Growing Basil in Hydroponics? Read This First


The woody herb can be sweet, savory, or peppery, and it smells amazing. Basil has been used some way in almost every place in the world and has collected its own interesting history throughout the ages. (For a century or two, basil was thought to spawn scorpions.)

Basil belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae), along with rosemary, oregano, thyme, and several other popular herbs.

Our favorite basil varieties are the classic sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum), Genovese basil, Thai basil, and dwarf basil. Sweet basil is a favorite among the Upstart Farmers.

Herbs are much more profitable than leafy greens, and can be a fantastic crop line for market growers. The pricing you receive will vary depending on your market. For example, Direct to Consumer markets like a CSA can often see prices as high as $2 or $3 an ounce, while wholesale markets like restaurants may land in the $1 to $1.50 an ounce range.

A recent price check at Target revealed that a 3/4 ounce clamshell package was retailing for $2.00, which comes out to $2.66 an ounce at the point of sale. A general rule of thumb is that wholesale pricing will be 40% to 50% of retail price.

Ideal conditions

  • EC: 1.6-2.2
  • pH range: 5.6-6.6
  • Temperature: 65-95ºF

Learn more about growing basil here.

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