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We all know of a person named ‘Dave’ who always sings the mantra of going green and organic to keep immune and healthy in these pandemic times. The only problem would be that the same individual would stay on the third floor of an apartment complex in the middle of a sun-scorched desert of asphalt and concrete.
Such city dwellers always have to visit local herb and vegetable stores, despite the distress of consuming non-fresh produce and the risk of exposure to the covid19 contagion. The good news is that this does not have to be the case. You can use a good DIY Hydroponic Herb Garden kit to grow plants in areas like the heart of cities where the soil is not always available for cultivation.
That’s right; you can hydroponically set up your own home garden of medicinal herbs and have your herbs year-round. Right in the comfort of your home!
Although the method is still obscure to the public, it’s a feasible technique to grow medicinal plants successfully. So in this article, I will simplify how to set up the best hydroponic indoor herb garden.
What is Hydroponics?
This fancy term means that plants are grown without solid material surrounding them. Instead, their roots are bathed in a mixture of water and nutrient solution. This water-based growing media essentially eliminates the need for soil, and that fresh herbal garden you have always wanted is not impossible to achieve! You can understand it is a sort of Water culture or Hydro culture type of gardening.
Primarily any plant may be grown as a hydroponic plant, provided the right conditions.
How does Hydroponics work?
Hydroponics functions by providing the exact proportions of nutrients that a plant takes up in soil; however, in this case, it would be in a water solution. Plants require various elements from the ground for optimal growth. These include (hence not limited to) phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, iron, and manganese.
These nutrients are mixed in specific proportions to provide essential nutrition to the plant while avoiding toxicity. Light is also crucial to plant growth, and an external light source is necessary for an indoor hydroponic tabletop herbarium.
Hydroponics vs Soil
So why would a gardener pick Hydroponics over the soil?
Little space needed for cultivation
More plants can be grown in this indoor water garden system than in soil cultivation. This higher number of plants per square meter mirrors higher yields.
Significantly less water
Most hydroponic units allow for the recycling of water. Besides, water is supplied in a prolonged stream, which helps the plants absorb nutrients and eliminate waste. Compared to conventional cultivation, up to ten times less water is used in a hydroponic setup.
Enhanced yields of produce
Because the composition of nutrients and pH is tailored explicitly for the crop being grown and more plants in a smaller space, hydroponic farming tends to produce better yields than growing plants in soil.
Remember the generic ‘Dave’ that we all know and love and his obsession with consuming fresh and healthy products that do not have too many chemicals?
This intelligent gardening system allows many organic food enthusiasts to grow their produce at home. There is no need always to buy vegetables at the grocery store. To add to this, you can grow hydroponic herbs like ginger and garlic, which are known to thrive in the system. Just imagine how awesome it will be to have herbs year-round in your garden by the balcony.
Types of DIY Hydroponic Systems
The following are the generic types of DIY hydroponic garden systems for producing fresh herbs. There are several variations that more or less fit into the following categories. Examples of hydroponic kits that are available on the market are also included.
1. The Wick system
This consists of a plant immersed in a container of abundant nutrient water. And it’s from which a wick protrudes into another fluid-containing chamber below. The wick is there to draw nutrients from the bottom chamber to the plant’s root zone, allowing the absorption of nutrients. Also, the system allows for the free circulation of oxygen.
Check out one of the best wick systems trending on the market:
Sonku Self Watering Wick cord
This product is the most straightforward hydroponic self-watering wick cord available on the market. It is ideal for those who want to use Hydroponics for the first time due to its easy installation. Not the most miniature system; however, it allows you to move your plants when needed.
It is a package of one roll of cotton rope, which functions as the wick. The wick is washable and reusable, which is quite economical. You can use the system to house smaller house plants and herbs. It is also straightforward to use in a DIY setting.
- Very user-friendly with an easy setup.
- It requires minimum maintenance.
- Fewer energy inputs are required.
- Keep a close eye on algae growing on media, which must be clean to eliminate the invader.
- Routinely clean the cotton wick, especially when you notice algae bloom; this prevents it from rotting.
2. Raft system
Raft Hydroponics systems incorporate a ‘float’ in nutrient-rich water. In this manner, they are constantly exposed to the chamber’s nutritious medium. Typically a pump is included in the system to supply oxygen to the root system. An ordinary aquarium pump is adequate.
Here is one of the best raft system products:
Freehawk Hydroponic System Growing Kit
Looking for a slick light system of Hydroponics? I recommend the Freehawk Hydroponic System Growing Kit. It is small and portable yet efficient, fitting in a closet. That is right; you will not have to stress budgeting for indoor garden tents or rearranging your staff.
The product includes an air pump, hydroponic box, buoy, deck, and sponge pots. The kit comes with planting instructions and a manual on how to assemble the components. Rapid plant growth is assured by oxygen-rich gas being pumped toward the roots.
- It saves space.
- Perfect for kitchen herbs.
- It allows for ease in moving plants where there is natural light.
- It requires you to keep a close eye on any algae blooms.
3. Ebb and Flow system
Like in the raft system of home hydroponics, the plants, in this case, have their roots bathed continuously in nutrient-rich water. In addition, a bottom chamber exists like in the wick system. Fluid from the bottom chamber is frequently pumped to the top chamber (where the plant roots are immersed).
And then allowed to drain back to the bottom room passively. This prevents the growth of organisms that cause disease, which favours moist and stagnant environments.
Check out one such fantastic ebb flow system product:
Active Aqua Grows Flow Ebb
If you are a DIY hydroponics person, then the active aqua grows flow ebb is the thing for you. It comes with an easy-to-follow set of installation instructions.
Thus there is virtually no chance of you hitting a brick wall. In addition to this, the system gives you much convenience when you need to relocate your indoor plants due it’s easy to assemble. Active aqua grow ebb allows you precise programming of your hydroponic garden.
This smart feature allows it to supply all the necessary resources to plants in the right amounts, making it the most efficient ebb system available on the market. Also, it is the only unit that comes with a fail-safe overflow protector. Its indispensable feature allows for emergency shutdown in the event of spillages, which would damage the growing area.
With this system, you got a more extensive range of plants to choose from for the system, including larger ones. This system works well with plant tents, which you can quickly source from the market.
Some features and specs of the system are as below:
- It’s a flexible ebb and flow system, which can be arranged in the desired arrangement.
- It comes with12 growing modules to a single 2-gallon system.
- Expansion of the system to 48 grow modules with a grow flow expansion kit.
- Its user-friendly programmable ebb and flow controller.
- One buy comes with all fittings and tubings; however, individual components are also available.
Also available are sample nutrients such as flora grow, micro, and bloom, which are the vital nutrients required by your indoor plants.
Hydrofarm Active Aqua Grow Flow Ebb & GRO 12 Site 2Gal Hydroponic System
Looking for a slick light system of Hydroponics? I recommend the Freehawk Hydroponic System Growing Kit. It is small and portable yet efficient, fitting in a closet. That is right; you will not have to stress about budgeting for indoor garden tents or rearranging your staff.
The product has everything you need, including an air pump, hydroponic box, buoy, deck, and sponge pots. The kit comes with planting instructions and a manual on how to assemble the components. Rapid plant growth is assured by oxygen-rich gas being pumped toward the roots.
- It saves space.
- Perfect for herbs indoors.
- It allows for ease in moving plants where there is natural light.
- It requires you to keep a close eye on algae blooms while growing hydroponically.
4. Aeroponic systems
Here the roots are exposed to air and are frequently sprayed with a thin film of nutrient-rich water. One such smart product falling under the aeroponic system shall shortly be described down.
Aerogarden Black Harvest Indoor Hydroponic Garden
This happens to be one of the hydroponic herb garden systems available on the market for gardening enthusiasts. It includes a gourmet herb seed kit, and up to six herb plants may be grown at a time. It has a user-friendly control panel that reminds the gardener when to add water or plant food.
The kit comes with LED grow lights for optimal growth of the plants even in the absence of sunlight, allowing indoor cultivation of plants.
Check out the features incorporated and the specs:
Features and specs
- It can be used with large plants.
- It has an enough capacity reservoir with easy fill capability and lids, which effectively stops algae bloom.
- Adequate root aeration and oxygenation.
- Gives plant roots adequate room to develop further.
- It offers excellent results when propagation and cloning are done.
- Adequate space for setting up the system.
Types of plants to Grow in an Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden
The answer is that any plant can be grown in an indoor hydroponics herb farm where you grow plants without soil, given the right conditions.
However, some plants tend to be more challenging to grow as compared to others. Several number of herbs, spinach, strawberries, and a long list of other plants are ideal for indoor hydroponic gardening. But, here, our concern is only about an Indoor Herb Garden in these pandemic times. Everybody needs it, as the usage of natural herbs boosts your immunity and thereby, can protect you from contagious diseases.
To have a smart herb garden indoors, you need finer quality seeds.
Here are some of the best available Herb Seeds:
(i)Sow Right Seeds- Herb Garden Seed Collection
The product consists of five small packets of herb seeds packaged in one larger pack. And the packets contain basil, cilantro, parsley, chives, and oregano seeds. So, that’s a five-in-one deal!
The seeds are ideal for growing in both indoor and outdoor settings. The seeds also happen to be a natural non-GMO product.
(ii)Culinary Herb Collection
This is a non-GMO collection of 10 different herbs in one package. It has basil, chives, cilantro, dill, lavender, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme etc. The seeds also come with a ninety-six-page full-color growing guide.
These herbs are easy to grow in indoor gardens as well, provided there is adequate light available.
Best Nutrients for Indoor Hydroponic Garden Plants
With the absence of soil in a hydroponic system, you will have to supply nutrients to your Indoor Hydroponic Herb garden plants for healthy growth and yield. Selecting the right nutrient on the market can be a daunting task; however, not to worry and follow these simple buying criteria.
Convenience vs Effectiveness
Depending on what you are looking for, if you have your sight on spending less, try 1-part hydroponic liquid. This one is easy to use as a cheaper alternative. However, for a nutrient to boost up your plant growth, I recommend a 3-part nutrient package. With this, you will have to supply a different premix depending on the type of plant.
Liquid vs Powders
Liquid nutrients are a convenient choice because they are available in already premixed form. However, they tend to be costly compared to their powdered counterpart. The powdered form is considered an economical option, especially when you are doing a large-scale hydroponic project.
Organic vs Synthetic
Organics (e.g., fish meal) are considered the eco-friendly option; that is if you do not mind the smells that may come with their use. This is because they do not fully dissolve, unlike the synthetic type. Overall organic nutrients can be as adequate as synthetic ones if appropriately used. Anyways, we are putting Natural Nutrients only.
Best All-Natural Plant Food for Your DIY Hydroponic Herb Garden
1. Organic Liquid Seaweed and Kelp Fertilizer Supplement By Bloom City.
This supplement is excellent for your herbs; packed and rich in vitamins and hormones to stimulate root growth.
The good news is you can use it for every stage of growth, from seedlings to flowering or fruiting. In addition to this, you will not have to worry about affecting its effectiveness when you incorporate some nutrients to it to boost your herbs. Though being a kelp product, it does away with the traditional smelly, pungent scent.
2. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Plant Food Vegetables and Herbs, 2lb
Miracle-Gro works well with herbs, especially basil and mint. It is easy to use, especially for beginners. And it spreads well to produce tasty herbs. It usually takes just a few weeks after application for you to see a noticeable change.
For best results, it’s advisable to use it in combination with the sprayer by attaching the end of the hose.
3. Liquid Seaweed for Plants (128oz)Gallon
This is one type of food plant that works wonders. It produces satisfactory results whenever applied to the herbs. It can be used as a drench and as a foliage spray.
Just two feedings of the product are enough to give you noticeable changes. Recommended dilution rates are far lower with this product, which means a gallon of it will not run out quickly, so you will just keep in check the expiry date.
4. Foxfarm FX1450 Big Bloom, Grow Big and Tiger Bloom Liquid Fertilizer Nutrient Trio Hydro Formula.
Like general Hydroponics, this product is a three-part package. However, the formulas and mixing ratios for the three nutrient bottles are different. The growth schedule is also different.
Like other hydroponic nutrients, instructions on how to use and correctly mix the products are readily available. With the application being done correctly and fox farm being another trusted brand, there is no reason for your indoor plants not to thrive.
- Alternative to general hydroponic nutrients.
- Trusted product.
- Works for all plants and growth stages.
- Easy to follow and use.
- It is pricier than other brands available on the market.
- Not efficient in a commercial scale setting.
Plant Growth and Light for your Hydroponics System
Plants grow by two processes, respiration and photosynthesis. The latter allows plants to flower and bear ‘fruit’ and requires light. Plants tend to get stunted and wither away in the absence of light.
Therefore, for the best indoor Hydroponic herb garden to be set up, an adequate light source that mimics natural light as much as possible has to be present.
Check out one of the grow light products which work excellent with hydroponic plants:
MARS HYDRO TS 600 W LED Grow light
This Plants Growing Lights for a Hydroponic Indoor Garden has the full spectrum of sunlight, mimicking the outdoors. Thus, it will work great for all the herb plants. Its lightweight makes it perfect for hanging just above your plants without worrying about it falling over them. Also, it does not produce that annoying buzzing sound like other lighting systems.
- Low energy consumption.
- Very efficient system.
- Easy to use and install.
- It can be pricy.
The 5 Best Indoor DIY Hydroponic Herb Garden Systems in the Market
Finally, this brings us to the question,” What’s the best DIY hydroponic herb garden kit?”
Here are the Top 5 Hydroponic Herbal Garden DIY kits compiled from amazon reviews:
1. AeroGarden Bounty Elite
This indoor garden kit tops the rating, and you shall soon find out why. The kit comes with pods that are either pre-seeded with herbs like Rosemary and Thyme or left empty for growing anything you want. In addition to this, its size is one of the largest, enabling you to grow several herbs at one go. It thus increases your yields.
This calls for a bit higher power requirements than other kits, but this is not wrong considering the kit’s size. The convenience that comes with ease in setting up the kit coupled with plant growth speed makes it one of the most comprehensive systems.
Check out some of the features that come with the kit:
- Grows up to 9 herbs at one go.
- It comes with a 50 watt LED full spectrum to grow lights. So, you don’t to look for your windowsill to place your garden.
- Wi-Fi enabled and Alexa compatible Garden
- No soil.
- Stainless Steel Body
- Includes 9 pod Gourmet Herb Seeds kit
Plants are being nurtured freely for a Full Season by Natural Organic plant food, Miracle-Gro liquid plant food
It is one of the best hydroponic herb garden setups available in the market
2. Aerogarden Harvest
This indoor hydroponic DIY offers a right on an automated point system through the use of a central control panel and sensors. The panel is user-friendly and serves to remind you when to water and add nutrients. How cool is this? In addition to this, it also has automated lights. By far, it is the most comprehensive system on offer today.
It is one of the best choices for indoor home gardeners.
Check out the features.
- Grows up to 6 plants at one time.
- 12 inches of grow space.
- No soil.
- Automated features like Vacation mode
- 20 watt LED grow lights to grow better.
- Stainless Steel Body
- Includes 6 pod Gourmet Herb Seeds kit
- Plants are being nurtured freely for a Full Season by a portion of phenomenal plant food, Miracle-Gro plant food
3. Click and Grow Smart Garden 3
For newbies, I highly recommend this hydroponics kit. Smaller than its Aerogarden unit but still is efficient, simple, and affordable. In addition to this space, issues do not have to cause you sleepless nights because it perfectly fits in small spaces like closets and cabinets.
Here are the features you will get with the kit:
- The kit comes with 50 pre-seeded pods
- Very easy and convenient to transplant herbs.
- Efficient LED light system.
4. VegeBox Hydroponic Growing System
This Diy hydroponics kit is more affordable than the previously mentioned three but still is quite efficient. Its small size also makes it convenient in a setting where there is little space like a small apartment. This one I would also recommend to newbies because of its simplicity, just like the smart garden kit.
So its features are as follows:
- 22-watt full spectrum grow lights.
- 12 plantings pods.
- 2L water tank.
5. Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 Indoor Garden Kit
Compared to other hydroponics kits, it is the most portable one. Its full compact spectrum LED light setup compliments the grow reservoir’s design; thus, in addition to growing herbs, the design beautifies your indoors. Therefore it is best to place this kit where visitors can see the sleekness.
Check out the features:
- Light in weight and easy to use.
- Grows up to 9 pods at one time.
- Full-spectrum LED grow lights.
FAQs | DIY Hydroponic Herbal Garden
How to Make An Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden?
To start a hydroponic herb garden, you will need to purchase a hydroponic system. You can then grow fresh herbs year round with much less water than traditional gardening. Tap water is acceptable, and the plants will get all the nutrients they need from the hydroponic system. This is a cheap and easy way to get started growing herbs indoors.
To make an indoor hydroponic herb garden, you will need to purchase plants or seedlings as well, that are specifically grown for hydroponic systems. There are many different types of hydroponic systems, so you will need to do some research to find the one that best suits your needs. Once you have the system set up, the plants will get all of their nutrients from the water, so you will need to make sure that they have access to much water.
You may also want to build a DIY aeration system to ensure that the plants get enough oxygen.
What Does a DIY Hydroponic System Cost?
A home made hydroponic system is a great way to grow your food. The cost of a DIY hydroponic system can vary depending on the size and complexity of the system and the plants you want to grow. A simple, well-designed hydroponic system can be built for around $100. You will get excellent choices online, as we discussed in this article.
Do Herbs Grow Well in Hydroponic Systems?
Herbs can grow well in Hydroponics, as long as they are given the proper nutrients and care. The most significant benefit of growing herbs in Hydroponics is that you can control the environment more efficiently, which means that you can avoid many of the pests and diseases that can affect herbs grown in soil.
What are the Herbs that Grow Better In Hydroponics?
Many herbs grow well in Hydroponics, including chives, cilantro, basil, and mint. These plants do not need soil to grow; instead, they are grown in water. Hydroponically grown herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. They require less attention than plants grown in soil, and they often yield more produce. If you are interested in growing herbs, consider growing them hydroponically. This method will help you grow healthy, abundant plants.
How Long will it Take to Grow Hydroponic Herbs?
It takes approximately four to six weeks to grow hydroponic herbs. Growth duration is totally dependent on the type of herbs you choose to grow indoors. Make sure that you have the right amount of light, heat, and nutrient-rich water for your plants to grow correctly.
Is it Necessary to Change the Water in your Hydroponic Setup?
Yes, you need to change the water in your hydroponic system as per a scientific system. In some cases, you need to change it in one week, in some cases, you can change it in two weeks. This will ensure that your plants are getting the nutrients they need and that the water is not stagnant.
Are there any Significant Disadvantages of Hydroponic Gardening?
Even though it is easier than you think, there are some disadvantages. These are that it is a more expensive method because you use water instead of soil for growing. Moreover, it can be harder to control algae growth in a homemade hydroponic system.
You need some time to get along with it.
Why should you start A DIY Hydroponic Herb Garden?
Herbs are one of the most versatile and rewarding plants you can grow, and starting an indoor hydroponic herb garden is a great way to enjoy fresh herbs all year round. Not only do herbs add flavor and nutrition to your meals, but they can also be used for medicinal purposes, or simply to make your home smell nice. With a bit of time and effort, you can easily set up a small hydroponic system that will provide you with a steady supply of fresh herbs.
So there you have it. ‘Dave’ is not such a crazy person, after all. We can all have diy hydroponic herb garden in the comfort of our own homes in the city and elsewhere. With the advent of such smart garden technologies, the need for land has also become unnecessary.
We can all become like ‘Dave ‘, grow fresh produce indoors without the hustle, and be healthy. With DIY hydroponic technics becoming more mainstream, eating stale produce from the supermarket will become extinct.
Finally, less need for you to visit herbal stores by accessing them from your hydro garden source will keep you safe from COVID-19. Consumption of these herbs also boosts your immunity!
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