Hydroponics lets you grow herbs indoors using plants that cannot be grown in your climate or at all times of the year. A small kitchen hydroponic garden provides immediate access to fresh herbs for cooking and can be as visually pleasing as a healthy garden. Because most herb plants are relatively small, they can be grown in a simple wick-type, hydroponic system, which is more compact and attractive than more complex systems. Herb plants grown in a hydroponic garden produce quickly and abundantly, so you will have plenty of fresh herbs when you need them.
Setup your wick hydroponic herb growing system by placing one tray for the growth medium and plants above a second tray for the nutrient solution. Run the wicks from the second (nutrient tray) into the top tray through the holes.
Fill the top tray with a thin layer of growing medium. Perlite, vermiculite, coconut fibers, or rock wool are common choices, with perlite being preferred for herbs.
Add herb seedlings to the growing medium tray, being very careful not to damage the roots.
Fill the growth tray around the herbs with growing medium.
Add nutrient solution to the bottom container or tray. Dilute the nutrient solution according to package instructions.
Add a grow light. Herbs like light at least 12 hours per day. If the ambient light is not sufficient, add a grow light suspended above the plants. Select a grow light kit that includes light bulb, ballast and reflector with adjustable height so the grow light can be raised as plants grow from seedlings to ready-to-harvest.
Check nutrient solution pH weekly with pH test strips. Herbs like an acidic pH of between 5.5 and 6.5 with the ideal being 6.0. You can increase pH with a small amount of baking soda or decrease it with a bit of vinegar.
Check the level of nutrient solution weekly and refill as needed.
Maintain an ambient temperature of about 70 degrees for your herb plants with a range of 65 to 80 degrees.