Though it´s pretty easy to choose the fish for your aquaponics system, choosing the right plants can be a challenge. With roughly 300 different species of plants suitable to aquaponic gardening, there are some important factors, such as location, climate and temperature, you´ll need to take into consideration.
Here are some additional helpful tips to make your job easier:
For Top Results, Make Leafy Vegetables Your Priority
If you´re looking for fast results, consider choosing to plant herbs and other leafy vegetables because they have an easier time growing in an aquaponics system. Other plants, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, also do well.
Once you´ve gotten the hang of things and seen some success raising your herbs and lettuce, you can branch out and try your hand at growing vegetables like cucumbers, red onions and tomatoes. Though still relatively easy to grow, these plants require quite a bit more of your attention.
You Can Use Natural Supplements…But Be Careful!
If you feel the water in your aquaponic garden is lacking in some essential minerals, you might consider using seaweed extracts as a supplement. Still, if you go this route, you need to be particularly careful since some extracts can be harmful to fish.
After all, it´s not just the plants you´re caring for. You have fish and a thriving bacteria population you also have to consider. The best way for you to prevent deficiencies in the water is to use high-quality aquaculture feed for your fish!
If you really want to know which plants are best suited to your aquaponic design then you need to do a bit of experimenting. Eggplant, beans, peas, parsley, coriander, sage or lemongrass – there are all kinds of vegetables and herbs that will grow well in an aquaponics environment, given the right right circumstances. All you have to do is decide to give them a try!
Here´s a short list of plants that are known to grow well in aquaponics systems:
- any kind of leafy lettuce
- pak choi
- even most common house plants
If you´re interested in maintaining a system more heavily-stocked with fish, you might consider raising plants with higher nutritional needs, such as:
Sensitive Plants Have Special Needs
Although aquaponics systems can grow almost any type of plant given the right conditions and care, certain plants tend to thrive better than others. In this case, root crops are considered to be sensitive plants (though carrots and beetroots seem to be exceptions) and often need special care to keep them healthy.
This isn´t to say you shouldn´t consider planting them, just that you should be aware of their special needs as far as tank depth and nutrients are concerned before you do.
When it comes to choosing aquaponics plants for you´re garden, being aware of their individual needs can make all the difference. While some will be easier to manage, others will require more time and attention.
Looking to get top results with your aquaponic garden? This great resource can help!