I decided to try to grow this stuff hydroponically assuming it was efficient for space and time. After a bit of poking around it seems there are a lot of ways. Two things that came forward were deep water and a thin film systems. I will try this stuff out. I couldn’t decide if Basil-O-Matic or Cilantro-Matic sounded better as a project name.
I ordered six kinds of basil and some cilantro seeds. The first bit of basil seeds have arrived so I am trying to figure out what to do with them. I figure the idea is to germinate them first so I set them up in a bowl with water.
This project has been quite a success (although I’m still using soil and not hydroponics).
February 2nd, 2014: I’ve had the first basil seeds for a couple of days now so started to germinate them. I put a tray over it to avoid dust and mold and added a light.
Dark Opal Basil: Ocimum Basilicum, Blooms Mid Summer – Fall, Height 18-24″, Spacing 12-15″, Harvest 85, Light: Sum, Water: Average, Resseeding Annual, Directions: Sow 1/4″ deep after danger of frost. Seedville
Sweet Basil Herb: Ocimum Basilicum, Bloom Summer – Fall, Heigh 24-30″, Spacing 15-18″, Annual, Light: Sun, Water: Averge, Harvest 75D, Directions: Sow 1/4″ deep after danger of frost. Seedville
2h Later: Okay so I’m a bit eager. 🙂 Check this out. The seeds have swollen and turned grey-fuzzy. I put a couple of fresh seeds beside to show the contrast. I used a little magnifier with my cell phone camera to zoom in further.
February 5: Everything sprouted pretty fast. I moved them to this tray system I picked up. I also started to germinate some cilantro, lemon basil and holy basil.
February 7: Things are moving along. The lemon basil seems to develop a thick jelly around it. I suppose it’s to increase contact with surrounding material and store water…
February 8: The cilantro hasn’t opened yet but the two new basil have so I transferred them to the bark compost.
February 9: They are about 1cm tall!
February 14: Okay, things are going great with the basil but the cilantro didn’t germinate. I’m going to try again by breaking the shells. I just ate an avocado. So I decided to split the seed and try and germinate it. I’ll get a picture later.
February 23: Great progress. My avocado failed but the basil is thriving!
February 27: Okay, gotta start thinking of how to feed these things!
March 3: Okay, things are getting crazy. I need to figure out what to do next!
- Make something!
- Get some pots with soil!
- NEW Versa Grow System Aeroponic Kit Hydroponics VersaGrow Box 10 Plant Spray $260.
- NEW Large Design Complete Hydroponics DWC Hydro Garden Plant Grow Box System Kit $80 (12)
March 20: I noticed that the basil is dropping tiny leaves. I transferred five of them to troughs. These have no drainage so I will need to be careful with water.
I started some red hot peppers, red sweet peppers and tomatoes as well. The Canadian Tire seed starter stuff is way cheaper than the designer stuff I got from the hydroponics store.
I also started another avocado attempt. I have soaked it overnight, next I’m going to mount it half in water.
March 25: Wow the tomatoes are coming up like mad. I made another attempt at planting cilantro and added more hot peppers and more tomatoes.
May 8: Things are coming along. Only one cilantro survived but the basil, and peppers are thriving. Oh, only one tomato survived as well and it’s having an epic struggle. I’ll photo the cilantro and tomato this weekend. I added a bean, far right. It grew 2.5 inches in one day. After it was about an inch it was putting on mass so fast you could practically see it.
May 15: Things are coming along but my grow lamp is balanced on a vase and the plants are getting in the lamp and getting burned. So I decided I’d make a lamp fixture. It took 1 hour to design, cut out, glue together and install. I love my CNC mill. 🙂
May 18: Okay so I didn’t manage to put together any kind of a growing system except ordinary soil. It’s still a good start and I’m pretty happy with it. I now have fresh basil on hand!
I’ve learned a few things. One is to harvest the basil fro the top with a sharp knife. Another is that the little grow cakes don’t need to stay int the covered incubator long. In fact the earlier I removed stuff the better it did. So it’s not helping for any of the stuff I’m growing. The bean was grown just out in the open and it totally went crazy.
August 11: Today I started to eat the hot chili peppers! They are better than any I’ve had. I guess freshness matters.
November 10: Okay I learned a few things. If you let them blossom then they die. If you trim the blossoms then they keep leafing.
I’ve only got one basil left so I started another small batch of them today. I have mint seeds coming as well.
I’ve got some sort of onions going and a rose.
I’ve consolidated all my highly successful chili peppers into two large pots… They produce lots of hot peppers…
Things you can regrow indefinitely.