Hydroponic Greenhouse Production of Fresh-market Basil in Colorado

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173

Fresh-market basil is becoming a viable greenhouse commodity in Colorado. Marketing pressures and profit advantages also encourage the production of certified organic produce. The research objectives were to determine the length of time basil plants were productive in the greenhouse and to compare the production of fresh-market basil grown with three root zone systems and two fertilizer treatments. The three systems were hydroponic rockwool slab culture, hydroponic perlite raised bed culture, and hydroponic peat/perlite/compost bag culture. The two types of hydroponic fertilizer treatments were an inorganically formulated nutrient solution and an organic solution consisting of fermented poultry compost, hydrolized fish emulsion, and soluble kelp. The plants were harvested once per week and fresh weight was determined. During the 2nd and 3rd months of harvest, productivity from the plants treated with the organic fertilizer was greatest in the perlite system. However, productivity from the plants treated with the traditional fertilizer was greatest in the bag mix and rockwool systems.

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