How to Make a Hydroponic Herb Garden

 


Growing a Herb Garden no Longer Needs to be a Dirty Job

Vegetable gardening is no longer confined to having to play around with dirt and getting your fingernails messy with mounds of soil. Many fresh fruits and vegetables that can be purchased from the store these days are grown hydroponically. Hydroponics is growing crops without soil.

Hydroponic gardening is a gardening method that does not use soil as its medium where the nutrients used are delivered directly to the plant’s roots. If you use hydroponic gardening for herbs, it will definitely produce more herbs because the plant does not need to use all of its energy and resources seeking out the nutrients that are required in order to thrive and survive.

Building a hydroponic garden provides an advantage to gardeners because its plants are normally free from pests and would be able to produce as the plant grows using the traditional method. It is also ideal for planting leafy green plants such as lettuce, kale and mustard greens, and herbs such as basil, mint and watercress. But, more importantly it is perfect for planting herbs. Your herb garden can be as simple as a small indoor container unit or a very elaborate patch outdoors that provides both aesthetic appeal to your home and of course, culinary function in your kitchen.

Growing your own herbs is a very fulfilling and economical project that you can undertake. Herbs enhance the flavor of your meals as well as help reduce food cost by eliminating the need to purchase your herb supply at the supermarket. A successful herb garden comes from proper preparation of the soil that you will use for planting herbs. It is not as hard as you think, whether you decide to grow your garden in containers or a large garden or even in a hydroponic way. Below is some of the information that can help you start your own hydroponic herb garden.

What you Need

  • Container
  • Styrofoam
  • Scissors
  • Plants
  • Net Pots
  • Rock Wool
  • Nutrient Solution
  • Grow light
  • Chains to suspend grow light
  • Hooks to attach grow light chains to the ceiling
  • Angle brackets to attach grow light chains to grow light
  • pH testing strips

Method

  1. Firstly, you need to select a container for your hydroponic herb garden for instance, by choosing an old old aquarium or plastic tub which can be used for a simple hydroponic herb garden.
  2. Next step is to build a stand in order to support your plant’s pots inside the container. You should use a large piece of Styrofoam and scissors to cut a piece that is 1/2 inch smaller than the inside dimensions of the container. Styrofoam is used to enable the pots to float above the nutrient solution while the nutrients are available to the plant’s roots.
  3. You need to cut holes in the Styrofoam for each pot and ensure the holes are large enough to only allow the bottom half of the pot to fit through suspending the plant’s roots in the nutrient solution.
  4. Then, place your herb plants into net pots, fill them with inert medium to within 1/4 inch of the top of the container and the most common medium used are rockwool, vermiculite, perlite or small gravel.
  5. Next, you should add the nutrient solution at the bottom of the container. It is also much easier to use a pre-mixed nutrient solution but if you have the time you can learn to make your own nutrient solution.
  6. You can now place the piece of Styrofoam in the container so that it will be resting on top of the nutrient solution before placing the herb plants of your choice into the net pots through the holes that you have cut earlier into the Styrofoam.
  7. Then, attach a grow light in a centre position above your container for example a metal halide lights. The lights should be suspended above the container at least 12-inches by using two chains with adjustable length so they can be raised as the plants grow. You can loop the top of the chains over hooks attached to ceiling studs while the light fixture can be attached to the bottom of the chains using angle brackets.
  8. You can check the pH level of your nutrient solution by using paper test strips and normally for most herbs, the best pH value is 6.0. If you have a high level of pH level, you can simply add a small amount of vinegar to lower the pH. As for increasing the pH level, you can use a small amount of baking soda and rechecked the again the pH level. Hydroponically grown herbs also need the temperature of between 65 degrees and 80 degrees F to grow properly.
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