Nothing has quite the potential of adding a zing to your garden space, as well as to your dinner plate, as a steady supply of basil.
Basil can be savory, peppery, or even sweet, and brings an amazing aroma into your garden and dinner preparations.
Found in just about every corner of the globe, the herb was first grown in India more than 4,000 years ago.
Over the centuries numerous magical powers have been ascribed to the plant ranging from its ability to spawn scorpions to the people of ancient Create holding the belief that the savory plant was an emblem of the devil.
In India, the herb was often planted in the shadows of religious temples to help ward off evil.
Clearly, all of that is a lot to ask of a mere herb, and over the centuries we have scaled back our expectations of this mighty plant to include the garnishment of tasty sauces.
That being said, however, basil still remains close to our hearts regardless of where we live, and for this reason, basil is a popular favorite in kitchen windowsill gardens and greenhouses.
Learning how to grow basil hydroponically would appear to be just the latest transformation in the 4,000-year history of growing this amazing herb plant.
How to Grow Basil Hydroponically?
To successfully growing basil hydroponically, provide each plant with upwards of a foot (30cm) for lateral growth area while ensuring that they receive the pruning they need for healthy leaf and stem development. Offering them between 14 and 16 hours of lighting from a T5 fluorescent source will provide the proper amount of lighting.
Getting the Garden Started
Your first decision to make when planning a hydroponic basil crop is deciding how you wish to begin the journey.
Whether starting from seeds, utilizing clones, or adopting starter plants at your favorite gardening store depends a great deal on your patience and budgetary restrictions.
Obviously, seeds will take longer to get started, but buying an array of starter plants will prove the most expensive.
For a good mix of results, some growers may opt for a combination of seedlings and clones when first starting their hydroponic garden.
After choosing your starting method, your next important decision has much to do with selecting your hydroponic system and layout.
Considering the Layout
Gardeners will discover pretty quickly that basil plants will respond well to just about any hydroponic system, but the initial layout of the garden is an important consideration when it comes to spacing.
Simply stated, for basil to achieve its highest level of “basil-ness,” these plants require a goodly amount of pruning and manicuring to ensure high yields.
Towards that end, you will want to provide adequate room to allow for accessing each plant for this important task.
While your basil herb will grow without this ongoing maintenance, you will note that you get less basil for your buck at harvest time.
Ensuring the Proper quantity and Quality of Light
Providing your hydroponically grown basil the proper amount of light is relatively easy.
Additionally, as basil is harvested in its vegetive form, you can use the T5 bulbs throughout the entire growing process.
Finally, to ensure productive growth you will want to make sure your basil receives between 14 to 16 hours of light each day.
Manicuring and Pruning with Space to Grow
As mentioned above, for your basil plants to thrive requires a fair amount of pruning and manicuring to ensure the plant’s health.
Removing dying leaves protects the leaves nearby and promotes more robust growth with regular manicuring.
Top or end heavy plants should be pruned to lessen the threat of the section splitting from the main plant thus causing the main root base to become bitter and damaged.
Additionally, and related to your initial layout, when planting basil you will want to give each plant some elbow room to spread out.
Ideally, give each plant between nine and twelve inches for enough room to encourage lateral growth that will increase your yield when harvesting.
Six Types of Hydroponic Systems
For the hydroponic basil farmer or any hydroponic farmer really, there are six main types of hydroponic growing systems with each having its own advantages and disadvantages.
- Wick Systems—are probably the easiest hydroponic setup and are notable for being the only hydroponic system that does not require the use of electricity.
- Deep Water Culture—places the roots of your plant directly in the nutrient solution of the water.
- Nutrient Film Techniques—is a simple design that sees nutrients placed in a large reservoir before being pumped into slopped channels allowing excess nutrients to refill the reservoir.
- Ebb and Flow—as the name implies is a flood and drain system that is very popular amongst home gardeners. Plants are placed in a spacious bed that is flooded to within an inch or so of the top.
- Aeroponics—air-suspended plants with a couple of mist hoses placed beneath the plants. Each of the hoses sprays nutrients directly into the roots of the plant.
- Drip Systems—are an easy hydroponic solution that is easy to use, affordable, and a favorite of home gardeners. In this system, plant nutrients are delivered to the base of each plant with a tube.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Grow Basil Hydroponically
What is the best temperature range for hydroponically grown basil?
Hydroponically grown basil grows best in a temperature range between 65 -80 degrees Fahrenheit. Utilizing a temperature controller can better regulate your grow room temperature. Also, your hydroponic basil will need moderate humidity to thrive.
What pH level should I grow hydroponic basil in?
The ideal ph level for hydroponic basil is between 5.5 and 6.5.
Does hydroponically grown basil require special nutrients?
Basil has simple nutritional requirements which is one of the reasons why it is a popular addition to anyone’s garden. For best results make sure that they receive a regimen that is high in nitrogen for best growth.
Liven Up Your Garden with Hydroponically Grown Basil
When it comes to learning how to grow basil hydroponically, most gardeners will discover that the learning curve is relatively mild.
As with anything, proper preparation of consideration of the plant’s environment will go a long way towards ensuring a healthy and productive crop.
Troubleshooting your crop is easy with diligent manicuring and pruning, which will identify and solve any issues that your plants might be suffering from in the greenhouse.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.