Deciding to embark on aquaponics gardening has a variety of benefits. For one, you get fresh produce regardless of the season. It is a convenient way to get produce that you would otherwise have to visit the store for and it can also earn or save you money in the long run.
Now, think about the flavor rosemary adds to a meal; grilled, roasted, or fried. We can all agree that this herb is a necessity in the kitchen. You can grow rosemary in aquaponics for your convenience and, you only need to follow this guide.
Why grow rosemary as your aquaponics crop?
As said earlier rosemary is an essential kitchen herb but it also has other uses. Being rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, it is a booster to the immune system and improves the body’s blood circulation. Rosemary curbs hypertension and improves brain health and memory. It is also a cognitive stimulant.
Factors and Considerations
The aquaponic setup
To provide rosemary with adequate nutrients, the Flood and Drain, Deep Water Culture, Nutrient Film Techniques, or Drip systems can be used. Always ensure that you can access the system easily for control. Rosemary may be grown indoors or outdoors.
The variety to grow
The common types of rosemary varieties are Arp, Tuscan blue, and Prostratus/ creeping rosemary.
Rosemary seeds germinate very slowly and therefore you may start from cuttings or buy an established plant. Seeds take 2-3.5 weeks before germination. Cuttings can be transplanted once the main stem’s height grows a few inches, 2-3 weeks. As you plant, plant 2-3 feet apart for a higher yield. The Arp variety, for example, can grow 3-5 ft tall and 2-3 ft wide. When adequately spaced, the rosemary won’t compete for available nutrients but will be supplied adequately. The soil EC should be between 1-1.6.
The pH requirements
Generally, rosemary will thrive in an environment that has a pH range between 6-7.
Temperature and sunlight
The optimal temperature for growth is approximately 70 degrees F. Rosemary will need 6-8 hours of full sunlight exposure every day to grow effectively and therefore, your system should be able to cater for this. If the weather gets too hot, use partial shades to prevent wilting.
Pests and diseases
Rosemary is a natural and excellent pest repellant. If you are incorporating it among other plants, it can protect them from pests. Even so, occasionally, mite infections or powdery mildew may be evident. Root rot and botrytis may emanate from overwatering.
From the first transplant, the first harvest can be done in about 6-8 weeks. The herb is perennial and evergreen.
You can choose to farm rosemary in aquaponics to reap all the benefits the system offers and those of the herb. Due to rosemary’s tough nature, you will only need to add in the detailed requirements and you will have fresh rosemary like no other, regardless of the season.
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