A step by step guide to growing Sorrel hydroponically
Are you planning to grow sorrel in water, we mean without soil? well, here is the complete guide to growing sorrel hydroponically. Sorrel is a leafy green vegetable, grown for its pleasingly tart, lemony flavour. It sometimes gets classified as an herb and occasionally as a vegetable. Sorrel plants prefer the cool seasons of spring and fall; they rapidly start bolting to the seed as the weather heats up. The 2 most regularly grown species are Garden Sorrel (Rumex acestosa) and French Sorrel (Rumex scutatus).
- Garden sorrel (Rumex acestosa) grows about three feet tall and produces leaves that can be good fresh used in salads.
- French sorrel (R. scutatus) grows about 6 to 12 inches in height and has fiddle-shaped leaves used in salads.
- Herb patience or spinach dock (R. patientia) grows to four feet height with leaves that can be used either fresh or cooked.
- Spinach rhubarb (R. abyssinicus) grows up to 8 feet tall; the leaves can be used like spinach and the stems like rhubarb.
- Common or sheep sorrel (R. acetosella) is a wild species whose leaves can be eaten when they are very small in size.
Sorrel plants bear smooth, arrow-shaped leaves that develop from a center rosette. The plant will grow up a tall flower stalk as the temperature warms up. The red flowers are rather insignificant whorled spikes. Sorrel plants are dioecious no you don’t need to manually pollinate them.
Sorrel only gets about 12 – 18 inches tall usually, although the flower stalks may get taller. It does spread out though not a space demanding plant, easily taking up 2 ft. in width only. Sorrel is grown for its characteristically tangy, slightly-sour tasting arrow-shaped leaves. There are mainly five different types of sorrels to pick from: garden sorrel, French sorrel, herb patience or spinach dock, spinach rhubarb, and common or sheep sorrel, all are used for different sorrel recipes. Sorrel is most preferred as a salad green accent.
Sorrel is one of the preferred indoor plants which can be grown using growing sorrel in pots and technique of hydroponics as well. Growing sorrel indoors is easy to maintain as the plant is not very high demanding.
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Propagating hydroponic Sorrel
You can start growing sorrel from seed, cuttings, root division, or a transplant, in either spring or early fall. Starting from seed is a more convenient way because it reduces the chance of any soil-borne infections which may contaminate your whole crop. Seed can be started indoors or outdoors, but since you can directly sow as early as 2-3 weeks prior to your last spring frost date, it is easiest to simply sow in the system using grow medium.
Sow the seed 1/2 inches deep spaced about 3 inches apart in hydroponic grow media like rockwool or perlite which has greater moisture retention ability. When the plants are an inch or two tall, you can thin any diseased or weak plants. You will only need 2 or 3 plants, for the average family’s sorrel need. Sorrel’s round, shiny seeds usually germinate in 7 to 21 days. Cold stratification or an overnight soak will fasten its progress.
Growth requirements of hydroponic Sorrel
Light and Systems
Light is important for the development of colour when you are especially looking for the answer of how to grow red-veined sorrel microgreens, but it also affects the physiology as well. Plants require sufficient light to carry out photosynthesis for optimum growth and for coloration, but they also need light for overall plant quality. Sorrel has a much lower light requirement to reach saturation levels than a tall crop like tomato, fully-grown tomatoes, but if they don’t receive enough light not only will growth be limited, but plant quality as too. So try to keep your system in full sun or install grow lights for providing good 7-8 hours of direct light to the developing plants.
The hydroponic system has a wide range so that grower has enough variety to select from, depending upon plant and reason for cultivation you can choose any of the hydroponic setups. For growing hydroponic sorrel you have many options right from Kratky, dutch bucket system for easy cultivation to commercial floating raft hydroponics the hydroponic raft system design is a very easy hydroponic system which includes a floating net cup with growing medium and the developing plant’s root hanging down in the nutrient-enriched solution. You can get hydroponic rafts for sale easily in the online stores.
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The nutrient solution for growing Sorrel hydroponically
You can obtain a nutrient solution from any horticultural store these are ready to use all you need is distilled water to mix with the appropriate quantity mentioned in the packet. For hydroponic sorrel, general grow or green mix special nutrient solution can be purchased but make sure you maintain the following attributes of the solution.
pH: 6.0-6.5 cF: 12-24 EC: 1.2-2.4 PPM: 840-1680
When to harvest Sorrel
Is sorrel a perennial plant, YES. Newly seeded plants will take about 35 to 40 days to reach “baby” size and 2 months to get fully mature. Sorrel is ready to harvest when the leaves are reaches about 4 inches long. Tender leaves are best suited for eating in salads or in dishes and if you harvest as cut-and-come-again, you will have a steady supply of young and tender leaves. This means eaves can be harvested as early as 60 days after seed sowing. Remove flowers sooner than they mature to continue the plants producing new leaves into the fall.
Make sure you deadhead spent flowers because sorrel plant reseeds easily which may become a weed for you. A Sorrel plant must be replaced after three or four seasons before losing their vigour. Unless you want to save seed for new sowing, cut the seed stalk to the ground and remove any declining leaves. The plant will re-sprout with more tender leaves. Sorrel will self-seed if you leave the seed heads on the plants. To keep your plants healthy and vigorous, divide them during spring or early summer every 3-4 years.
That’s all folks about growing sorrel hydroponically, keep growing leafy vegetables in hydroponics. If you have any question and comment, don’t forget use the below form.
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