Growing herbs hydroponically can be a more reliable way of growing herbs and results in better quality crops. Lots of people are resorting to growing herbs hydroponically as it takes less messy maintenance but takes work. However, this work produces better results.
What Is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a horticultural method and part of hydroculture that is defined as growing plants without soil but letting the water do the work. Plants need sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to gain nutrients and grow, and if done correctly, plants in the water deliver the perfect nutrients to the roots.
To develop, plants go through photosynthesis. The sun and chlorophyll convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose to make oxygen; the soil is not necessary for plant growth but is the standard and easy option because its roots are covered, which is natural to wild-growing plants.
Plants obtain nutrients and water from the soil, but the soil is not needed with hydroponics.
What Are The Benefits?
The benefit of growing plants without soil is allowing anybody anywhere to grow food. Weather conditions are no match for hydroponics, and you can use hydroponic stations anywhere. It is great for places with fewer resources to meet higher yields. Especially with climate change, growing plants hydroponically is becoming more reliable and sustainable.
How Do You Start?
It is relatively easy to set up hydroponic gardens. Firstly, you’d want to choose the seeds and herbs that are the best fit to be grown in water. Herbs thrive in water, such as cilantro, watercress, mint, lemon balm, basil, and oregano.
Next, you want to look into hydroponic systems or make one yourself. It is recommended to research this a lot, as you do not want to simply put your plants into water. If you just put herbs into water, you risk having no aeration and incorrect temperate and pH levels. There are many different systems to choose from, including specific herb systems and ones for different environments.
Next, you want to evaluate your lighting situation. To grow herbs hydroponically, you need to have a light source. Whether this is natural sunlight in a bright room or artificial lighting, optimal growth is necessary.
If you are using a hydroponic light grow, you need to consider the cost of running it, the intensity, and the area that it covers. It would help if you then thought about the medium you would like. The growing medium assists and supports your plants’ roots, ensuring the oxygen and moisture are sufficient for its growth.
Some of the best growing mediums are clay aggregate, perlite, and pine bark. It is necessary to invest in nutrients and supplements for your plants. A growing medium ensures good growth, and you can put them directly into specific hydroponic systems.
It is also essential to have a pH meter to measure the pH of the water you are growing your plants in. This will ensure your pH levels are correct because if they are too high or low, plants cannot take in the nutrients.
There are liquid kits, test trips, or electronic kits for you to choose from. Starting a hydroponic system is easy, but it just takes a bit of time to plan how you will approach it and what verbs and plants you will grow and what will be best for them.
How Do You Grow Herbs Hydroponically?
It is more common to find herbs in markets and shops in water rather than in soil. It is easier to grow a higher quantity of said herbs in a smaller space, and there are special kits designed for people at home to grow their herbs hydroponically.
There are things called hydroponic towers or vertical garden towers. A hydroponic tower typically uses a growing medium like clay pellets to give good aeration and anchorage, and it is perfect for small produce such as herbs and lettuce. They can be used outside or inside and they make it easy for you to care for all of your herbs at once.
If you are growing herbs hydroponically indoors, it is sensible to simulate outside temperature occasionally. Herbs prefer temperatures from 65f to 75f. They can thrive in higher temperatures, but this is the optimal temperature for them. They need excellent drainage and exposure to oxygen to grow hydroponically.
Some herbs are easier and better to grow hydroponically. Herbs are easy enough to grow, but some thrive a lot better.
Oregano is a Mediterranean herb with a taste somewhat similar to basil. Oregano germinates quickly using root propagators, and it grows well indoors. Oregano will thrive in water and grow quickly, even better next to basil.
Another beautiful thing about hydroponics is that plants and herbs can thrive next to other herbs and are more harmonious together than in soil. This is especially true if they share the same water source.
Cilantro is another herb that grows really well hydroponically. The herb is known for complimenting South American and Asian food. Cilantro grows fast, so it is necessary to prune the leaves if it is grown hydroponically. As its roots are exposed and surrounded in water, it will grow even faster and is the perfect quick turnaround herb!
Mint was one of the first herbs to be grown hydroponically, and when it is grown in water, it has fuller leaves and more body to the stems and foliage. It is ideal in hydroponic environments and can be easily reproduced by taking cuttings and putting them into the water again.
Basil loves to be grown in water and thrives in a 5.5-6.5pH range, meaning it is one of the best herbs to be grown among other herbs. It grows fast in the water and can be harvested and trimmed weekly to prolong its growth and life.
What Equipment Do You Need?
To grow herbs hydroponically, you need a hydroponic system. This will mean you are getting optimal results rather than making a system yourself, especially if you want to grow high volumes of herbs. You will need a pH meter, hydroponic nutrients, and a growing medium to support the roots of your plants.
Overall, growing herbs hydroponically is an excellent way to be sustainable in an ever-growing world of sustainability. It means you can grow herbs in more significant amounts, and they are often of better quality because more attention is paid to them. Herbs are resilient and will thrive in water.