Growing herbs hydroponically can be fun and rewarding. What a pleasure to quickly snip some fresh herbs to enhance the taste of foods or make a healthy tea. Hydroponically grown herb plants produce quickly and prolifically. Culinary and medicinal herbs well suited to hydroponic growing include basil, chives, cilantro, dill, parsley, sage, thyme and all varieties of mint, including members of the lemon balm family.
Set up your plant stand and plant tray to receive herb transplants. Most herbs do better in their own containers set onto the plant tray. Although net pots are popular choices for growing herbs hydroponically, any container with several holes for the nutrient solution to enter will work. Herbs have fairly large root-balls, so be sure your containers are large enough.
Fill the reservoir with commercial nutrient solution and place the pump into the reservoir. Connect a tube to the pump and to the plant tray. Make sure the overflow drain between the plant tray and the reservoir is clear.
Most herb seeds are too small to be placed directly into the growing medium, so cleaned transplants are required. Place transplants into their containers and fill with growing medium---usually rock wool or perlite.
Set the timer to flood your plant tray three or four times per day.
Monitor the pH of the nutrient solution using pH testing strips. Herbs like an acidic pH of 5.5 to 6.0. Increase pH by adding a bit of baking soda or decrease pH by adding a small amount of vinegar.
Set ambient temperature to approximately 70 degrees F. Set the grow light timer to supplemental light if the amount of natural light is less than 12 hours per day.
Replace the nutrient solution every two weeks or as needed. Harvest your herbs as needed or when the plants are too tall to grow upright without support. Simply cut a few leaves or branches with kitchen scissors.