How would you like to have freshly, home-grown, organic Aquaponics plants available to you every day? Aquaponics is the most sustainable form of food production, and it allows you to grow vegetables and fish easily, in a small space and for very little costs.
Many vegetables can be grown using aquaponics systems but perhaps the most popular ones are lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes and various herbs. You can grow a number of different vegetables in a single aquaponics system and most people do so.
Lettuce matures in just 40 days and is extremely easy to grow. Its optimal air temperature range is between 60-80 degrees F, while its root (i.e. water) temperature should be between 70-74 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore lettuce combines well with tilapia, as these too prefer warmer waters. To grow lettuce, you can either plant the seeds directly into your hydroponic beds or else you can plant the seeds in a pot and then transfer them to the grow bed when they have grown a few inches. When the time comes for harvesting, you can either pick the whole plant or just take a few leaves at a time - exactly the number of leaves you need for that side salad! Other leafy greens grow just as well in Aquaponics farming, such as spinach, watercress, basil, parsley and mint.
Tomatoes are another very popular Aquaponics plant; however, they do require a high level of nutrients. To achieve this, you will need to have a fairly crowded fish tank, and therefore you will need to choose fish that grow well at dense populations. Tomatoes grow best when they have about 8 to 12 hours of light per day (especially when fruiting) and at temperatures around 68 to 88 degrees F. Tomatoes should not be seeded directly in the hydroponic bed; instead seed them in a seedling tray and transplant them after about 2 to 6 weeks. For the best taste, allow the tomatoes to fully ripen before picking.
Cucumbers are another plant that is perfect for Aquaponics, especially the variety referred to as the English Cucumber. Cucumbers grow best at air temperatures of 75 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, and prefer a humidity level that is below 75%. English cucumbers mature in just 6 to 8 weeks and are ready to eat when they reach 6 inches in length. Squash, melons, buttercup, watermelon and cantaloupe are very similar to cucumber in requirements and grow well using an Aquaponics set-up.
To discover how to choose the best plants, and how to get the best yields, check out Aquaponics 4 Idiots