What is the Most Profitable Hydroponic Crop to Grow?
Hydroponic gardening has experienced an explosion in popularity among commercial and hobby gardeners in the last decade. The demand for locally grown whole foods, even in the height of winter, has fueled its popularity because hydroponic gardening solves the problem of cold-season crop cultivation. Hydroponic gardens achieve this feat because they are typically built inside in grow rooms or in a greenhouse, allowing plants to thrive indoors, away from the less-than-ideal weather of winter.
If you have a knack for gardening and want to use a hydroponics system to turn your garden into a source of income, you will need some information on how to make it profitable before getting started. After you have learned about the initial cost of setting up a hydroponic system, you will need to decide what to grow. Focusing your efforts on the most profitable crops will give you the best chance at bringing in sizable cash flow from your hydroponic system.
The Most Profitable Crops to Grow Hydroponically
Hydroponic systems are praised for their ability to grow the most robust, high-yielding crops possible. However, they still have energy expenses that range three dollars per square foot to over eight dollars per square foot. To make sure you make the most profit possible from your hydroponic system, consider the following crops.
Bay leaves are a delicious, aromatic herb used in savory dishes ranging from hearty soups to roasted pork or chicken. They are grown on a laurel tree and tend to be a high priced crop. On average, fresh bay leaves are sold for around $30 per pound.
The laurel tree is a slow growing crop best suited for a drip irrigation system. It is cold hardy but prefers a warm, dry environment. Overall, they are a low maintenance crop that carry the potential for significant profit.
Chives are an onion-flavored popular addition to a wide range of cuisines. They are not only a highly profitable crop to grow hydroponically; they are also a natural insect repellent. Chives are an easy crop to grow that is resistant to disease and can handle being planted in small, closed-in spaces. On average, they fetch around $14.00 per pound when sold fresh.
Ginseng is another crop that sells for a significant amount. Ranging between $500 and $600 per pound when dry, ginseng is a root crop that is used frequently in tea blends and energy drinks. It also has a heavy presence in the herbal supplement market where it is praised for being a potent antioxidant.
Ginseng grows slowly, so it does not have a high turn around like some other crops do. However, because it grows slowly and wild plants are dug before seed production can occur, the price for this crop is unlikely to go down much.
Dill is a profitable plant to grow hydroponically, in part because of how easy it is to grow. It does not require a lot of nutrients or pruning, which makes it as close to a “set and forget” crop as possible. On average, dill sells fresh for $14 per pound.
Dill will not keep producing when pruned, so keeping a steady supply of it means planting new crops every three to four weeks. However, dill will take off with just water and light, so it is still a great hydroponic crop.
Basil seems to be an herb that is always in demand. It is easy to grow and produces plentifully when grown in a hydroponic system. Basil does require a lot of light, so growers should be sure to get a high-quality, full-spectrum grow light for best results.
There are well over 100 different species of basil, ranging in flavors from licorice to lime. Growing several kinds of basil can help growers get the most money for their efforts. On average, basil is sold fresh for $14 per pound.
Another high-profit herb to grow hydroponically is cilantro. It is a popular herb available in several varieties. It is frequently found in Chinese, Thai, and Mexican cuisine.
Cilantro can be harvested in as little as three to four weeks. It sells for around $6 per pound, making it easy for hydroponic farmers to get a steady stream of income. When allowed to reach the flowering stage, the cilantro plant will produce coriander seeds, which is ground up and used as a mild citrus-flavored spice in a variety of popular dishes.
Come summer, people line up at the farmer’s market to get their hands on some sweet, local fruits of the season. Buying fruits out of season usually results in a tart, less-than-pleasing flavor, but that does not have to be the case when they are grown hydroponically. One of the easiest and most profitable fruits to do this with are strawberries.
Strawberries can be heavy producers in a hydroponic system, depending on the variety grown. The price for strawberries will range between $2 and $6 per pound, but growers can rely on them getting the most bang for their buck when traditionally grown strawberries are not in season.
Commercial and hobby gardeners have been enjoying the perks of growing plants hydroponically for years. The key to making the most money is having the right equipment and choosing to grow the most profitable crops. Growing the crops listed here is a great way to make a profit with your hydroponic system right away.