking up to my garden and petting this one because the texture is so cool, and it leaves my hands smelling like pickles. Yum! Ok, that takes you through the basil herbs. There are so many different varieties of each herb, so I encourage you to check out rareseeds.com and let your imagination go wild.

Hydroponic Fruits

Fruits are more limited than you would expect when you are trying to grow them with the three systems I’ve been talking about. Aerogarden units can support one fruiting plant for every 3 holes, so if you want to do tomatoes, you can only do 2 tomato plants total in a Harvest model. I’ll go into more detail in a second, trust me.

Peppers

Peppers are basically in the same boat as cherry tomatoes. Check your varieties!! Ensure what you get is a dwarf or shorter breed for smaller systems or vertical systems because they get TALL fast. The Aerogarden Jalapeno says it is mini, but it grew twice as tall as the cherry tomatoes when I planted them at the same time. If this happens, be sure to prune quickly before it gets out of hand. 

Beyond these two fruits there are so many cool things you can try to grow. Experiment with it. Have fun! Don’t let anyone tell you it is impossible. I just purchased Orange Master Pomegranate seeds to try in the Gardyn, as well as Habanadas, Sweet Bonnets, Mini Bell Peppers, and Strawberries. If you haven’t already, check out these exotic seed websites because they will literally blow your mind and your bank account.

Mylar Mirror Film

Ordinarily, a ton of light is lost when it’s absorbed by the walls of your garden. Mylar mirror film is an inexpensive reflector that will brighten your space at a low cost without wasting precious light and electricity. I’ve made a video showing step-by-step how it can be installed quickly and easily and I’ve left you all the details down below. 

More information and pricing is available on our mylar mirror film product page.