So basil is an important herb that we now use in many types of cooking. Unfortunately, I must confess that I not a fan of this important plant. During my learning curb of growing by using hydroponics systems then it is probably the most important herb to grow!
There are many different types of basil plants that can be grown. However I think the main ones are >
- Sweet Basil
- Genovese Basil
- Thai Sweet Basil
- Purple Basil
- Lemon Basil
- Lime Basil
- Lettuce Basil
- Spicy Basil
So lets get on with the growing of these plants using the hydroponics method. Firstly, they can be started off in two ways! Of course by germinating seeds and secondly by taking cuttings from established plants. Of course for first time growers then seeds are the best option. However if cuttings are available then they can be rooted within a week.
Basil should be grown indoors or in a greenhouse. Because, they are a warm climate plant. So 16 to 25 Celsius would be the best temperature to get good results. When using the hydroponics system then the best start would be to use “rockwool blocks“. Seeds can be sown in the blocks without having the need for transplanting. Other mediums can of course be used ! Including perlite, vermiculate, coco coir and peat moss. However peat moss is becoming more unpopular here in the UK. Methods of digging the peat out of the ground are a concern to conservationists.
All these growing mediums are available online from your local “Hydroponics website”.
Fungus a problem to young basil plants.
Whichever way you propagate the young basil plants then they should be grown on using a traditional hydroponics system. However another important point is that basil seedlings are susceptible to attacks from the “Pythium fungus”. As in my other posts then it is important keep your growing area and equipment as clean as possible. Sterilisation is very important and Pythium is a substantial threat to your newly grown seedlings.
Growing areas should be warm but well ventilated. This applies to many crops grown in warm conditions and indoors. Canadian Xpress Wilt Guard, is a great product that can be used to prevent Pythium and other fungal disease found in the plant growing world.
So, after treatment the plants can be moved onto plastic mesh pots and inserted into appropriate growing medium of your choice. Basil grows very well using the hydroponics system. I must confess that I have found basil difficult to grow using normal soil based methods. Consequently, I have in the past give basil a miss. However, I am looking forward to my first attempt growing these herbs in a soilless way using hydroponics.
Finally, the best way to harvest basil is to clip off the top two thirds of the leaves for kitchen use. Importantly, new growth comes from the base of the plant, similar to say spinach or broccoli. However cutting basil for kitchen use should be restricted to say three times but this will give you more than enough basil for normal usage.
As a visual person then I think its great to look at a good video. So here is one about basil.