We love to talk about hydroponic farming. We featured a hydroponic farming startup 160 Hydro farm which offers training in hydroponic farming. We’ve also had wider discussions on hydroponic farming and ideas that tend to go hand in hand with it such as vertical farming. The question many have is what can or should they grow in a hydroponic farming setup. We have put together a list for you of some of the best crops you can grow in a hydroponic farming setup. We will keep each one brief but look out for the linked articles for each crop where available that will take you to a deeper discussion on the crop.
Lettuce is a fast-growing and very popular vegetable. Lettuce is very easy to grow and doesn’t take the most experienced hand to do so. There are quite a few varieties of lettuce to choose from that are popular including iceberg. Cos, romaine and leaf lettuce.
Spinach is another quick-growing leaf vegetable with a time to maturity of 6 weeks from germination. It is a very popular vegetable in all types of cuisine and very much always in demand. Spinach like many leaf vegetables grows very well in hydroponic systems.
Kale is a collective name for a variety of leaf vegetables that includes the popular rape. Kale matures in 30 to 40 days from seedling transplanting. This is an extremely popular vegetable but may not warrant growing in a hydroponic system unless it’s for special order given how easily it grows in normal methods.
Strawberries are traditionally grown in Zimbabwe’s winter but with greenhouse systems, they can be grown all year round. Strawberries are popular both locally and for export.
Blueberries enjoy popularity in Europe and the Americas that they do not enjoy in Zimbabwe. However, they still grow very well in Zimbabwe and hydroponic setups.
Bell peppers are extremely popular fruits that feature in many types of cuisine from around the world. They have a huge local demand. The plants take about 90 days to bear ready fruits. They grow very well in hydroponic systems.
Oregano is a very popular leaf herb that features heavily in Mediterranean cuisine. The herb also has medicinal uses which makes it potentially lucrative. It is popular in Zimbabwe and also has export opportunities. Oregano matures in just 90 days and grows well in hydroponic systems.
Another popular herb that has both culinary and medicinal purposes is basil. Basil grows very well in Zimbabwe. Your basil plants will mature in just 60 days. You can sell it fresh or cure it like most herbs.
Rosemary is a very popular powerful herb that has both medicinal and culinary uses. Unlike most of the herbs listed here, rosemary is not fast-growing with maturity taking 6 to 12 months. Rosemary makes up for this by allowing multiple harvests of its leaves.
Green beans or string beans are very popular within Zimbabwe and also have popularity outside the country so have export opportunities. You can expect them to grow very quickly, ready to harvest in 55 days.
Bok choy (sometimes pak choi) is a leaf vegetable similar to cabbage. It is very popular in Chinese and Korean cuisine. It grows well in hydroponic systems and has the advantage of a very quick time to maturity of 60 days.
I think it’s safe to say that the tomato is Zimbabwe’s favourite fruit. You will have no trouble finding demand for tomatoes. Fairly quick growing allowing harvest in around 60 days they grow very well in hydroponic systems.
Cucumbers are very popular in Zimbabwe. A member of the pumpkin family they have a very short duration to maturity of just 70 days. The most popular types are Ashley and English cucumbers.
Celery is a very popular vegetable revered for its stalks and leaves. Celery takes a little bit longer to mature than most crops on this list taking around 120 days to mature. Celery is popular in Zimbabwe and has export potential.
Saving the best for last cannabis also grows very well in hydroponic systems. With marijuana growers being licensed in Zimbabwe there’s a good opportunity to apply hydroponic farming to the herb. You can read more about ideas for cannabis products and by-products.
These are some of the most profitable crops you can grow in a hydroponic system. For each crop given you can look at crops in the same broad family that may also be suitable for hydroponic systems.