The Simple Things - - NEST -

Stick to leafy salad veg and herbs for the best re­sults. Which va­ri­eties you choose to grow will de­pend on the size of your grow­ing sys­tem: the lights of the Ikea In­door Gar­den­ing Sys­tem, for ex­am­ple, are 30cm above the grow­ing tray, so any plants that grow taller than that won’t fit. Plant 1–3 seeds per plug, de­pend­ing on the plant, and re­mem­ber that dif­fer­ent seeds ger­mi­nate at dif­fer­ent rates. You should see plants with leaves big enough to eat af­ter 5–7 weeks.

Cherry toma­toes

Small toma­toes of­ten planted in con­tain­ers will also suit hy­dro­ponic sys­tems. ‘ Bal­coni Red’, ‘ Ba­jaja’ and ‘ Sweet ’n’ Neat Cherry Red’ are all nice and compact.


Smaller va­ri­eties such as ‘ Kraka­toa’ and ‘ Bas­ket of Fire’ will fit hy­dro­ponic sys­tems best, but taller plants can be pinched out to en­cour­age width rather than height.


Most va­ri­eties will flour­ish in a hy­dro­ponic sys­tem. Ones with looser leaves such as Lollo Rossa, Cos (red and green) and But­ter­head va­ri­eties suit hy­dro­ponic crop­ping bet­ter than tightly packed ones like Ice­berg.

Other leaves

Pick the leaves of spinach, rocket, pak choi, ori­en­tal mus­tard and gar­den cress when they are young for best flavour. They are of­ten found to­gether in salad leaves seed mixes.


A hand­ful of fresh herbs in snip­ping dis­tance is a boon to any cook. Most thrive in hy­dro­ponic con­di­tions: try basil, chives, co­rian­der, mint pars­ley or lemon balm.

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