Hydroponic Kitchen Garden – Our top Four Favorite Herbs to Grow

The nature of hydroponics means that most plants develop much faster than traditional methods of growing due to the consistent supply of nutrients. This leads to efficient crop cycles and more than one harvest per season. Growing a selection of herbs can offer a long term hydroponic gardening experience. 

Below we will go through our top four herbs we like to grow and some tips for success. We will start with the fastest growing herbs and end with the herbs that require a little more time to get going. Patience always pays off when growing herbs!

Parsley – In our hydroponic growing experience, parsley is the fastest growing herb! It’s also very beginner friendly to start from seed as it’s available from Johnny Seeds in a multi seed pelleted version. Pelleted seeds make them easier to plant and contain more than one seed per pellet to ensure sprouting success. This herb loves to be trimmed back and can live for months on end. Try trimming it back early in the growth cycle (within the first 6 weeks) to encourage fuller plant growth.

Basil – Some varieties of basil can grow over five feet tall so unless you have a pretty big hydroponic set up to account for the accompanying root system, make sure you choose a dwarf or compact variety. We like the compact Genovese basil from Johnny Seeds, as it is also a multi seed pellet. Basil grows very well from cuttings when sprouted directly in water. You can also transition your basil plant to grow in soil pretty easily as long as you keep it heavily watered and make the change when the plant is still young enough for you to retrieve most of the roots out of your hydroponic system. 

Mint – There are over five hundred varieties of mint to choose from. Mint can grow wild like a weed across a lawn or floating on the edge of a fresh water pond. When choosing which variety of mint you would like to grow, consider the flavor, size, and color of mint you will enjoy best. This plant will need heavy trimming once it starts to take off! Also, just like basil, we have found this herb to be one of the easier plants to transition from hydroponic conditions to growing in soil as long as you keep it heavily watered for the first couple weeks. Rare Seeds offers a mix of different variety of mint seeds all in one packet!

Thyme – Just as the name implies, this variety of herb needs a lot of time! It may take up to six weeks to even be able to recognize your tiny plant as being thyme. However, within a couple months you will start to appreciate a beautiful thyme plant that will provide flavorable accents to many dishes. Due to its slow growth nature, this plant makes a great herb to house in your hydroponic garden for many months, being sure to only trim it when needed for culinary or medicinal purposes. Try growing orangelo thyme from Rare Seeds, as this variety offers a heavenly citrus fragrance. 

All of the above mentioned herbs do best with bright full spectrum light 12 hours a day. If growing them in an outdoor hydroponic system, make sure they are getting at least 6 hours of morning sun and protect them from the strong heat of the afternoon sun. 

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