Starting An Indoor Hydroponic Vegetable Garden 4 FAQ Answered

Are you thinking about starting an indoor hydroponic vegetable garden? Using apartment hydroponics you can grow vegetables without soil.

Are you thinking about starting an indoor hydroponic vegetable garden? Using apartment hydroponics you can grow vegetables without soil.

Starting An Indoor Hydroponic Vegetable Garden

Starting An Indoor Hydroponic Vegetable Garden

Why starting a hydroponic vegetable garden in your apartment makes sense.

  • You will be growing your own food.
  • It is also an educational experience that is great to share with kids.
  • It can be a lot of fun and you will learn a lot.
  • There is a special satisfaction in eating food you grew yourself.
  • You can grow healthy food that is not sprayed with chemicals like the stuff in the supermarket.

Apartment Kitchen Garden – Growing A Hydroponic Garden In An Apartment (indoorvegetablegrower.com)

What vegetables can be grown hydroponically indoors?

You can grow many different vegetables indoors. Hydroponics has many different ways to grow vegetables.

Some, like DWC (deep water culture) or flood and drain systems, are adapted to growing larger plants like tomatoes and peppers.

The Kratky method allows you to grow smaller plants like microgreens, herbs and lettuce.

What is the easiest vegetable to grow hydroponically?

The easiest vegetables to grow hydroponically are micro greens, herbs and lettuce.

All leafy greens and herbs are easy to grow in hydroponics and mature much faster than fruiting plants.

Many greens can be harvested multiple times by just removing individual leaves rather than pulling up the whole plant.

How do I start an indoor hydroponic garden?

This is really not much different than starting an outdoor garden. You need to decide what you will grow, and where you will put it.

The 2 biggest differences are that you will not use soil to grow your plants, and you will need to provide supplemental light.

If you have a patio or balcony, you will have enough light in the summer. Otherwise, you will need a grow light.

But starting an indoor hydroponic vegetable garden will allow you to grow vegetables all year round, and you will need a grow light for this. More info at https://indoorvegetablegrower.com/growing-vegetables-indoors-with-lights/

How do I set up an indoor hydroponic system?

There are a few different hydroponic systems, and some are definitely easier and cheaper to set up and use.

The best hydroponic system for beginners is undoubtedly the Kratky system.

If you have never grown anything, or this is your first try at growing hydroponically, this is where you should start growing greens like lettuce.

Even if you want to grow harder to grow plants like peppers or tomatoes, I suggest getting your feet wet with the Kratky system.

The Kratky system is a passive form of DWC and that means no pumps are needed. It is self contained in a tote or any container that can hold water, so all you need is a tote with a top or a piece of Styrofoam the same size. You can even grow lettuce in a mason jar using this method. Here is some more information for you:

https://indoorvegetablegrower.com/kratky-lettuce-kratky-method-hydroponic-system-diy/

Lighting Your Indoor Hydroponic Vegetable Garden

No matter what vegetables you grow or how you decide to grow them, your vegetables will need supplemental lighting.

All vegetables are outdoor plants used to getting plenty of sunshine, and even those that have lower light needs still need a lot of light.

In the winter, days are much shorter, and the skies are often cloudy. There is no way to grow vegetables indoors without supplementing light.

LED Grow Lights Are The Best Choice

LED grow lights give off more light per watt of power used than any other type of lighting. They also dont give off a lot of heat.

Fluorescent lights can be used for lower light plants, but they are not as efficient and you will need to replace the bulbs every year. They probably can’t give off enough light for high light crops like tomatoes.

You will need about 30-35 watts per square foot for these. Please be aware that many Chinese LED manufacturers inflate the wattage of their lights by adding up the wattage of each individual chip.

However, their lights are not designed and do not run at 100% power. The actual wattage of a LED is determined by the number of watts they pull from the wall.

There are a lot of LED lights on the market today, and everyone claims theirs is the best. If you want premium lights, check out Horticulture Lighting Group. They are top quality and made in the USA. 

If you don’t want to spend that much, I recommend looking at Spider Farmer lights. They are good quality and more affordable.

Enhance Performance With A Grow Tent

Using a grow tent can enhance the performance of your vegetables. The inside of a grow tent has reflective walls that will make your light more efficient.

If you hang a grow light in an open space, the light will spread. A lot of light is wasted because it isn’t hitting your plants.

LED lights are also pretty bright, so you might want to put them in a grow tent for that reason alone. But the light they give off is enclosed inside the tent, and the walls reflect it back towards your plants. So your light will perform much better and so will your veggies.

So check out my article on Using A Grow Tent For Vegetables [ Ultimate Quick-start Guide ] (indoorvegetablegrower.com) for more information on using a grow tent. You can also learn how to set up an automated flood and drain system in your tent.

Kratky method lettuce raft

Here is an article that shows how to build a simple hydroponic system using the Kratky method. This is a lettuce raft system, and this method really works, and is used commercially on a larger scale

https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/edibles/vegetables/hydroponic-vegetable-gardening.html