An aquaponics system is a self sustainable system that gives you access to fresh food – fish and plants. When it comes to plants, there are plenty of options out there. Most people stick to whatever is easier to grow, as well as plants they actually enjoy. Now, this is probably the best system for microgreens, but what does it take to start an aquaponic microgreens system?
There are more options out there. This option is ideal for different categories of people. For instance, you could stick to microgreens regardless of your experience – this could be your first system or you might be more experienced. It makes no difference. Microgreens are easy to grow, healthy and without too many requirements. So, what do you need to know?
Microgreens are vegetables. Compared to other vegetables, you do not have to wait for too long. In fact, once the shoots have sprouted, you can start harvesting. They are normally small vegetables – even smaller than the traditional baby greens. You can have them ready to eat in no time and without a big investment.
There are more benefits associated with them. One of them is the possibility to decide when to harvest in order to gain more flavor, whether you like them a bit sweet or perhaps sour. However, the main benefit is the fact that you can grow microgreens from seeds to plants within a week only. In some cases, it may take up to a couple of weeks, but it is still a fast growth.
Other than that, it makes no difference how big or small your system is. Aquaponic microgreens provide good value for your space. Since they are small and grow vertically, you can get plenty of plants within a small system. You can have fresh vegetables and greens throughout the whole year – even on an emergency basis.
Most suitable options for aquaponic microgreens
There are more vegetables in this category, but some of them stand out in the crowd.
Alfalfa is one of the most popular choices out there. This microgreen is rich in vitamins K, C and A. It supports your skin and boosts the natural production of enzymes. Not only does it reduce the aging effects, but it will also keep the cholesterol levels under control.
Clover is another great option. It has a smooth flavor and looks like watercress. In terms of health, it has beneficial effects over the immune system and will help the body eliminate toxins. It will keep the alkalinity level balanced too. Collards are just as attractive among aquaponic microgreens. They are quite intense in flavor and may have beneficial effects against cancer.
Kale is among the most popular salads out there. It tastes like lettuce, but it is way healthier. It works wonders in salads and is rich in lutein, which will keep your eyes in great condition. Moreover, having kale on a regular basis will clear out the risks of macular degeneration. Kohlrabi is a top choice too because it has a cabbage flavor and it works on your energy, blood pressure and digestion.
Some people may also like radish – unlike most expectations, you do not have to wait until you get a full grown radish. Instead, add the leaves to a salad or a burger. Radishes are rich in vitamins K, E and C. Swiss chard is worth some attention too. Its dark leaves are similar in flavor to spinach – plus, the microgreen is great for your skin and eyes.
There are various mixes you can grow too. If you love salads, you will also appreciate a salad mix based on radish, clover and broccoli. They can be grown together. Radish is what makes the difference with its slightly spicy aroma. If you are more about health stuff, an antioxidant mix based on alfalfa, broccoli and clover will make the difference and can seriously boost the immune system.
Suggested article: Radishes in Aquaponics – Everything You Need to Know
Growing requirements for aquaponic microgreens
Aquaponic microgreens – just like any other plant in such a system – will come with some requirements. Most commonly, there are two things you have to pay attention to. The pH level is one of them and it should definitely match the pH requirements of your fish. Second, the temperature is not to be ignored either.
There is one major drawback associated with growing microgreens. Since they are so small, fragile and young, shifts in their temperature and pH will cause all kinds of problems. Stick to the optimal requirements and maintain them. Otherwise, you will slow them down, but you can also kill them if you ignore them for too long. With these thoughts in mind, the pH and temperature must be checked daily.
Like for most plants out there, seeds will require a temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature requirement applies to both the water and air. Practically, you want the seeds to germinate with no issues at all. They need to do it simultaneously, rather than in stages – you can also go for stage growth if you want fresh microgreens on a regular basis.
Now, moisture is also necessary for seeds and this should not be a problem in aquaponics. However, the pH is more important and requires a neutral value. Ideally, you should aim for a pH level of seven. Slight variations are accepted – anywhere between 6.5 and 7.5. However, you may experience slight problems here and there. Keep in mind that microgreens are fragile and likely to be affected.
Just like for other plants out there, you will have two big options when considering aquaponic microgreens. The general idea is to get a large and flat area. This type of design ensures seeds will grow properly and allow you to harvest the results within a week or two. The density is quite important too – around 1.5 ounces per tray, yet it depends on what plant you choose.
Growing aquaponic microgreens in grow beds
Grow beds are ideal to achieve a large growing surface. The perfect media? Irrelevant. You will notice that your seeds will scatter around. Basically, you will not be able to get the optimal density through this method, as seeds will spread around. They will get into every nook in your grow bed. However, this issue does not make the grow bed a bad idea.
You can get a hemp grow mat, for instance. It will give you a perfectly flat surface – especially if you use trays. It will be about an inch into the grow bed and can absorb water. The hemp grow mat will ensure your microgreens are moist and seeds will get all the water they require. The option is inexpensive and fairly simple, so it is more common than others.
Suggested article: Aquaponic Grow Beds – Everything You Need to Know
Growing aquaponic microgreens in floating rafts
The floating raft system is not to be overlooked either. This type of system will keep seeds away from water. However, they will have constant access to it whenever they need some extra moisture. There are more options in terms of design, but most experts rely on netting pots and hemp grow mats. How does it work then?
This type of system brings in netting pots, which let the water flow around. Roots will be constantly exposed to it. The hemp grow mat ensures the seeds gain the water they need, but without being flooded. As a general rule of thumb, you need to ensure the bottom of these pots must touch the water at all times to keep the moisture high.
Bottom line, aquaponic microgreens represent an excellent choice, whether you are a beginner or an expert. You gain access to all sorts of nutrients, numerous options for your salads and smoothies, as well as a stress-free system. Sure, microgreens are more fragile than other plants, but some of them can grow and be harvested within a week only.
– Bok Choy in Aquaponics – Essential Requirements for Cultivation
– Carrots in Aquaponics – Everything You Need to Know
– Growing Arugula in Aquaponics – Choosing the Best System
– Chilli Peppers In Aquaponics – Why Grow Aquaponics Chilli Peppers?
– Cucumbers in Aquaponics – Ideal Choice for Farmers
– Peas in Aquaponics – A Guide To Effectively Growing Peas In Aquaponics
Aquaponics 4 You™ - step-by-step how to build your own aquaponics system.
Aquaponics 4 You comes jam-packed with all the step-by-step instructions, secrets and common mistakes. Just moments from now you will be on your way to up to ten times the plants, growing amazing organic produce faster, healthier, without weeding or messing around with soil fertilizers ever again. This advice is certainly worth its weight in gold.
To learn more about Aquaponics 4 You™, CLICK HERE
When you order your copy of Aquaponics 4 You today, it comes with my unconditional 100% 60 Day Iron-Clad Money-Back Guarantee.