When it comes to fresh greens, it is hard to get any fresher than food picked from your own garden. If you are lucky enough to have the outdoor space, a backyard garden is a good start. However, in most parts of the country, there is only a limited growing season. What if you could fix this by bringing your garden right into your kitchen? A hydroponic system is the answer to that problem. There are a few things you should know before you commit to this upgrade.
High Up Front Cost
While hydroponic systems are relatively cheap to run, especially if you choose LED grow lights, they can be expensive to get started. A homemade system can reduce the cost significantly, but isn't very pleasant to look at in your freshly remodeled kitchen. Size is also going to be a factor. The more you want to grow, the more space needed and the bigger the setup. A small system for the occasional treat will only cost a few hundred dollars, but if you want to grow enough to have consistent greenery, you should expect to invest several thousand dollars on the setup.
Maintaining a hydroponic system is relatively straightforward, but there is some work involved. You may wish to do some research on home hydroponic systems so you get an idea of what is actually involved in the day to day of maintaining the system. At a minimum, you'll need to keep up with the water and nutrients, as well as keeping the machine very clean so mold does not grow in the damp environment. This can get tiring to do after a while. Your system won't do you any good if it is just sitting empty.
Limited Growing Options
Hydroponics can squeeze a lot of food into a limited space, but it isn't an infinite amount of space either. If you want to grow some vegetables along with your greens, you are going to need to choose a system that has sufficient space to allow at least a dwarf variety to grow. If you are planning on just sticking with microgreens and lettuce, then a compact system will serve you well.
Adding a hydroponic garden to your kitchen is a great way to bring fresh greens into your food supply year round. If you are willing to face the challenges, then this is a good choice for your next kitchen remodeling project.