Growing in Controlled Environments
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Yath
Posted on: June 26, 1998

What herbs grow and produce best in a controlled environment?

This question is difficult to answer because there are so many factors to consider and so many different reasons for growing in "controlled environments" such as greenhouses. Probably, the biggest consideration will be economics: you won’t grow in controlled environments unless there is no other way. Examples are herbs that need to be consumed fresh but are not practical to grow outdoors where it will not survive the winter. Herbs that are normally consumed in dried form, or in manufactured products made from the dried form, are usually not candidates for expensive controlled environments.

While economic considerations are important for commercial herb production, they are not so important if you are growing for your own personal use. Many people are growing herbs hydroponically indoors under artificial light for fun and for year round supply, but when all the costs are factored in, hydroponic herbs will more expensive than garden grown herbs.

If economics are not a prime concern, then there are relatively few herbs that cannot be grown in controlled environments. Some herbs such as french tarragon and chives require annual cool periods, but herbs such as basil and rosemary will grow happily in a constant temperature and light regime.

I am aware of at least one book that is being written now on growing herbs hydroponically. If all goes well, the book will be published in the next year or two. Watch for it to appear in Richters catalogue.

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