Ancient Plants + Modern Tech: Hydroponics for Native Edibles

by | May 1, 2023

Hydroponics opens up a world of bushfood growing possibilities. It’s particularly useful in the case of modern homes with small backyards and plenty of room indoors (or in the garage).

Not every bush tucker species in our range will be suitable for hydroponic growing. Woody trees and shrubs, for example, will struggle to fit into a tank or vertical garden. Better suited are vegetables, herbs and succulents — like aromatic Bush Basil or flowering Native Violet — which can thrive in a compact setup, providing you with a year-round supply of homegrown native botanicals.

Vertical gardens are a popular setup for hydroponic growing. They look great in homes, offices, decorating walkways down the side of the house, or adding a touch of botany to decks and balconies.

Hydroponics: An Overview

Hydroponics is a form of gardening that involves cultivating plants in nutrient-enriched water. No soil is used, however some setups can include a medium like gravel, perlite or synthetic hydrogels to help keep the plant upright and physically stable.

Plants commonly grown hydroponically for commercial purposes include tomatoes, capsicum, cucumbers, strawberries, lettuces and medicinal cannabis. Although hydroponic growing is all about water, it notably uses less water than even intensive agricultural methods, making it an option worth considering for anyone adapting their gardening practices to the changing climate.

What about aquaponics?

Aquaponics is a type of hydroponic gardening that combines nutrient-rich wastewater from aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) with nutrient-hungry hydroponically grown plants. It’s the ideal way to recycle water “polluted” with animal waste and uneaten feed, and a great way to recycle “cleaned” water once the plants have consumed the nutrients.

Hydroponic and aquaponic systems take some effort to set up, but even a small home unit can produce loads of healthy vegetables and herbs.

Suitable bushfood plants for hydroponic growing

Edible Flower

Common name / Botanical name

Native Violet
Viola hederacea

Check out our hydroponic display at the 2023 Perth Garden & Outdoor Living Festival

Come say g’day at the 2023 Perth Garden & Outdoor Living Festival and check out the Tucker Bush hydroponic display. We’ll run you through the basics of how to set up a hydroponic garden specifically for growing native Australian edibles.

The 2023 Perth Garden & Outdoor Living Festival at Langley Park, 11th – 14th May 2023. Gates open 10am to 4pm. Get your tickets now.

Our Book: Bushfood for Beginners

Packed with tips and advice from the seasoned green thumbs at Tucker Bush, it aims to help any enthusiastic gardener take the first step in their long and bountiful bushfood journey.

We’ve put together an e-book of our favourite recipes

Featuring contributions from some of Australia’s leading chefs, using native bush tucker ingredients. This book includes all the recipes from our website plus more, covering entrees, mains, desserts and more, along with basic essentials like drying your own herbs and making your own jam.

Introducing Our Range Of Dried Herbs

Tucker Bush Native Herbs are dried and ready to use in your cooking. Enjoy these local flavours with cooked meats, baked treats and steeped in hot water for an aromatic tea.

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