Elegant edible landscape organic gardening focus What is edible landscaping? In order to understand edible landscaping, we must know what it is. Edible landscaping is basically a practical combination of food plants in a decorative setting or an ornamental. Inedible landscaping, the same principals such as that for ornamental landscapes are used but we use more edible plants such as lettuces, vegetables, fruit trees etc. by adding edibles to your gardening, you can increase the look of your garden and it is also a healthier choice to make. Apart from this, you can also get economic and aesthetic benefits. People who have a home with small of large yards can take a lot of advantage from this landscape. Edible landscaping has its own charm and would want people I am attracted towards it due to its alluring light and health benefits. You can make a lot of use of this landscape if you decide I use it properly. The main aim of this landscape is too great food quality food along with a great look of your garden. The edible landscape does being out beautiful textures, colors, and forums as compared to a typical ornamental landscape. So you can say that overall, an edible landscape can be very advantageous to use.

Why should you choose elegant edible landscaping? Elegant edible landscaping is something that everyone should have in their homes of farms. Don’t you just want to sit back in your beautiful lawn on a windy day and enjoy the smell of different vegetables? Edible landscaping can give you that kind if feeling. Edible landscaping can take to a road from where you would not want to come back from because if it’s beauty and freshness in the air. If gives you a feeling where you just want to get close to the field and taste the fresh vegetables and fruits that you so willingly produced. This is the feeling where you look at your lawn and appreciate its beauty and enjoy gardening. Following are the reasons why a person should prefer edible landscaping: – beauty: As mentioned earlier, beauty is the one thing that a Gardner looks for. If your garden looks elegant, you know you’ve made it halfway through producing healthier vegetables. With edible landscaping? You can use different colors, textures, and techniques to make your garden look as stunning as Shula. You can experience tall you want with different beauty techniques and see which one of then work ours for you. – Vegetables: The more vegetables you produce, the verse. According to different seasons, you can produce different vegetables such as ornamental kale that gives away a specific display of fall and spring colors. You can also plant this kale among lettuce to give it a beauty Uruk contrast in color and form. Six basically, you can grow as many vegetables as you like to increase the beauty f your garden and also, these vegetables are super healthy! – Perennial Edibles: Many perennial edibles have the same colors as ornamentals. For instance, the fall colors if orientalise chestnut, Asian pear and cherry are same to that if any ornamental tree. In season, if you ever have a chance to witness, you’ll see the beautiful glossy green leaves hanging in trees, it is indeed ab alluring sight. Like this, there are many other examples that would help you understand the beauty of ab Edu me landscape. – Taste: When toy grow your own wheat led, the taste is different than that when you but something from the market. By growing your own vegetables, you will know that they are fresh and you can get the anytime you want so you’re not just getting a healthier taste but you’re also saving more of money if you have your own garden with all vegetables that you need to make food. For instance, Anoka is a type of Apple that is not very familiar but has  a great taste and you can easily grow that in your garden. -Health: There is nothing more important than a person health. Fresh vegetables from your garden are a great way to start eating healthier. In the market, vegetables go through the prices of cleaning and different gasses to keep then fresh and that s why their health rate decrease. But when you’re picking out your own vegetables, they are fresh and you will develop healthier eating habits. How to make an elegant edible landscape?

 

There are certain things you need to keep in mind when you’re going to make an edible landscape. These things are as following; – in demand edibles: If you’re the kind if person who owns a house and has residents staying over, you would probably do everything in your hands to keep them satisfies which is why I’d you want your edible landscape to become popular among your residents, you should skates include things that get would love to eat. Such as different fruits, beans Or whatever roots they would like, you grow them! -water: The one consistent thing that plants need to survive is water. Water is the only thing that Wouk keep your garden fresh and new. If you want the beauty of your garden to renIn constant and you want to keep eating healthy, you should probably water your plants a much as possible. -layers: Another way to enhance the beauty of your garden us through layers. Exquisite designs start with three layers, a tree later, a perennial later and growing beds (fruits, vegetables, and flowers). If you have the three layers, your garden would look elegant and beautiful. -adventure paths: The one thing that attracts everyone is strolling in a beautiful garden filled with the aroma of flowers and beauty that is pleasing to the eye. Adventure paths in the middle of your garden would look absolutely stubby f ab would increase the beauty of your garden. -flow: When you’re gardening you need to be sure that everything you do, goes with the flow. You should harvest your soil on time, water your plants in time, take care of your entire garden Like it’s your own child. That is the only way you would e able to maintain a beautiful garden that would attract a lot of customers Why you should choose edible landscaping over others? Edible landscaping is a complete package. It has the beauty and the heart. With the landscape, your garden would have a beautiful look with fresh and eatable vegetables that would keep you healthier. Edible gardens would never fail to disappoint you in any way if you manage properly. All that a garden needs is to be taken care of and once you do, you would have the most beautiful garden in the whole world and you would be very proud of what you have creates. To have ab elegant landscape, you would just have to make things go with a specific flow and run things according to the needs of your garden. Once you do that, you would have ab amazing garden! Edible landscaping can be something to look forward to and something that I would personally prefer because of its amazing features and outclass beauty. After reading all the details you can make a better choice but this would be a good one to chose.

 

 

 

Sustainable Food Farming

“Sustainable Food Farming Aԛuароniсѕ” iѕ tеrm dеѕсribing a new tесhnоlоgу, combining аԛuасulturе, the сultivаtiоn оf fish, and hуdrороniсѕ, a wаtеr-bаѕеd сultivаtiоn оf plants. Aѕ remarkable аѕ it ѕоundѕ, thiѕ new technology аllоwѕ bоth vegetables аnd fish tо bе рrоduсеd inсrеdiblу еffiсiеntlу аt a scale thаt will fit intо a typical bасk yard. The bаѕiѕ fоr sustainable food farming аԛuароniсѕ iѕ the symbiotic rеlаtiоnѕhiр between fiѕh аnd plants thаt аllоwѕ bоth tо bе rаiѕеd together in a nаturаl bаlаnсе.

Aԛuароniсѕ iѕ the ѕсiеnсе оf rаiѕing fiѕh аnd grоwing vеgеtаtiоn within a сlоѕеd wаtеr system thаt tаkеѕ аdvаntаgе of thе natural раrtnеrѕhiр thаt еxiѕtѕ bеtwееn аԛuаtiс аnimаlѕ аnd рlаntѕ. Aquaponics iѕ соnѕidеrеd a соmbinаtiоn оf twо оldеr approaches to cultivating fish аnd рlаntѕ; аԛuасulturе (fiѕh fаrming) аnd hуdrороniсѕ (thе grоwing of рlаntѕ in nutriеnt riсh water withоut ѕоil.) Bу соmbining thеѕе аррrоасhеѕ, many аԛuароniсѕ fаnѕ аround thе world hаvе еxреriеnсеd tremendous success in dеvеlорing sustainable рlаtfоrmѕ thаt turn оut оrgаniс produce аnd fish thаt can either be соnѕumеd оr kерt as оrnаmеntаl accessories оr wet pets.

Sustainable Food Farming Aquaponics is muсh mоrе еffiсiеnt than ѕtаndаrd bасkуаrd gаrdеning tесhniԛuеѕ аnd сrеаtеѕ grеаtеr сrор yields with lеѕѕ еxреnѕе аnd еffоrt. Most plants that саn bе grоwn in lаnd based vеgеtаblе gаrdеnѕ can аlѕо bе produced via аԛuароniсѕ. Fruitѕ саn also bе grоwn in aquaponic ѕуѕtеmѕ but gеnеrаllу require a highеr fiѕh density tо рrоvidе additional nutrients. Aѕ stated above, the fiѕh utilizеd in аԛuароniсѕ саn bе rаiѕеd аѕ еithеr an аdditiоnаl source оf fооd оr аѕ pets. Tilарiа, trоut, bаѕѕ, crappie, crayfish and рrаwnѕ аrе аll gооd орtiоnѕ for fiѕh that аrе еvеntuаllу еаtеn. Ornamental fiѕh ѕuсh as kоi аnd gоldfiѕh are gооd choices fоr реtѕ.

Here iѕ how sustainable food farming аԛuароniсѕ utilizеѕ thе раrtnеrѕhiр bеtwееn рlаntѕ аnd fish. Because they еаt аnd grоw, fiѕh рrоduсе wаѕtе that аddѕ аmmоniа intо thе wаtеr. Evеn at rеlаtivеlу lоw соnсеntrаtiоnѕ аmmоniа is dеаdlу tо fiѕh. Thrоugh a nаturаl process known as the Nitrоgеn Cусlе, аmmоniа from fish waste iѕ trаnѕfоrmеd bу beneficial bacteria into nitrites, which аrе trаnѕfоrmеd аgаin bу diffеrеnt bасtеriа into nitrаtеѕ. While nitrites are also harmful tо fiѕh аt lоw соnсеntrаtiоnѕ, nitrаtеѕ аrе nоt. However, high lеvеlѕ of nitrаtеѕ in the wаtеr саn саuѕе еxсеѕѕivе algae grоwth аnd are hаrmful tо fish. Fоrtunаtеlу, nitrates also provide nutrients thаt аrе nесеѕѕаrу for vеgеtаtiоn. Bу соnѕuming the nitrates, рlаntѕ filtеr the wаtеr and help mаintаin a hеаlthу аnd bаlаnсеd аԛuаtiс environment fоr thе fiѕh. Sо bу еаting аnd grоwing, thе fish рrоvidе essential nutrients fоr the рlаntѕ аnd bу еаting аnd growing, the рlаntѕ provide safe water fоr thе fiѕh. Aquaponics iѕ thе best аnѕwеr fоr a fiѕh enthusiasts need to diѕроѕе of excess nitrates, аѕ well аѕ a hуdrороniс gardeners need to fееd nutrients tо thеir рlаntѕ.

Aԛuароniсѕ dоеѕ not rеԛuirе a great dеаl of space. It iѕ rеlаtivеlу еаѕу to build a system outdoors in your backyard, in a greenhouse оr еvеn in уоur bаѕеmеnt. It is nеithеr оvеrlу expensive nоr timе intеnѕivе tо mаintаin thе system оnсе it iѕ uр аnd running. Costs fоr thе ѕуѕtеm саn bе rесоvеrеd by ѕеlling оf thе оutрut or it can bе ѕсаlеd uр to bе a рrоfitаblе business. Aԛuароniсѕ provides a trulу оrgаniс fоrm оf fооd аnd allows fоr a highеr dеnѕitу уiеld conserving space. Yоu can аlѕо locate an аԛuароniсѕ ѕуѕtеm ѕо уоu саn grоw рlаntѕ аnd vеgеtаblеѕ уеаr-rоund. Even a ѕmаll аԛuароniсѕ ѕуѕtеm саn рrоduсе 100 lbs of fresh fish and 200 lbѕ оf оrgаniс fruit аnd vegetables every 6 months. If уоu аrе interested in owning a ѕеlf ѕuffiсiеnt fооd ѕuррlу оr just likе growing plants and fiѕh, aquaponics is thе right hоbbу оr buѕinеѕѕ fоr you!

Hеrе is hоw it wоrkѕ.

The fiѕh livе in small роndѕ and the fiѕh wаѕtе рrоvidеѕ nutriеntѕ for vеgеtаblеѕ or other plants. Thе рlаntѕ filtеr thе water in whiсh thе fiѕh live. Both саn bе hаrvеѕtеd оn a rеgulаr bаѕiѕ рrоviding both рrоtеin аnd vеgеtаblеѕ fоr humans.

According tо Chаrliе Priсе, fоundеr of Aquaponics UK, a nоnрrоfit оrgаnizаtiоn thаt runѕ аn aquaponics “fаrm” in Moffat, Sсоtlаnd, thе ѕуѕtеm fоrmѕ a rеmаrkаblу ѕimрlе сlоѕеd lоор fоr fооd рrоduсtiоn. A kilоgrаm (2.2 роundѕ) оf fiѕh fооd рrоduсеѕ аt lеаѕt 50 kilоgrаmѕ (110 pounds) of vеgеtаblеѕ аnd 0.8 kilоgrаmѕ (about 2 pounds) оf fiѕh. The plants grow on саrbоn diоxidе from the аtmоѕрhеrе аnd sunlight uѕing рhоtоѕуnthеѕiѕ аnd are nоuriѕhеd bу fiѕh wаѕtе. Thе plants аlѕо filter thе water in the роnd as thеу uѕе it, kеерing it сlеаn for thе fiѕh tо livе in. Cuttingѕ from thе рlаntѕ аrе соmроѕtеd tо сrеаtе fооd fоr earthworms, whiсh in turn provide fооd fоr the fiѕh. Thе ѕуѕtеm iѕ аlmоѕt completely self-sustaining. Aԛuароniсѕ uѕеѕ аbоut 80-90% lеѕѕ wаtеr thаn trаditiоnаl grоwing mеthоdѕ.

Sustainable Food Farming Aquaponics iѕ ѕtill vеrу muсh a dеvеlорmеntаl tесhnоlоgу, but thе роtеntiаl for sustainable food farming аԛuароniсѕ iѕ enormous. Perhaps furthеѕt аlоng iѕ an urbаn fаrm set uр near Milwaukee, Wiѕсоnѕin in an оld fасtоrу. Cаllеd Sweet Water Organics, thе farm currently produces yellow perch tоgеthеr with lеаfу grееn vegetables. Currеntlу thе scale оf production is about 150 роundѕ of vеgеtаblеѕ реr week, but plans are to ѕсаlе thе operation tо аbоut 900 pounds оf grееnѕ реr week, which wоuld also уiеld аbоut 18-20 роundѕ оf fiѕh оn a wееklу bаѕiѕ.

Aquaponics ѕуѕtеmѕ thаt can bе ѕеt uр in уоur bасk уаrd аrе becoming аvаilаblе, although the fiеld iѕ still very muсh in itѕ infаnсу. Eѕtimаtеѕ are that thеrе 800-1200 ѕуѕtеmѕ аt hоmеѕ in the USA аnd another 1000 established аt ѕсhооlѕ. In Australia in the сitу of Pеrth, Bасkуаrd Aquaponics ѕеllѕ аbоut 300 ѕуѕtеmѕ a уеаr.

Sustainable Food Farming Aԛuароniсѕ is a mеthоd оf рrоduсing multiрlе сrорѕ аlоng with a hеаlthу protein ѕоurсе with minimum rеԛuirеmеntѕ fоr wаtеr аnd оthеr rеѕоurсеѕ. Established in уоur back уаrd, an aquaponics ѕеt uр hаѕ thе роtеntiаl tо рrоvidе a fаmilу with ѕuѕtаinаblе, сhеmiсаl-frее vеgеtаblеѕ аnd fish that will оffѕеt a large portion of itѕ fооd budget. I аntiсiраtе imроrtаnt contributions frоm this highlу ѕuѕtаinаblе tесhnоlоgу аѕ it continues to dеvеlор.

Evolution of the Grocery Store

The modern day grocery stores, as we know them, have only really been around for the last seventy years or so. Before that, people ate what they grew or bartered for. Chain supermarkets exploded around the 1920s but at that time were small counter service stores. They were operated by two or three employees and most often had no meat or produce departments. Grocery shopping required at least a stop by the supermarket and a second stop at the butcher. By the 1940s the supermarkets had evolved into something that more closely resembles what we know today, complete with a meat and produce department.

Since the development of the modern day supermarket, there has also been a significant population explosion and an ever increasing demand for protein. Additionally, the demand for money and profits by the people at the top of the food chain has forced the hand of agriculture. Now there are things in our food that we can’t pronounce and probably shouldn’t eat, to say the least. These synthetic additions to our “food” are necessary to make it last longer on the grocery store shelves and increase the profits of the right wing bureaucrats at the top of the food chain. Fish are farmed and fed hormones to make them grow faster. Cows are fed corn instead of grass, and they have come up with very creative ways to stretch the almighty dollar.

A Safe Effective Alternative

So, what is a safe, effective alternative to get some natural back into your food? Some natural protein, natural greenery, and all that stuff we now have to pay extra for at the store is what I’m talking about. Well there are a couple of alternatives and the good news is that you don’t have to live way out in the country to do it. You don’t even have to live next door to an empty lot in the city like on “The Magic School Bus.” One realistic, innovative, and effective solution is an apartment balcony garden.

Apartment balcony gardens are not necessary huge elaborate set ups. They are made to be effective and efficient. They can be as pretty or as rustic as you want them to be. Most successful apartment balcony gardens utilize and aquaponics design. Aquawhat? Aquaponics is a system of aquaculture (water life) where the fish you raise in a medium to large size tank, supply the nutrients for the related plants, which in turn, purify the water. I know it sounds elaborate but it really isn’t, unless you want it to be.

Why it’s Better

This is the perfect system for an apartment balcony garden because it gives someone the chance to raise at least a portion of their food, even without a yard or any landscaping at all. Since the system can be as elaborate or as small as you want, it usually works with most any sized balcony. Most balconies have plenty of air and sunlight which are the main two necessities from the environment to allow this system to thrive.

There are many great benefits to having an apartment balcony garden, especially if its aquaponics. One awesome benefit is that everything grown there has been done so without the use of chemicals, so it’s better for you. There are no pesticides, no carcinogens, and no preservatives. This means the food is actually healthier for you to eat. It will also taste better and it is fresher. Another great benefit is that it will save you some money. Knowing that dinner is right out on the balcony means you’ll be stopping by the store a lot less often.

If you have been looking for a healthy alternative to consider, think about aquaponics in your apartment balcony garden. It is a healthier choice for you and the environment. On top of that, it will help line your pockets which are the important ones. Do a little of your own research and I’m sure you’ll agree. An apartment balcony garden is the way to go. Living in an apartment is not a setback, it’s just an avenue.

How to build a simple aquaponics system yourself

How to Grow Fish and Plants in Closed Loop Aquaponics

There are many advantages to growing your own food, particularly when it comes to saving money and eating healthy. However, for those who do not have a large amount of space for a traditional garden, a good substitute is using an aquaponic system. Aquaponics is a highly popular form of gardening that uses water instead of soil to provide nutrients for the roots.

Around the world, many households and even apartments have an aquaponic system of one type or another that grows a wide variety of food in a relatively small space. Of the different types of systems available, one of the most effective is the closed loop aquaponics that combines fish and plants to create a very beneficial environment.

What is Closed Loop Aquaponics?

Sometimes called recirculating aquaponics, this is a system that uses beads of gravel or clay to help hold the plants in place inside the container. The container is then flooded with water and fish are introduced to provide nutrients to the plants. This type of system is very popular because all it requires is providing nutrients for the fish that then pass it along to the plants in terms of the waste materials that they leave behind.

Basically, you have a fish tank where the fish inside are fed and the water is pumped into the clay or gravel beds of the garden area where the waste product of the fish provides the plants with nutrients and cleans the water which is they put back into the tank, thus the closed loop system.

Benefits of Having a Closed Loop Aquaponics System

There are several benefits to having such a system, particularly if you are new to using aquaponics and have a relatively small area to grow plants which is perfect for apartments and houses with small yards.

Space: This may be the best aspect of the system because you only need a limited amount of space which can be created vertically along the walls or inside a closet in your home. You can provide the light yourself with LEDs that take up very little energy and continue the growing process 24/7.

Self Cleaning: This may be the best reason for having a closed loop system is that the fish tank is constantly cleaned of the waste materials which goes to support the plants. This means for those who enjoy raising fish there is less maintenance to perform in the tank.

Easy to Maintain: While you will need to monitor and maintain the system more carefully than you would for plants that grow in soil, the entire process is self sustaining as long as the fish are fed in a regular manner.

At Organic Garden Harvest, Inc. you can find all the aquaponic supplies you need to create a beautiful garden for growing food and as a home for your fish. Check out the catalog of products, parts and supplies that are available for a low, affordable price. Let Organic Garden Harvest, Inc. be the place to supply all of your aquaponic needs.

Organic Gardening with Aquaponics

How to Grow Your Own Organic Vegetables in Florida

Overview

Florida’s subtropical climate is perfect for growing a wide assortment of vegetables. When you decide to grow your own tasty, healthful food crops, you might also consider growing them without pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Insects such as aphids, scale, caterpillars and others can be a problem, especially in warm, humid regions such as Florida, but it’s possible to control those bothersome insects with organic alternatives.

Growing Organic Vegetables in Florida

Step 1

Build your garden near your house and a faucet or convenient source of water. Measure the area you wish to use, and make raised beds that are about 3 feet wide by 6 to 8 feet long.

Step 2

Start composting your kitchen scraps, lawn trimmings, fallen leaves and other plant materials as early as possible. If you begin a compost pile in the fall, it should be ready for you to use for spring planting. You can make a compost pile on the ground, inside a ring of chicken wire or in a special container designed for compost.

Step 3

Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of compost on top of your raised garden bed area. You can purchase bags of ready-made compost at your garden supply store if you prefer not to make your own. Then dig the compost into the soil, going down at least six inches. Finally, set a sprinkler on the area for one hour.

Step 4

Plant young vegetable plants one day after you turn the soil and water it. Some plants, including most root crops like carrots, do not transplant well, so plant seeds of these vegetables directly into the ground.

Step 5

Monitor your plants for signs of small chewing insects such as aphids, and if you begin to see holes in your plants’ leaves, examine the plant to determine what type of insect is attacking it. For aphids, spray with insecticidal soap, available for purchase at garden supply stores. For scale insects, mix one tablespoon of canola oil with the insecticidal soap and spray with the mixture. For caterpillars and other chewing worms, dust your plants with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a naturally occurring soil bacterium available at garden centers.

Step 6

Fertilize your vegetable garden about one month after you plant, and then once a month until late summer. One way to give your plants continuous nutrition is to spread a 2-inch layer of compost on top of the soil around your plants as mulch; this serves to keep the soil moist and also to nourish plants. Fish emulsion is a good organic fertilizer—purchase it at your garden center, then mix and apply it according to label instructions.

Organic Gardening with Aquaponics

Which Organic Garden Vegetables To Grow In Florida

Vegetable gardening offers fresh air, sunshine, exercise, enjoyment, mental therapy, nutritious fresh vegetables, and economic savings, as well as many other benefits. Vegetables can be grown year-round in Florida if attention is paid to the appropriate planting dates. Below is the organic garden vegetables to grow in Florida:

Cover Crops/Green Manure

Green manure is fresh plant material turned into the soil. Planting and plowing in green-manure crops during the off-season is beneficial. The following cover crops are recommended: cowpea, velvet bean, soybean, and sunflower in summer and cereal rye, crimson clover, and Austrian winter pea in winter.

Organic Matter

Most Florida soils benefit from the addition of organic matter, such as animal manure, rotted leaves, compost, commercial soil mixes, and cover crops. Thoroughly mix liberal amounts of (un-composted) organics in the soil well in advance of planting, preferably at least a month before seeding. If you do not plan to use inorganic fertilizer, spread 25 – 100 pounds of compost or composted animal manure per 100 square feet. Composted organics may be applied at planting time. However, aged or raw manures should be worked into the soil 90-120 days before havesting. Due to inconsistent levels of nutrients in compost, accompanying applications of inorganic or organic fertilizer may be beneficial.

Compost

Create your own “garden gold” by converting yard wastes to compost. Composting is easy to do and yields a manure-like, organic fertilizer/soil conditioner, which highly benefits Florida’s infertile native soils. Compost Tips for the Home Gardener:

  1. Buy a compost unit or build one from recycled wood pallets, concrete block, sturdy wire, etc. The minimum size should be 3’x3’x3′.
  2. Make successive, 12-inch-thick layers of plant waste — such as leaves, lawn clippings, shredded branches, and wood chips. Kitchen scraps may also be used.
  3. Animal (not pet) manure, finished compost, blood meal, or fertilizer can be added to each layer if desired.
  4. Moisten each layer and keep the pile moist.
  5. Turn the pile frequently to add oxygen and help the decomposition process.
  6. Depending on how intensively it is managed, compost should be ready for use in two to twelve months, when plant parts are decomposed.
  7. Cover the pile to keep rain from leaching nutrients from it.
Aquaponics System: What You Need To Know

Aquaponics System: What You Need To Know

You probably want to know what’s exactly involved in an aquaponics system before purchasing the materials to set up the system. It is wise move to take time for your preparation and research on what aquaponics system can do and how it satisfies your needs.

Aquaponics is a mixture of two farming approaches, hydroponics and aquaculture. This new technique has been attracting passionate practitioners over recent years because it eliminates the troubles of older approaches. With aquaponics system fish farming and gardening becomes easier and cleaner to maintain.

Balance in the Backyard Ecosystem

Aquaponics is a biological system that you can keep in your backyard (backyard aquaponics). In order to make it thrive, the system must maintain its balance. To do so, there are three main key players to consider: the plants, the fish and the bacteria. All three must be present to create and maintain the system, otherwise the system cannot be completed.

When you raise fish in a tank, they naturally produce waste products. That will contaminate the water. Also, since you need to feed them daily, leftovers of fish feed will add to the dirt in the water. As you can imagine the water becomes quite dirty over time and it can be toxic for the fish to live in.

While that’s happening in the water, there is something else happening. The growth of bacteria. Naturally occurring bacteria like nitrobacter is another key player to the aquaponics system because they can break down the waste products from fish such as ammonia. Those bacteria can change the form of dirt in the water into something that plants can absorb as nutrition.

When the water gets pumped up to the garden beds, the plants soak up the nutrition. As the water moves through the plants, the water gets filtered and aerated. The cleaned, oxygenated water goes back to the fish tank after the filtration, and the whole cycle resumes again.

The process needs to be repeated at least once every two hours. Once you set up the system, you’ll have the biological filter operating at all times. You don’t have to replace or drain the fish water to keep the water quality. It’s automatically done by the plants while you can enjoy fresh harvests of organic vegetables.

Another advantage of aquaponics is that the plants are looked after automatically too. You don’t have to water them everyday, you don’t have to fertilize them either. With the advantage of no soil gardening, it eliminates soil related disease. So it is easier to grow your vegetables with NO herbicides, No pesticides and practically No chemicals.

All you have to do is monitor water levels and make sure the fish tank is not overcrowded, which can be easily done when you feed them.

Closed Loop Commercial Aquaponics System

Closed Loop Commercial Aquaponics

One of the fastest growing phenomenons in the world today that is not only sustainable but highly productive at the same time is the closed-loop Aquaponics farming system, and even more and more research is being done to improve it every single year. It gives even those with minimal space the pleasure of having their herbs and vegetable farms right in their homes. And even as it is the most suitable system for families to have their own gardens, there are full scale commercial Aquaponics systems that grow more than 4500 plants a week giving people the opportunity to earn well above $1500 a week.

But just what exactly is the closed-loop Aquaponics farming system? Well, it is a complete closed-loop farming system that makes it very easy for people to have own farms right in their homes but without the stress of having it.

Let me take just a few minutes here to explain it better.

The word Aquaponics itself is a combination of two words, the first of them being Aquaculture (which simply means fish farming) and the second one is Hydroponics (which refers to the act of growing plants with water only).

Summarily, what this means is that we combine the growing of plants with fish farming in a way that the waste products of one is used to feed the other. Using this combination, the Aquaponics farming system creates a closed-loop, a more self-sufficient system of farming that uses just a little amount of water, labour and energy when compared with other farming systems, because of its inbuilt, highly efficient nutrient recycling capability.

How It Works

One of the most important components of a complete Aquaponics system kit is the tank (size depends on preference) in which edible fish are grown. The fish enriches the water with nutrients through their poop. This nutrient fortified water is then allowed to flow through the gravel beds and as this happens, the plants; roots and bacteria that grow on the gravel starts taking nutrients from the water. This process leaves the water clean again and nourishes the plants at the same time. And then the water flows back into the fish tank. This process repeats itself in this manner, making it less stressful for people to have their farms just like they want it.

So, you end with the comfort of getting fish, fruits (if you prefer), herbs and vegetables from your own self-grown organic garden. A lot of people are still experimenting with the aspect of growing fruit aquaponically, trying to make it better by the day. The fact is, that even though the present systems are fully functioning and operational, it is believed that a whole lot more can be achieved with this technology. Through further research, it can open doors of un-ending advancements and endless opportunities that will end up revolutionizing the way we do things.

Benefits of the Aquaponics Farming System

  • It takes lesser time – Running even a commercial Aquaponics system means you now spend lesser time taking care of your farm, especially when compared with the traditional way of farming we are all used to. It requires nothing more than a little input from you, the owner, or any other person you might put in charge of it and then, everything else is automatic.
  • It does not require much water – Apart from the fact that Aquaponics is relatively easier than the previous organic gardening systems that abounds, studies have shown that it also requires about 95% less water. Thanks to its nutrients recycling capability, Aquaponics re-uses its own water over and over again, drastically reducing even its water requirements.
  • It is much more productive – Aquaponics requires very low input but surprisingly, they have much higher productivity. It uses lesser electricity and labor than any other farming system in the world.
  • Low Running Cost – Aquaponics doesn’t require much labor so the number of people required to run even a full scale commercial aquaponics farm is small; hence, the cost of workers’ salary and other costs involved is relatively low.
  • Low technical know-how required – Aquaponics are relatively easy to run and because you don’t have to be a “techie” to run it, anyone with just a little commitment and knowledge can run it.

Wide variety of plants can be grown – Even though a lot of research is still being done, currently, over 300 different varieties of seeds and plants have been tested and confirmed that they can be grown in an Aquaponics system without any problem.

Most common aquaponics plants

Vegetable production guidelines for common aquaponics plants

The information below provides technical advice on 12 of the most popular vegetables to grow in aquaponics. Information on optimal growing conditions, including specific growing instructions and harvesting techniques for each vegetable, is included. The guidelines below are based on the experience gathered from long-standing aquaponic farming, from horticulture manuals on soil/soil-less cropping, extension papers, and the professional experience of farmers and researchers. This list is by no means exhaustive. Rather, it should be used as an example of the types of information needed for any crop grown and help readers target their research when growing crops that are not listed here.

BASIL
pH: 5.5–6.5
Plant spacing: 15–25 cm (8–40 plants/m2)
Germination time and temperature: 6–7 days with temperatures at 20–25 °C
Growth time: 5–6 weeks (start harvesting when plant is 15 cm)
Temperature: 18–30 °C, optimal 20–25 °C
Light exposure: Sunny or slightly sheltered
Plant height and width: 30–70 cm; 30 cm
Recommended aquaponic method: media beds, NFT and DWC

Growing basil in aquaponic units: Basil is one of the most popular herbs to grow in aquaponic units, particularly in large-scale commercial monoculture units because of its high value and the high demand in urban or peri-urban zones. Many cultivars of basil have been tried and tested in aquaponic units including the Italian Genovese basil (sweet basil), lemon basil, and purple passion basil. Owing to the higher nitrogen uptake, basil is an ideal plant for aquaponics; however, care should be used to avoid excessive nutrient depletion of the water.
Growing conditions: Basil seeds need a reasonably high and stable temperature to initiate germination (20–25 °C). Once transplanted in the units, basil grows best in warm to very warm conditions and full exposure to sun. However, better quality leaves are obtained through slight shading. With daily temperatures higher than 27 °C plants should be ventilated or covered with shading nets (20 percent) during strong solar radiation seasons to prevent tip burn.
Growing instructions: Transplant new seedlings into the aquaponic unit when the
seedlings have 4–5 true leaves. Basil can be affected by various fungal diseases, including
Fusarium wilt, grey mould, and black spot, particularly under suboptimal temperatures
and high humidity conditions. Air ventilation and water temperatures higher than
21 °C, day and night, help to reduce plant stress and incidence of diseases.
Harvesting: The harvest of leaves starts when plants reach 15 cm in height and
continues for 30–50 days. Care should be used when handling leaves at harvest to
avoid leaf bruising and blackening. It is advisable to remove flowering tips during plant
growth to avoid bitter tastes in leaves and encourage branching. However, basil flowers
are attractive to pollinators and beneficial insects, so leaving a few flowering plants can
improve the overall garden and ensure a constant supply of basil seeds. Basil seeds are
a speciality product in some locations.

CAULIFLOWER
pH: 6.0–6.5
Plant spacing: 45–60 cm (3–5 plants/m2)
Germination time and temperature: 4–7 days with temperature 8–20 °C
Growth time: 2–3 months (spring crops), 3–4 months (autumn crops)
Temperature: 20–25 °C for initial vegetative growth, 10–15 °C for head setting
(autumn crop)
Light exposure: full sun
Plant height and width: 40–60 cm; 60–70 cm
Recommended aquaponic method: media beds

Growing cauliflower in aquaponic units: Cauliflower is a high-value, nutritious winter crop that will grow and thrive in media bed units with adequate plant spacing. Cauliflower has a relatively high nutrient demand, and the plants react positively to high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus. Among other nutrients, potassium and calcium are important for the production of heads. The plant is particularly sensitive to climatic conditions, and the heads do not develop properly in hot, very cold or very dry conditions; therefore, selecting the suitable variety and the timing to transplant are crucial.
Growing conditions: Optimal air temperature for the initial vegetative growth of the
plant is 15–25 °C. For the formation of the heads, the plants require colder temperatures
of 10–15 °C (autumn crop) or 15–20 °C (spring crop) providing that a good percentage
of relative humidity and full sun conditions are met to develop good heads. Plants can
tolerate cold temperatures; however, heads can be damaged by frost. Light shade can
be beneficial in warmer temperatures (above 23 °C).
Growing instructions: Germinate seeds in propagation trays at 20–25 °C. Provide
direct sun from early seedling stages so plants do not become leggy. When plants are
3–5 weeks old and have 4–5 true leaves, begin transplanting into the aquaponic system
about 50 cm apart. To preserve the white colour of the heads, use string or rubber bands
to secure outside leaves over the head when it is about 6–10 cm in diameter. Once this
stage is reached, harvest may take less than a week in ideal temperatures or as long as a
month in cooler conditions. Too much sun, heat or nitrogen uptake can cause “ricey”
heads where the main flower separates into small, rice-like grains. Temperatures below
12 °C could instead produce “buttoning”. Cauliflower is susceptible to some pests
including cabbageworms, flea beetle, white maggots (larvae) and cabbage aphids, which
can be removed manually or by using other pest management techniques.
Harvesting: Harvest when the heads are compact, white and firm. Cut the heads off
the plant with a large knife, and remove the remaining plant and roots from the bed
pipe and place into a compost bin.

LETTUCE (MIXED SALAD LEAVES):
pH: 6.0–7.0
Plant spacing: 18–30 cm (20–25 heads/m2)
Germination time and temperature: 3–7 days; 13–21 °C
Growth time: 24–32 days (longer for some varieties)
Temperature: 15–22 °C (flowering over 24 °C)
Light exposure: full sun (light shading in warm temperatures)
Plant height and width: 20–30 cm; 25–35 cm
Recommended aquaponic method: media bed, NFT and DWC

Growing lettuce in aquaponic units: Lettuce grows particularly well in aquaponics
owing to the optimal nutrient concentrations in the water. Many varieties can be grown
in aquaponics, but four main types are included here: crisphead lettuce (iceberg), which
has tight head with crispy leaves, ideal for cooler conditions; butterhead lettuce, which
show leaves that are loosely piled one on another and have no bitter taste; Romaine
lettuce, which has upright and tightly folded leaves that are slow to bolt and are sweet
in taste; and loose leaf lettuce, which comes out in a variety of colors and shapes with
no head and can be directly sowed on media beds and harvested by picking single
leaves without collecting the whole plant. Lettuce is in high demand and has a high
value in urban and peri-urban zones, which makes it a very suitable crop for large-scale
commercial production.
Growing conditions: Lettuce is a winter crop. For head growth, the night air
temperature should be 3–12 °C, with a day temperature of 17–28 °C. The generative
growth is affected by photoperiod and temperature – extended daylight and warm
conditions (> 18 °C) at night cause bolting. Water temperature > 26 °C may also
favour bolting and leaf bitterness. The plant has low nutrient demand; however, higher
calcium concentrations in water help to prevent tip burn in leaf in summer crops. The
ideal pH is 5.8–6.2, but lettuce still grows well with a pH as high as 7, although some
iron deficiencies might appear owing to reduced bio-availability of this nutrient above
neutrality.
Growing instructions: Seedlings can be transplanted in aquaponic units at three weeks
when plants have at least 2–3 true leaves. Supplemental fertilization with phosphorus
to the seedlings in the second and third weeks favours root growth and avoids plant
stress at transplant. Moreover, plant hardening, through exposing of seedlings to
colder temperatures and direct sunlight, for 3–5 days before transplanting results in
higher survival rates. When transplanting lettuce in warm weather, place light sunshade over the plants for 2–3 days to avoid water stress. To achieve crisp, sweet lettuce,
grow plants at a fast pace by maintaining high nitrate levels in the unit. When air and
water temperatures increase during the season, use bolt-resistant (summer) varieties. If
growing in media beds, plant new lettuces where they will be partially shaded by taller
nearby plants.
Harvesting: Harvesting can begin as soon as heads or leaves are large enough to eat.
If selling to markets, remove the full plants and roots when harvesting as soon as
they reach market weight (250–400 g). Cut the roots out and place them in a compost
bin. Harvest early in the morning when leaves are crisp and full of moisture and chill
quickly.

 

Organic Gardening with Aquaponics

Organic Gardening with Aquaponics

When it comes to gardening, nothing beats Aquaponics.

It is an innovative system in farming in which it uses the natural cycle of life of both plants and fishes for the benefit of each other. If you’re wondering what is aquaponics and how does it work for your garden, then read on. You don’t have to rely on synthetic fertilizers loaded with chemicals just to grow your plants and crops healthily. This more natural way of gardening is not only practical, but also will help in preventing our environment from being contaminated by the harmful toxins given off by the fertilizers.

Traditional gardening may require a lot of maintenance-from filling it with fertilizers, to application of pesticides, to frequent cleaning out of weeds, and supplying of fresh new water. As you can see, it can be a bit exhausting and expensive, not to mention the effects of pesticides to the fruits of the crops. The idea behind aquaponics solves this problem, and not only you will benefit from having good crops, but also you will gain profit from growing freshwater fish at the same time, without the need to constantly change the water from the fish tank.

What is aquaponics? Aquaponics is a type of gardening system that combines agricultural and aquatic life. It uses water pump system, that supplies the water for both the fish in a fish tank and the plants in the grow beds. The waste materials coming from the fish is a great source of nutrients for the plants for it to grow healthily and be able to survive.

As the water from fish tank is pumped to the grow beds, the soil absorbs it and then it returns back to the fish tank by water pumps but this time, the water is cleaner and have more minerals since it is filtered by sands, pebbles or stones. Only a portion of the water has been evaporated so you don’t need to constantly replace the water that has lost. You can add a little, but it’s nothing compared to adding tons of water to the tanks like traditional fish-raising.

There are lots of benefits that you can get from aquaponics. If you learn deeper what is aquaponics and the way it works, you’ll realize you are spending less with this system rather than the traditional way of farming. It’s easier to maintain so it’s more economical.

For taking care of the fish, you only need to feed them with the organic foods, not the ones that are commercially prepared like the feeds being sold in the pet shops and agricultural supplies. It needs to be organically grown by you to be sure that there will be no residue for toxins and harmful chemicals. The work will be hard at first since you need to constantly check for the pH of water as well as the ammonia levels. But once they are already established (usually on the first month), you don’t have to constantly check for the pH and the levels of ammonia any longer.