Hydroponic coriander is a type of horticulture that involves growing coriander plants without soil, by using water-based mineral nutrient solutions. Hydroponic coriander has many advantages, such as saving water, space, and time, as well as producing fresh and flavorful herbs all year round. In this blog post, we will explain how to grow hydroponic coriander in a simple and easy way.
The first step is to choose a suitable variety of coriander for hydroponics. Some varieties are more resistant to bolting, which is the tendency of the plant to produce flowers and seeds instead of leaves. Bolting reduces the quality and quantity of the harvest, so it is better to avoid it. Some of the best varieties for hydroponics are Calypso, Santo, and Marino, as they allow two to three harvests before they need to be replaced.
The second step is to germinate the coriander seeds. Coriander seeds are large and round, and they can be sown directly into individual cubes, cells, or pots of sterile, free-draining growth media, such as rockwool, coco coir, or perlite. The seeds should be placed about 1/4 inch deep and kept moist but not soggy. The germination process takes about 7 to 10 days, and the seedlings are ready to transplant when they reach a height of 2 inches.
The third step is to transplant the seedlings into the hydroponic system. Coriander can be grown in a range of hydroponic systems, such as NFT (nutrient film technique), DFT (deep flow technique), DWC (deep water culture), aeroponics, drip irrigation, or flood and drain (ebb and flow). The choice of the system depends on the available space, budget, and preference of the grower. The main thing is to ensure that the roots have access to oxygen and nutrients at all times.
The fourth step is to provide the optimal conditions for the growth of hydroponic coriander. The nutrient solution should have a pH range of 5.5 to 6.4 and an EC (electrical conductivity) range of 1.2 to 1.8. The nutrient solution should contain a balanced mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and micronutrients. The nutrient solution can be made from synthetic fertilizers or organic sources, such as fish or duck excrement. The nutrient solution should be changed every two weeks or whenever it becomes depleted or contaminated.
The light requirement for hydroponic coriander is about 12 hours per day from a T5 fluorescent light or an LED light. The light intensity should be around 200 to 300 micromoles per square meter per second (µmol/m2/s). The temperature requirement for hydroponic coriander is between 45°F and 75°F. Higher temperatures can cause bolting and lower temperatures can slow down the growth. The humidity requirement for hydroponic coriander is between 50% and 70%. Higher humidity can cause fungal diseases and lower humidity can cause wilting.
The fifth step is to harvest and enjoy the hydroponic coriander. The harvest time depends on the variety and the desired size of the leaves. Generally, hydroponic coriander can be harvested after 40 to 48 days from germination. The leaves can be cut with scissors or a sharp knife at about one inch above the base of the plant. The leaves can be used fresh or stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. The leaves can also be frozen or dried for longer storage.
Hydroponic coriander is a delicious and nutritious herb that can enhance any dish with its unique flavor and aroma. By following these simple steps, you can grow your own hydroponic coriander at home and enjoy it anytime you want.