Microgreens are consumable green plants grown in an aquaponics system. It is easy to set up a DIY microgreen aquaponics. The system is rewarding and sustainable. It is a good option for homesteaders and urban farmers.
What are microgreens?
They are herb plants or baby vegetables harvested at a length of 1–3 inches. They reach this size within 1-2 weeks from the time their seeds germinate. Most herbs and vegetables can be grown as microgreens. Even though they are small in size, they are filled with aromatic flavors and nutrients. Some microgreens regrow even after cutting and they can be harvested several times, making them more profitable.
What are the best microgreens suited for aquaponics?
Beginners trying microgreen aquaponics for the first time may use fast and easy-growing plants like arugula, broccoli, mustard, and radish. These plants will allow you to harvest in just 2 weeks. After gaining some experience, widen your choice and go for some colorful and exotic microgreens. Fast-growing microgreens will be the most profitable.
People looking for profits from microgreens must research the market well to find out what is in high demand and popularity in your area. Microgreens will not last long after harvesting. So try to sell them to local businesses or clients as freshly cut or growing plants.
How to grow microgreens in aquaponics?
Microgreens can be grown in three different methods in an aquaponic system. All of them follow hydroponic system designs by making some adjustments to include fish in the current system. You need a flat, large surface for microgreens that allows the seedlings to get to a few inches before getting their first leaves. Therefore, mostly, deep water culture or media-based methods are considered the best choices.
How to set up microgreen aquaponics?
You can DIY aquaponics for a small system or opt for a ready-made aquaponics system. However, it is more rewarding to build a DIY aquaponics system as it will allow you to customize it to meet your requirements and space. A DIY system is extremely necessary for homesteaders. You may use eco-friendly and recycled things to build a sustainable aquaponics system that matches the homesteader concepts.
Here are the steps to create a microgreen aquaponics system.
- Find the location
The first step is to find an ideal place for your microgreen aquaponics system. If you prefer fresh-cut microgreens, it is better to grow them in a greenhouse or indoors. Even though you might not need a large space in the beginning, look for a bigger space if you are looking for profits.
- Set up a fish tank
The size of the fish tank will be determined by your grow bed size and the type of fish you plan to breed. For small systems, second-hand fish tanks will be enough. Square bins or large opaque barrels can be considered for large systems.
- Build your growing bed
The microgreens will be growing on this surface. It is also called a flood table. You may use wooden pallet crates, plastic trays, or ready-made grow bed containers as growing beds.