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Growing hydroponically for practically peanuts.

Discussion in 'Herbs' started by jackb, May 12, 2018.

  1. May 12, 2018
    jackb

    jackb Garden Addicted

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    Theresa has this thing for fresh basil, she loves basil on pretty much anything. She has been buying hydroponic basil, spending about five dollars for a few stems growing from a horticube. The problem is, that in a day or so the basil begins to turn black and wilt. Well, if you want hydroponic basil, why not grow it?

    Deciding to go with the "deep water" method for this grow I selected a container that would accommodate a 3" net pot, and that container just happened to be a plastic peanut container that fit the net pot like it was designed for it. Expanded clay pellets are being used to support the seedlings and the nutrient mixture is just below the brim of the container. The mixture has a PPM of about 700 and a pH of 6.7.

    As it is only one container, and to keep it simple, I am using a small red/blue 10 watt LED grow bulb for lighting. The grow bulb is a spotlight configuration and even though it is only 10 watts the concentrated light level on the plant is a not too shabby 1500 foot candles from 18" above the plants.

    Of course, this would work just as well on a window sill or any bright spot out of direct sunlight.

    And, the really nice thing is that it will continue to grow and grow and grow.

    p1.jpg
    1500.jpg
     
    digitS', so lucky and thistlebloom like this.
  2. May 13, 2018
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    Just a guess does your wife have Italian in her family tree :lol::lol:
     
  3. May 13, 2018
    jackb

    jackb Garden Addicted

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    She has a forest full of them. ;)
     
  4. May 13, 2018
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    We have basil right through the growing season. Right now, the greenhouse furnace doesn't need to be on and it may have limped through its season of responsibility in a commendable fashion. Still, we haven't risked any of the basil plants in the garden. Except for some sweet corn starts, about the only thing the greenhouse furnace has any responsibility for is the basil. Maybe we can get some of it out by the end of the week ...

    DW has already harvested some of the tops in the containers. Nothing else is like fresh basil :). Those plants are the ones most likely to be moved to the garden. The cropped things have been hardening off in the sweetest sweet spot in the backyard. I had them under the deck steps during the brightest part of yesterday.

    The fusarium resistant basil varieties made a big difference in our basil growing. There is no guarantees with those strains, however. Do you imagine fusarium as a problem for you, in the winter?

    DW doesn't care for dried basil. It's almost as though we could be driven to move southern Florida during the winter just to be able to grow out basil! I haven't grown anything solely under lights, ever. I think I should study your setup and surprise her with something for the house this winter. It would have to involve several peanuts, tho.

    Steve
    no @Nyboy , she isn't Italian and for me - I find it really difficult to find any ancestors beyond the English, Dutch and Native American ...
     
  5. May 13, 2018
    jackb

    jackb Garden Addicted

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    It was really Theresa's idea to grow the basil. She purchased hydroponic "kits" sold by the people that make Ball canning jars. I think the average price was about eight dollars a kit. I had no idea that she wanted to grow the basil, but I did see her discarding the basil she purchased at the market. I just elected a less expensive method of growing it. (translate cheap) I also have two pots in the greenhouse, so the supply will just keep up with the demand. The nice thing about the window sill garden is that it can be grown all winter as is also true of my cheap imitation.

    I suggested painting the jars to discourage algae, as it will be a problem with clear glass.

    basil.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
    Sam BigDeer, pjn, Ridgerunner and 3 others like this.
  6. May 13, 2018
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    All of my family had large patches of basil growing in their gardens.
     
  7. May 13, 2018
    jackb

    jackb Garden Addicted

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    Give it a shady corner and basil loves the heat and humidity of the greenhouse. I could care less about basil, but anything to keep the little lady happy. ;)

    greenhouse basil.jpg
     
    catjac1975 and Nyboy like this.
  8. May 14, 2018
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    That looks like one of those Italian basils, big leaves and with a strong flavor. That's the kind I grow. Good stuff.
     
  9. Jun 30, 2018
    jackb

    jackb Garden Addicted

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    Well, the basil project continues. The original plant has been producing for weeks and looks like it will continue to do so as the roots have now reached the nutrients. We have started several more containers so we will have a continuous supply year round. In addition to the plants in the house, we have three in the greenhouse along with parsley and oregano. When I think Theresa was paying six dollars for a few puny stalks of hydroponic basil at the market I could just cringe.

    basil basil.jpg

    roots.jpg

    mixed.jpg
     
    digitS' likes this.
  10. Jun 30, 2018
    Nyboy

    Nyboy Garden Master

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    Jack try growing escarole for your wife, Italians love it.
     

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