The Urban Farmer: Hydro herbs, Reflectors, Lettuce lighting

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The Urban Farmer, Issue #042 *  Hydro Herbs * Reflectors * Lettuce Lighting


Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of
creating and playing with colors.”

   ~Oscar de la Renta

Hydroponic herbs


Creating an indoor herb garden is quite an easy task, as herbs are
inexpensive, easy to maintain and undemanding. An indoor herb garden can serve
as an introductory course for any beginner to the art of hydroponics gardening.

Depending on their use, herbs can be classified into culinary herbs,
medicinal herbs and aromatic herbs. Culinary herbs include basil, rosemary,
parsley and oregano. These herbs are used to add spice and flavor to food.
Medicinal herbs include plants like echinacea, valerian, hypericum, and gingko,
which are widely used in medicinal preparations. Oils from plants like lavender,
rose, mint and basil are used for aromatherapies. Most of these plants are not
suitable for an indoor herb garden as it is difficult to extract the medicinal
parts of the plant. Ornamental herbs are those that are grown to enhance the
beauty of homes.

You can start with herbs like oregano, rosemary, garlic chives, mint and
thyme. You can either buy baby plants at a garden center or can use stem
cuttings. You can also start an indoor herb garden from the seed level. Heavy
clay or terra cotta pots are preferred as these pots facilitate good circulation
of air and water.

You can have a beautiful indoor herb garden if you follow certain tips.
Soilless mixtures of vermiculite, peat and perlite ensures proper growth of
seeds and seedlings. Keeping pots in the southern or western window ensures
proper sunlight and air. Pots should be kept in shady regions during summers.
The growth medium should be moist but not wet.  Humidity around indoor
plants can be increased if they are grouped together. Or use a mister as you
talk to your babies.

Here is a very popular hydroponic herb unit that looks great in the kitchen: