How to Use Hydroponics to Grow Herbs

Overview

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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Add herb seedlings to the growing medium tray, being very careful not to damage the roots.

Step 4

Fill the growth tray around the herbs with growing medium.

Step 5

Add nutrient solution to the bottom container or tray. Dilute the nutrient solution according to package instructions.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

Step 8

Check the level of nutrient solution weekly and refill as needed.

Step 9

Maintain an ambient temperature of about 70 degrees for your herb plants with a range of 65 to 80 degrees.

Things You'll Need

  • Hydroponic growing system kit
  • Growing medium
  • Herb plants
  • Nutrient solution
  • Grow light kit with adjustable height stand
  • pH test strips
  • Thermometer

References

  • Hydroponics Growing Medium
  • Selecting Grow Lights
Keywords: hydroponic herb growing, wick hydroponic systems, growing herbs with hydroponics

About this Author

Barbara Brown has been a freelance writer for four years. Prior experience includes 15 years as a writer, project manager and knowledge analyst in defense systems advanced information. She is acknowledged for contributions to three books: Leadership Elements, Knowledge Acquisition, and State-of-the-Art for KA. Barbara has a masters in psychology from SMU and training in artificial intelligence and project management.