Growing Hydroponic Basil – The Definitive Guide

For many communities around the globe, Basil is a vital crop. Its smell is savory, and it tastes sweet. The plant has catered to several requirements across centuries. So, basil’s demand is very high. 

And in recent times, the plant has been grown hydroponically. The benefits of hydroponic basil include fresh, clean leaves. Wash it once before using it, and you’re good to go. Hydroponically they grow well and don’t accumulate any dirt.

Manage the humidity

Basil plant has shiny, green leaves. Its shape can hold water. So, it’s crucial to monitor condensation. A humid weather condition that is close to 70% or more for a long stretch of time at times becomes an issue. Basil can transpire excessively in dark periods.

Do you want to grow a healthy basil plant?

If yes, it’s a smart call to manage humidity for close to 12 and 14 hours. Since the basil is somewhat sensitive, proper airflow is essential.

The disciplined manicure

Have you just started growing plants and herbs?

Don’t fret if you find a couple of leaves dying. It’s normal and nothing to worry about. The leaves can wither out not receiving light (read the top review of best hps grow lights) or any other damage. So don’t panic. Instead, pluck away the dead leaves that you detect. Else these leaves can negatively impact the other nearby leaves.

Don’t make the mistake of leaving the damages leaves as is, to make basil bloom appear lush. It will result in fungus growth in other healthy leaves. Furthermore, the water absorption through the hydroponic system won’t be sufficient. So cleaning these plants and taking the dead leaves out is imperative and will make your planters looks clean and organised. Sometimes you might also need a garden kneeler to assist you so it wouldn’t be much of a burden to pluck your plants and herbs in your garden.

The process of pruning

pruning basil leaves

Growing basil leaves in a hydroponic system need pruning. If you find that the basil stem ends increases heavily, the roots will split eventually and might become bitter. When you see that the source or stem is damaged, harvest and throw it completely. Are you wondering how to go about it? I have listed a couple of simple and useful ways to cancel out any bitter basil.

  • You can harvest before bolting for flowering
  • Remove all the broken stems
  • Eliminate any old and robust growth

It’s essential not to pinch. Instead, buy a couple of sharp sheers so that the stems don’t get damaged. The moment you tweak, the entire stalk will get pulled off. It’s going to be worst than you could ever fathom.

What are the essential nutrients for basil?

Several hydroponic growers have often provided basil a generic nutrient mix. They used the same nutrient formula that’s applicable for other plants, herbs, and other variants such as a lettuce plant. But you need to know that every plant has a separate nutrient composition that’s apt for the freshly grown basils. As you see that the basil plants have become mature than before, know that their nutrient ratio will change.

The mix of potassium and calcium are more in the feeding halves of basil grown hydroponically. Hence, select a nutrient mix of calcium and potassium ratio is well maintained. Usually, it’s at a high level, almost at a 1:1 ratio. It’s crucial to know that potassium and calcium have a direct association with the oil and flavor of basil leaves and the branches. Furthermore, even nitrogen is the deciding factor in yielding leaves. Hence, it’s important to keep it constant almost at all points in time.

Another essential element is Magnesium. From my experience I can say, it’s best to keep this nutrient at a level of 50 ppm at least.

The reason is that magnesium has a direct link to its composition. It also helps to yield certain essential oils that generally contribute to the flavor and aroma of the basil plant. Here’s a good list of nutrients you can use for growing basils.

The Hydroponic systems at work

Planting and growing basil plants hydroponically come to its set of rules. Hence, I suggest that you weigh and assess the hydroponic system that you decide to use for this purpose. It’s because the hydroponic systems will have a different impact on plant growth. Over the years, I have found out that many researchers experimented with various methods to understand the different influences. The initial experiments conducted on four-week-old basil plants that were growing, they weren’t able to see notice between the NFT and DFT systems.

nft vs dft hydroponic system

Simply put NFT systems stands for nutrient-film technique and DFT stands for direct flow technique. Once the second experiment ended, these researchers concluded on few significant findings. They found that the DFT systems were yielding about 10% more basil plants that were fresh and dry, than the NFT techniques. Furthermore, in the experiments carried on later, the basil plants grown in DFT systems were 0.5 inches taller than the ones that grew on NFT technique. If you are in an attempt to come up with fresh-cut basil, this difference might not carry value for you.

Before, deciding on the system, take the time to assess the total impact of the two hydroponic systems. I feel that both the NFT and the DFT systems are capable of yielding rich and quality hydroponic basils.

Are you caught up in a thought cycle, unsure which to opt-in for?

If yes, then I’d instead suggest you consider some of the crucial factors, for instance, design and maintenance of the system, other the impact it might have on the quality of basil growth. For example, the DFT systems are usually on the ground floor. On the other hand, the advanced NFT systems get equipped with its waist-height troughs. It’s a comfortable working condition for the growers.

Also, take note of other’s experience. If you find that the DFT system is perfect for you based on your current location and life condition, select the same, and get going.

Modern day life is continuously is at a flux. And this constant change is bringing in smart and helpful practices. The hydroponic system is one such revolutionary concept and product. With the help of this system, the modern day individuals can gain in making their indoor garden and growing basil plant, as it is used frequently.

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