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As the trend towards indoor gardening continues to grow, smart gardens have become a popular option for those who want to grow their own fresh produce indoors. Smart gardens are essentially mini indoor gardens that use technology to optimize plant growth and simplify the gardening process.
In this article, we will explore the best plants to grow in smart gardens and their benefits.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Smart Gardens
Before we dive into the best plants to grow in smart gardens, let’s briefly discuss what a smart garden is.
A smart garden is a self-contained ecosystem that allows you to grow plants indoors without soil.
Smart gardens use hydroponic technology, which involves growing plants in a nutrient-rich water solution instead of soil. They also use LED lights to provide the necessary light for plant growth.
Read more about smart gardens here.
Benefits of Growing Plants in Smart Gardens
There are several benefits to growing plants in smart gardens, such as:
- Indoor plants purify the air and can improve your overall health.
- Smart gardens are eco-friendly, as they do not require soil and can conserve water.
- You can easily control the environment in which your plants grow, such as temperature, humidity, and light.
- Smart gardens are perfect for people who live in apartments, as they do not take up much space.
If you want to compare what’s on the market check out the 5 best smart gardens for your home.
Best Plants to Grow in Smart Gardens
Now let’s get to the best plants to grow in smart gardens. The following plants are perfect for hydroponic systems and can thrive in smart gardens.
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Herbs are the easiest plants to grow in smart gardens. They require minimal maintenance and are perfect for beginners. Some of the best herbs to grow in smart gardens include:
- Basil – Basil is a fragrant herb that is commonly used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. It is easy to grow in a smart garden and can be harvested in as little as three weeks. Basil can be used in a variety of dishes, including pasta sauces, pesto, and salads.
- Mint – Commonly used in teas, cocktails, and desserts. It is easy to grow in a smart garden and can be harvested in as little as three weeks. Mint can be used in a variety of dishes, including salads, smoothies, and sauces. Mint also contains several beneficial plant compounds, such as menthol and rosmarinic acid, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Oregano – A popular herb used in cooking but also has potential health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. It has been used in traditional medicine for treating colds, indigestion, and upset stomach.
Read more about the benefits of herbs.
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Leafy greens are another great option for smart gardens. They are easy to grow and are packed with nutrients. Here are some of the best leafy greens to grow in your smart garden:
- Lettuce – A versatile and nutritious leafy green that is easy to grow in a smart garden. It is a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, making it an excellent addition to your diet. Lettuce can be harvested in as little as three weeks and can be used in salads, sandwiches, or as a garnish.
- Spinach – Packed with nutrients like iron, vitamin K, and fiber, and is also very easy to grow. Spinach can be harvested in as little as four weeks and is a great addition to salads, smoothies, or as a side dish.
- Arugula – Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable that is low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat. It is also rich in several important nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. These nutrients can help support the body’s cardiovascular, nervous, and digestive systems, and may offer other health benefits as well
- Swiss chard – Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is high in several important nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as magnesium, potassium, and iron. These nutrients can help support the immune system, bone health, and heart health.
- Bok choy – Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that is low in calories and high in several important nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and potassium. These nutrients can help support the immune system and bone health.
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You can also grow vegetables in smart gardens. However, some vegetables require more space than others. Here are some of the best vegetables to grow in smart gardens:
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes are a popular fruit that is used in a variety of dishes. They are easy to grow in a smart garden and can be harvested in as little as six weeks. Tomatoes can be used in salads, sandwiches, and sauces.
- Peppers – Peppers are versatile vegetables that are easy to grow in a smart garden. They can be harvested in as little as six weeks and can be used in a variety of dishes, including stir-fries, salads, and salsa.
Yes, you can even grow fruits in smart gardens. But so far the best results are with strawberries.
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They can be harvested in as little as five weeks and are a great addition to smoothies, desserts, or as a healthy snack.
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They can be harvested when the greens are just 2-3 inches tall and are considered to be the first true leaves produced from a seedling, often under 14 days. They are easy to grow year-round in a smart garden. Microgreens are also packed with nutrients, making them a popular choice for those looking to add functional foods to their diet.
Read more about microgreens here.
Tips for Growing Plants in Smart Gardens
Now that you know the best plants to grow in smart gardens, here are some tips to help you grow healthy and thriving plants:
- Choose the right size smart garden for your plants.
- Use a high-quality nutrient solution.
- Monitor the pH levels of your water solution regularly.
- Adjust the light intensity and duration depending on the growth stage of your plants.
- Prune your plants regularly to promote healthy growth.
- Do I need to use special seeds for smart gardens?
No, you can buy regular seeds to plant in your smart garden. Some manufacturers offer pods with seeds already planted and ready to grow.
- Can I grow any plant in a smart garden?
Not all plants are suitable for hydroponic systems, so it’s best to stick with plants that thrive in these environments.
- Do smart gardens require a lot of maintenance?
Smart gardens require some maintenance, such as monitoring nutrient levels and adjusting light intensity, but they are generally low maintenance compared to traditional gardens.
- Can I grow plants in a smart garden all year round?
Yes, you can grow plants in smart gardens all year round as long as you provide the appropriate environment for their growth.
- How long does it take for plants to grow in smart gardens?
The growth rate of plants in smart gardens depends on the type of plant and the growing conditions, but most plants will grow faster in hydroponic systems than in traditional soil gardens.