Hydroponic Herb Garden: Get the Perfect Soilless Garden Now

Having a hydroponic herb garden in your home is a great option if you want to start an indoor culinary herb garden without the mess of the outdoors. You won’t have to deal with dirt or any dirty fingers in your kitchen or indoor space.

The good thing about hydroponic systems is that they can be used for indoor gardening and outdoor gardening.

In this guide, we’re going to look at the various types of hydroponic systems, the advantages of having a hydroponic herb garden, and everything else you need to know about this type of herb gardening.

Let’s get started.

Types of Hydroponic Systems

Knowing the different types of hydroponic systems will allow you to choose the best one for you. Here are a few to take note of.

1. Deep Water Culture (DWC)

This is the perfect hydroponic system for beginners. If you haven’t cared for a hydroponic herb garden before, starting with this type of indoor hydroponic garden would be a good idea.

This is because this type of hydroponic system is easy to maintain and affordable.

You’ll need a reservoir filled with water and nutrient solution where you will suspend your herbs using a net pot. You can also use any other growing media that you deem convenient. First, however, ensure that the roots of your herbs are submerged in the reservoir, where they’ll get plenty of nutrients, water, and oxygen.

You can use an air pump with air stones to pump bubbles into the reservoir for oxygen supply.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Easy to maintain

  • Has less wastage and more saving costs because it is a recirculating process

Cons

  • Unsuitable for herbs that need a long growing period

  • You have to ensure that the roots do not suffocate in the reservoir

2. Ebb and Flow System

This type of hydroponic system is also known as “flood and drain” because it exposes your fresh herbs to the nutrient solution and then drains the solution away. This is a good option if you think that your plants may be sensitive to constant exposure to the nutrient solution or are worried that the roots may drown.

However, kindly note that you should only use this system if you are sure that you can comfortably and constantly monitor your indoor hydroponic herb garden.

The working mechanism of this system involves flooding a tray with the nutrient solution on a cyclic schedule. First, a timed pump will flood your tray with nutrient solution and then gravity will drain the solution back into the reservoir.

An air pump will then oxygenate the water in the reservoir so that it can have enough oxygen during the next cycle.

The cycle will depend on factors such as air temperature in the room, the type of herbs you’re growing, water testing, and more.

Pros

  • Doesn’t constantly expose your fresh herbs to nutrient solution

  • Provides efficient use of water and energy

Cons

  • Requires constant monitoring

  • If the timer is off, your plants run the risk of during out or being oversaturated

3. Wicking System

The wicking system is also known as passive hydroponics because of the fact that the roots get water from the wick only when they need it. Therefore, you won’t have your herb roots submerged into the nutrient solution like with the other options above.

However, just like with our first type – deep water culture – you can start with this as a beginner. It is affordable and easy to maintain.

This hydroponic system works by suspending your herb roots in a growing medium such as perlite or coconut coir. Beneath the growing medium, you’ll then have your nutrient solution.

One end of your wick will be attached to the roots while the other will be n the nutrient solution. Therefore, whenever your fresh herbs need some water, the water will pass through the wick from the reservoir to the roots of your growing herbs.

The advantage of this system for your growing herbs is that they will get water at the exact rate as they need it. This prevents oversaturation or drying out.

Pros

  • Easy to maintain

  • Affordable

  • Great for small plants

  • Good for beginners

Cons

  • Unsuitable for large plants

  • If the integrity of the wick fails without your knowledge, your herbs will suffer

4. Drip System

This type of hydroponic system is more suitable for large-scale gardening. If you are in the commercial farming system and are looking for a hydroponic system to implement, this is for you.

This system will run on a timer and drip the nutrient solution into your herb pots when the time comes. This can be a few minutes every hour.

Pros

  • Great for commercial settings

  • Offers you control over when your growing herbs get plant food

  • Can be highly effective

Cons

  • Can have a high level of waste

  • Unsuitable for your kitchen hydroponic garden

  • You’ll need to monitor nutrient and pH levels

5. Aeroponic Systems

Aeroponics is a system that works a bit differently than our other hydroponic systems in this list. This method of growing fresh herbs will have you suspending your roots in the air instead of having them submerged in a nutrient solution.

Your roots will then be irrigated using a nutrient-dense mist. The misting spray will feed your roots with water and nutrients as the roots get oxygen directly from the air.

Pros

  • The roots get more oxygen compared to other hydroponic herbs

  • Easy to maintain and monitor

  • There’s no risk of oversaturation of your roots

Cons

  • This is one of the most expensive systems

  • Your herbs may suffer if the pump or mist nozzle fails

Now, let’s look at why having a hydroponic herb garden is good for you.

Benefits of Having a Hydroponic Herb Garden

Benefits of Having a Hydroponic Herb Garden

Why should you grow fresh herbs using a hydroponic system instead of a typical garden? Here are some benefits of creating a hydroponic growing system.

1. No Dirt

Imagine not having to deal with dirty fingers, scratched nails, or stained clothes from working in the dirt, but you still get to enjoy fresh herbs from your garden. Doesn’t that sound amazing?

This is one of the best advantages of growing plants using a hydroponic system. Because you’re only using water, you won’t have to deal with dirt.

Let’s say that you have kids in your house and you don’t have enough space to have a proper garden outside. In this case, having hydroponically grown plants in your kitchen will be a great idea.

There’ll be no chance of your kids playing with the mud from the herb pots and spreading it all around the kitchen. You also won’t have to deal with your own dirty fingers when working on your indoor gardens.

2. Fresh Herbs Year Round

Another advantage of the hydroponic growing process is that you get fresh herbs year-round. Again, this is because you’re not dependent on outside temperatures or climatic conditions.

You’ll have access to your basil, thyme, and lemon balm any time you want.

3. Fast-Growing Herbs

Because you’ll be supplying water and nutrients directly to your plants, they won’t have to do the work of sourcing these from the soil. Therefore, your indoor herb garden will start producing fresh herbs much faster than if you were using garden soil.

Hydroponic herbs grow 25-50% faster than herbs grown in soil. Therefore, if you are not exactly the patient type when it comes to gardening, you’ve just discovered a nice shortcut.

4. Less Effort

You won’t be dealing with those pesky creatures that reside in the soil. Naturally, therefore, your work is already reduced by a lot.

Another reason why using this type of indoor herb garden requires less effort is because all you need to do is change the nutrient solution every 7-14 days.

You don’t have to constantly confirm or check if the roots have outgrown the pot because there’s no soil to take up more room.

5. Higher Yields

Why? Because you’re giving your herbs water, oxygen and the perfect amount of nutrients they need on a silver platter. The roots of your herbs don’t have to fight their way through particles of soil to get the nutrients they need.

Your herbs will live like a fat cat that just sleeps and waits to be fed. Of course, they are going to grow big and fast. In addition to that, you also get year-round yields.

Therefore, you’ll end up getting much more yield than if you were growing your herbs in a typical soil and pot garden.

Tips to Care for a Hydroponic Herb Garden

Just like with traditional gardening, there are things to keep in mind when growing your herbs in a hydroponic garden. This applies whether you’re using indoor garden kits or not.

1. Monitor Reservoir Amount

You never want the water level to go below the optimal level. This is why recommend checking on or changing the nutrient solution every 7-14 days. This is actually the only constant thing you’ll need to do to care for your herb garden.

2. Provide Strong Lighting

The kind of lighting you provide can either be natural or artificial. If you can provide natural lighting, consider placing your garden in a spot that receives at least 6 hours of natural sunlight.

If you’re dealing with artificial lighting, you can use a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) which will give your herbs the light it needs. Again, it’s important that your plants get at least 6 hours of light daily.

Lighting affects the taste of your herbs. Therefore, if you want your hydroponic herbs to give you the best rewards for your effort, ensure that the lighting is robust.

However, the amount of light your herbs need can vary from plant to plant. There are those plants that don’t need as much light and can thrive in less than 6 hours. Some of these include chives, mint, and parsley.

3. Provide Optimum Temperatures

Remember how we mentioned that one benefit of growing hydroponic herbs is that you get to enjoy a year-round yield? Well, part of that reason is that you aren’t dependent on outdoor temperatures.

However, that also means that you have to monitor your indoor temperatures to ensure that they always remain within the optimum range. What is the optimum range?

About 65-70 degrees should do it. Your herbs need warm temperatures to thrive and can be affected by drops in temperature. For example, basil can change its color and begin to wilt a mere 24 hours after a drop in temperature.

Therefore, always ensure that you are on top of your game when monitoring indoor temperatures. If you find it hard to maintain certain temperatures in your kitchen, you can always opt for one of the best grow tents which will allow you to create your own micro-climate.

4. Harvest Continually

The best part about having your own hydroponic herb garden is that you have access to fresh herbs when you need them. Use this privilege as much as you can both for your sake and the sake of your plants.

Why? Because you want to keep them in a permanent vegetative state. The plant’s vegetative stage is the phase of plant growth that comes after the seedling stage and before the flowering stage. Your herb will develop most of its foliage in this stage while truly flourishing.

You prevent your herbs from moving to the flowering phase by continually harvesting the leaves. Therefore, it will focus all of its energy on producing the lovely foliage you’re after.

If your plants start to bolt, you can simply pinch off these flowers. This will ensure that your herbs don’t lose most of their taste.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hydroponic Herb Gardens

1. Who can use a hydroponic herb garden?

Anyone can grow hydroponic herbs at any time. Actually, more people than you think are using this innovative type of gardening as a substitute for having a soil garden in their kitchen.

In addition to individual growers, there are also commercial growers who prefer to use hydroponic systems. A good reason for this is that they get to grow more plants in a small space. This means that they get maximum profits for their space.

Depending on your location and your preferences, you can either have an outdoor herb garden or an indoor herb garden. This is what makes hydroponic gardens an ideal choice for anyone.

2. What are some good indoor hydroponic herb garden kits?

Getting the right hydroponic kit can mean the difference between a great yield and an okay one.

Here are some of the best garden kits that will give you great results.

a). AeroGarden Harvest Indoor Garden

Sale
AeroGarden Harvest – Indoor Garden with LED Grow Light, Black
  • INCLUDES GOURMET HERB SEED KIT (6-POD) – Genovese Basil, Curly Parsley,…
  • ALWAYS HOMEGROWN: FRESH & SAFE – Up to 6 plants grow at a time, up to 12“…
  • EASY TO USE (GROW) – control panel tells you when to add water, reminds you…
  • 5X FASTER THAN SOIL – High-performance, full spectrum 20-watt LED high…
  • PERFECT GIFT FOR ANYONE – Give the gift of growing fresh herbs & veggies…

What makes this kit unique and a great asset? It is easy to use and comes with a control panel that makes things easy for you. You’ll be notified when you need to add water or some more nutrients.

With this purchase, you’ll get a six-pod seed kit that includes seeds for thyme, dill, Genovese Basil, curly parsley, mint, and Thai Basil.

Another great thing about this kit is that it automatically turns the lights on and off so that you don’t have to. With the ability to grow up to 6 plants at a time, you will never run out of fresh herbs again.

b). AeroGarden Bounty Basic Indoor Garden

Sale
AeroGarden Bounty Basic – Indoor Garden with LED Grow Light, Black
  • Use this indoor garden to grow up to 9 different herbs, veggies, or flower…
  • 30W LED grow light gives your plants the full spectrum of sunlight they…
  • Automatic timer makes sure the lights go on and off at exactly the right…
  • Vacation mode keeps your plants healthy while you’re out of town
  • New, sleek design that features a larger water bowl and grow deck

Here’s another kit that will allow you to grow multiple herbs at once. However, this one allows you to grow 9 plants simultaneously. Another great feature about this hydroponic kit is that it’s compact enough to comfortably reside on your kitchen counter.

In fact, if you so wish, you can even have it on your window sill where your plants will receive maximum sunlight. Nonetheless, if you decide to put this kit on your kitchen counter, your herbs will still receive good light from the LED lights it comes with.

These 30W LED lights are automatically regulated which relieves you of the task of having to manually turn them on and off. You can also add other best LED grow lights of your choice to provide extra light to your herbs.

You can also check the digital screen display for the right time to add more water and nutrients.

3. What herbs are best for growing in hydroponics?

Several herbs are perfect for growing in hydroponics. Some of these include thyme, basil, chives, mint, dill, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, and watercress.

However, the ones best for your hydroponic system are the ones you love. After all, you are growing your own herbs so that you can enjoy them whenever you like.

4. Can you transplant hydroponic herbs into soil?

Yes. In fact, there are gardeners who prefer to use a hydroponic system at the beginning of the seed’s life so that they can hasten the process.

However, note that if you decide to do the transplanting process from hydroponics to soil, you’ll need to be extra careful during the transplanting process and after. This is to ensure that all your herbs survive.

You also need to keep an open mind to allow for some losses. Nonetheless, if you are careful and give the herbs time to recover from the shock of the change in the environment, you should be fine.

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