Aquaponics farming has become very popular, and it is an excellent way through which you can grow edible herbs. One of the most popular herbs you may grow in your aquaponics garden is basil. Growing basil in aquaponics will save you time to go to the grocery store and provide you with fresh and readily available produce to complement your dishes.
Why grow basil in an aquaponics system?
Basil is a prevalent aromatic herb for cooking. Its popularity is vast in Italian, Mediterranean, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines. Basil will give your meals flavor, and its nutrients are also very beneficial– Calcium and Vitamin K. It can be used in herbal medicine or as an addition to essential oils. Basil types that can be grown in aquaponics include; Holy basil, sweet basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, and purple basil.
Crucial factors and considerations
The aquaponic setup
Set up your aquaponics based on the purpose for growing your basil- commercial or personal use. For commercial units, it is essential to build them in a final resting place since the systems are massive. You will need to position your system in an accessible location for monitoring.
You will also need a stable location that is steady. Protecting the setup from exposure to factors such as heavy rain, snow, or strong wind is critical. You may fence the system to avoid pests. You will need a setup that can efficiently drain the roots between watering cycles.
As you plant your basil, provide a space of about 10-12 inches. This will avoid plant competition for nutrients, and therefore, the yield will also be more significant. Larger varieties of basil grow best when provided with a 16-24-inch spacing. Basil mainly grows fast, and within five days or so, it should have germinated.
The pH requirements
Basil will require a wide pH range. A strongly acidic pH of around 5.1 and an alkaline one of 8.5 are ideal. However, the preferable range is 5.5, which is strongly acidic to about 6.5, which is slightly acidic for it to thrive and yield maximum produce.
Basil is generally a lover of warm weather. It, therefore, needs a sunlight exposure of about 6 to 8 hours daily. You can still provide your basil with partial shading to avoid tip burn.
The suitable temperature to grow basil is between 18- 30 degrees Celsius. However, the optimal range is about 20-25 degrees Celsius.
Basil grows to an approximate height of 18-24 inches to produce offshoots for harvest. It can be harvested within 25 days. As you harvest, ensure that you do not remove a third of the basil for it to keep growing.
Growing basil in aquaponics is not very complicated if you have the proper setup and maintain the ideal growth requirements. Basil grows fast, and it will yield you fresh produce all year round. From aquaponic basil farming, you can save or earn yourself some money.
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