|Thursday Tips: Hydroponic Herbs|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Thursday, 14 June 2012|
Have you noticed those fresh, healthy herb plants (roots and all) at the grocery store lately? Chances are they are the product of hydroponic gardening techniques.
Growing herbs hydroponically (sometimes referred to as soil-less gardening), in water and not soil, is one of the fastest methods of growing herbs like mint, marjoram, oregano, and basil. Many of the fresh herb plants we see at the supermarket have probably been grown using hydroponic gardening techniques. Herbs grown in water have a growth rate that is about 25% more rapid than those grown in soil, approximately four to six weeks.
According to hydroponic growers it has to do with the fact that the nutrients, which are in solution in the water medium and are taken up by the root system almost immediately. As such the plant does not need to put much energy into the root system, which remains on the small side, and can focus its growth on the leaves.
Given the soil-less growing technique, one might assume these herbs are organic, but they’re not. They are pesticide free however, provided of course no pesticides are used. Under USDA Organic Food Standards, hydroponic herbs do not qualify as organic because they are fed with a nutrient solution, which technically speaking is a chemical fertilizer.