Best Plants For NFT System

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Last Updated on October 29, 2022

We will be discussing what plants are best for the NFT system. The versatile Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) is a type of hydroponic system basically used to cultivate leafy greens or vegetables. It is a hydroponics or aquaponics technique that is especially suited for commercial purposes.

The nutrient film technique makes use of a thin film of hydroponic nutrient solution to run smoothly across the root of your plant. The thin flow of steady nutrient solution to the root of the plants’ channels is where the name of this technique was derived from. Read on to discover the best plants for the NFT system.

Best Plants Grown In NFT System

Nutrient film techniques are only fit for growing some particular types of plants. These types of plants include broccoli raab, certain herbs, spinach, salad or leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables.

Let’s take a look at these plants in details:

  1. Certain Herbs: some certain herbs are ideal for the NFT system and they are the popular options grown in the NFT channel. An excellent type of herbs is basil because they are the simplest and popularly grown. Their root system is not large and they grow pretty fast. Other types of herbs suitable to grow in NFT include cilantro, parsley, Thai, lemon, Genovese, and so on.
  2. Salad or Leafy Greens: they include various types of spinach, lettuce, and arugula.
  3. Brassicaceae Family: also known as cruciferous vegetables include mustard greens and kale. However, the nutrient film technique is not ideal for the types that form heads like broccoli and cabbage because of the space limit. They grow big and have massive roots and their maturity period is lengthened thus, making them inappropriate plants for the NFT system.
  4. Certain Fruits & Flowers: certain flowers and fruits are not left out in the NFT system. Examples of fruits that can be grown in the NFT channel are strawberries. Strawberries are not big growing fruits and they can fit in a shallow system. Thus, making them ideal for NFT. Examples of flowers that can be grown in NFT channels include orchids, pansies, and nasturtiums.

NFT system is basically for growing leafy greens with a growth period that is short. However, nutrient film techniques are not suitable for larger or taller plants like cabbage, trees or shrubs, and root crops. They are also not suitable for plants with larger root systems or plants that take longer to grow.

Characteristics To Consider When Choosing Plants For NFT

The nutrient film technique (NFT) is a narrow and limited channel that allows a thin flow of nutrient-filled solution below the plant roots. This thin channel allows the upper part of the plant to be subjected to air and also remain dry.

Therefore, when choosing the plants to grow in your nutrient film system, you should consider the following characteristics.

Characteristics To Consider When Choosing Plants For NFT
  1. The Root System Should Be Minimal: one crucial thing to consider is the root system. The root system should be minimal and accommodating enough to convey the nutrient solution for your plants’ growth. We don’t want a heavy root system as this can consume all the space available and clog up the nutrient film channel.
  2. Plants Should Be Lightweight: because the nutrient film system is narrow, you should only consider growing lightweight plants. Plants that are heavy and need supports like the heavy-hanging fruits are not ideal for the NFT system.
  3. Short Harvest Period: another thing to consider when choosing plants to be grown in your NFT system is the harvest period. The time to harvest should be short. We are talking about plants attaining maturity within 3 months starting from the seed sowing period. Leafy greens are mainly in this group. Some seed pack comes with the information of the harvest time.

Planting With NFT System

To commence planting in the NFT system, we normally start with seeds. Usually, most hydroponic growers prefer starting seeds in cubes and transplanting them into the hydroponic system.

We recommend the same for NFT and as the seedlings attain a height of about 2 inches; they can be transplanted into the NFT channel. Supply the necessary nutrient solution into your NFT channel till your plant attains harvest size.

When harvest time comes, harvest your crops by carefully lifting your plants out of the NFT channel.

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What is a NFT system?

NFT stands for Nutrient Film Technique. Most of the indoor growing enthusiasts are using NFT for growing plants. NFT is a very popular hydroponic method among growers. In fact, NFT has become a favorite among indoor growers.

If you are a newbie, then you must be wondering about what exactly is NFT hydroponic system. Well, NFT is a very simple technique which can be used for growing plants without any hassle. This is because NFT is a completely new and innovative concept of hydroponics. This technique helps the plants to absorb nutrients from the solution or water which is being used.

In this method, a nutrient solution is continuously sprayed on the growing media which helps the plants to absorb nutrients through roots. NFT is a very effective way of growing plants. It is also a very cheap method. This technique is mostly used in the greenhouse.

Is it affordable?

Yes it is. It is very easy to maintain and requires very little space. It is also a very cheap method. One can easily buy the required equipment at low cost. Using NFT hydroponic system is eco-friendly as it does not use any pesticides, fertilizers or any harmful chemicals.

What plants can grow in NFT system?

There is no hard and fast rule, but here are some examples of plants that will grow well in NFTs. The list is not exhaustive, but it will give you an idea of what you can grow. Hydroponic gardeners can use a wide range of plants to grow, as long as they are adapted to low-nutrient, nutrient-poor media. These include herbs, salad greens, lettuce, and radishes, as well as fruits, vegetables, and flowers. 

Also, sunflowers, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, squash, herbs, bulbs. If you want to grow a lot of plants, it's the best choice. I used NFTs for many years and they worked great.

Can you grow strawberries in NFT hydroponics?

The best way to grow strawberries is to use a strawberry grow kit. The benefits NFT hydroponics is an environmentally friendly, easy to use system that allows you to grow your strawberries without any soil or water.

It's a very simple system that takes only about an hour to set up, and there are no chemicals involved in growing your strawberries. This is a good system for beginners who are just starting to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

The benefits of growing strawberries in NFT hydroponics are:

Grow strawberries anywhere (even on a balcony)

No need to buy soil or nutrients

Grow strawberries year-round

Get great looking plants

Enjoy the benefits of growing your own food Save money (you don't have to pay for soil or nutrients)

Easy to grow (no need for expensive equipment)

You can grow strawberries in a very small space (compared to traditional gardening methods) You can grow strawberries in areas where there isn't much sunlight

You don't have to worry about pests and weeds The system is very simple to use You don't need any chemicals You can grow your own food and save money The system is inexpensive to purchase and set up

The system is very easy to use, and it doesn't require any training.


We have concluded that the best plants for NFT systems are mainly leafy greens. The plants should also have minimal root systems, be lightweight, and have a short harvest time.

If you can comprehend and follow these rules for planting in NFT systems, you can be sure of enjoying a smooth and productive harvest.

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