Growing arugula in aquaponics has many significant benefits. They range right from higher and quicker yield than the traditional farming method to less environmental impact by using less water as well as fertilizers. Aquaponic arugula, although having a more delicate flavor as well as texture than its wild counterpart, it gives more nutrient-rich and delicious leaves.
Further, the aquaponic plants tend to give more steady harvests due to their regulated growing environment. Their roots do not have to look for nutrients in the water and soil due to which the plants tend to grow quicker, bigger, and healthier. You can produce arugula plants locally around the year in aquaponics.
Thus, aquaponics or hydroponics gardening is becoming a preferred choice of cultivation. There are two systems for such gardening, which you need to know for growing arugula.
Two aquaponic systems to choose from
The aquaponic systems recommended for growing arugula are Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) and Deep Water Culture (DWC).
1. DWC system for growing aragula
In DWC, the seedlings are transferred to rafts that float on an artificial pond of 6 to 12 inches. This pond contains a big volume of solution rich in required nutrients. The cultivator also sets a pump for circulating water across this artificial reservoir along with an air pump with oxygen for aeration.
Such a system for growing arugula in aquaponics is popular for a couple of reasons. Above all, it is among the simplest systems to set. This is because there are very few moving parts and that the assembly is not time-consuming. Further, it is also the easiest to maintain.
What you need is a container holding the solution, air pump (of an aquarium), mesh pots holding the plants, and air stones to create bubbles. It needs no giant vats.
The reason why the name has the term ‘deep’ is due to the presence of around 8-10 inches of water in which the roots remain immersed. Through DWC, arugula grows extremely fast, which is quite faster than soil. It takes 7 to 10 days for germination and 4 weeks for maturity.
2. NFT aquaponic system for growing aragula
Even the NFT aquaponic system is popular due to its simple setup as well as operation. It is ideal for growing smaller plants that are known to grow quickly.
In this system, the solution rich in nutrients is pumped up from the artificial pool and the solution’s film flows through each conduit (growing tubes) holding the plants. This flow is from one side to the other as the conduit is sloped a bit for the water to go downward.
The plants in the conduit are suspended over the water by putting seedlings in small carriers of growing media. The roots tend to hang down to the conduit’s bottom where they absorb nutrients. The surplus solution then flows from the conduit’s low end and drains into another conduit. It then finally reaches the reservoir.
The DWC system seems to be the commonly used system for growing arugula in aquaponics. This is because of its ease of setup and maintenance.
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