Photo courtesy of FoodieFactor
Anxious for spring to arrive so you can start the vegetable garden?
You really don’t have to wait.
A hydroponic garden is the perfect place to grow perennial vegetables. You don’t have to worry about seasons, and you can have back-to-back harvests pretty much all year long.
Talk about an efficient way to keep fresh food around.
What are perennial vegetables?
Perennial vegetables are simply vegetable plants that continue to produce harvests for years after reaching maturity.
If you’re the long-term commitment kind of person, you should definitely peruse the options for vegetables that intend to stick around.
And even if you’re more of a “try new things” person, you have room in your garden to devote one small area to a perennial experiment, right?
Some perennials produce more abundant harvests with each year you nurture them.
What to plant
Here are the best picks for hydroponic perennials:
Okay, let’s talk about the drawbacks of asparagus right up front.
You should know that if you start an asparagus plant from a seedling, it will take 2 to 3 years before an established plant is yielding edible asparagus.
If you’re okay with that, go for it. Grilled asparagus tips are delicious.
And once your plants do reach maturity, you can look forward to those plants producing yields for up to 20 years.
Ginger and turmeric
Ginger and turmeric plants can be difficult to grow in outdoor gardens. But the controlled conditions of a hydroponic garden can make the process much easier.
As root plants that grows from a rhizome, these will need to sprout in a warm, moist growing medium before being transplanted to your grow bed or a container garden.
Herbs are without a doubt the easiest perennial to maintain in your hydroponic garden. And most of them require very little space.
Herbs you can grow hydroponically include:
Most herbs can be harvested in bits over long periods of time.
How to reduce downtime
Now, it’s important to point out that your perennials are not just going to keep producing yields. Just as if they were in an outdoor garden, they will need time off before producing again.
So how do you end up with back-to-back harvests if you still have to wait the usual amount of time for another round of results?
By spacing out the planting time for individual specimens, each will reach maturity at different times. Because you’re working with an indoor garden, you can space them out to have harvests literally all year long.
Some hydroponic growers don’t think perennials are worth it for an indoor garden.
That’s because you have to maintain the plants during the period that they are not producing yields.
It is true that dormant perennials can mean extra work and extra expense. But for some growers, the challenge of keeping perennials going is worth it.
It doesn’t hurt to try it out and see how perennials work in your indoor garden. Let us know what perennials you’re growing on our Facebook page.