Is Microgreens A Profitable Business? (We Ask The Experts)

Growing microgreens is not a small business. This burgeoning industry is gaining traction and putting down roots all around the world as casual gardeners along with commercial farmers are supplementing their income by going small.

But all in all, is it a profitable business to enter into? Are there customers willing and waiting to buy these micro vegetables and salads?

Fortunately, the barrier to entry is low, and the profit to be made is high, with potential customers from farmers’ markets to top-end restaurants ready and waiting to go micro.

The Business of Microgreens

A microgreen business is not necessarily a micro business. The investment required to start is very minimal, possibly as low as $100, and the investment in time can be measured in a couple of hours per day, depending on objectives.

The popularity of microgreens has reached a stage where demand is outstripping supply, where consumers are electing to purchase these vegetables over their larger relatives, confirming that if there was ever a time to enter into this lucrative field, it would be now. 

Numerous restaurants relish the opportunity to garnish their dishes with these nutrient-dense greens and are more than willing to purchase these quality, organic, GMO-free products at a premium price.

With the right crop selection, marketing, and dedication, a small-scale operation with just 10 – 20 trays can make a healthy profit of between $500 – $1,000 a month. If that can be achieved on a part-time basis with minimal work, then imagine what could be achieved with a full-time operation.

A simple method to calculate what level of revenue can be attained is by cost analysis. That would start with the cost of such things as the trays, grow lights, growing mats, seeds selected, and even packaging. Factor in the time allocated and a ballpark figure can be reached to what the overheads would be.

Each tray should have the capacity to have three yields a month, and each yield should be about 10 oz. The market sale price is generally around $20 per tray, so with 10 trays, it’s possible to make $200 a month. Multiply that figure by the three yields from each tray and revenue of $600 a month is within reach.

Scaling up amounts to adding more trays and varying the seeds implanted to broaden the sales possibilities. From there, further expansion and increased revenue would be dependent on growing the customer base.

The Experts On Microgreens

Many experts attest to the sustainability of microgreens as the direction that farming has to take for the foreseeable future. They themselves have seen sales quadruple within a matter of months, acknowledging that it isn’t just a passing trend as more and more environmentally conscious consumers are eating wiser and healthier.

From the point of view of the casual farmer, a gap is being filled and buyers serviced on a more personal level than from a big corporation. That personalized attention is capturing an ever-increasing sector that is appreciating the quality of the greens on offer, a quality product that they can forward onto their ever more discerning clients.

The impact that microgreens are having is echoing through multiple sectors, from restaurants, to marketplaces, to personal chefs, to supermarkets, the wave of a revolution taking shape. A major factor is the ability to grow microgreens anywhere being an attractive lure for someone with green fingers who is confined within a concrete jungle.

This advantage of being able to grow microgreen vegetables and salads in even a small apartment indoors means that unpredictable weather conditions can be avoided. If run as a business rather than garnishing personal meal dishes, they can be located close to potential customers, making for easy deliveries and cutting down on the carbon footprint of having to truck the stock in.

Growing within this type of protective setting, opens wide the opportunity to grow a diverse range of agricultural microgreens that uses up to 95% less land than traditional outdoor farming.

The lack of experience is not a barrier to entry as this trade can be easy to learn, improve upon, and perfect, and the small amount of initial investment required makes this method appealing.  It can be started from a single tray of seedlings on a windowsill, and a trial-and-error method can be employed for complete newbies with very little risk.

Experts predict that the acceptance of microgreens throughout so many sectors will continue to increase nationwide, with many more urban farmers importing the farm to the city, bringing fresh produce to those hard-to-reach inner-city zones, at affordable prices.

There are a plethora of blogs, books, and videos out there that can walk anyone through the start-up and growing phases, and how to overcome problems as well as how to repeat harvests profitably.

Even before the crops are harvested, however, the experts recommend contacting at least 25 – 30 local restaurants to sell to as well as scope out farmers’ markets and some supermarkets. And then beyond that have a regular routine to continue searching for buyers until a core group is purchasing what you’re growing regularly.

Another option is to sell directly to the consumer, either through Facebook or advertising. Whatever sales channel is selected, though, consistency is the key, to the quality of the product and to providing a good service to the growing client base.

A Microgreen Season

In the world of microgreens, growing seasons are not even a consideration. Couple that with the fact that within 1 to 4 weeks, depending on the crop chosen, a plant can be harvested, and seedlings replanted quickly, then it’s plain to see and appreciate the lure of growing salads and vegetables the micro way.

Due to this fast-growing period, the grower has more scope to experiment with the plants selected, either to eliminate them completely or have them under a rotation cycle to maximize sales. This quick turnaround time also allows scope for experimentation with different varieties rather than having to wait a full growing season to see if the results are a success or a dismal failure.

As in any business, some crops will have higher sales in some months than others, so it’s important to be able to swap out some crops quickly to take advantage of fluctuations and demand. If the interest in the quality of your produce increases dramatically, upscaling the microgreen farm is just a matter of adding a few more trays to satisfy the increased demand.

If maximizing the space available is a priority, experts recommend using racks to utilize unused vertical space. They are easy to install and this technique has enabled growers to boost their yields substantially, by properly organizing their crops, and many farmers have reaped the benefits of growing upwards.

Further methods of increasing the bottom line, according to experts in this field, can be augmented by taking note of the small details. For instance, can the yield be increased by adding a few more seeds to each tray? Can the overheads be reduced by cutting back on the light from the grow lamps to save on electricity costs?

A minor tweak here or there can make a big difference in any business, so it is advisable to keep records to understand where changes can be made, and new initiatives introduced.

There is also a temptation to grow as many varieties as possible to increase revenue opportunities, and there can be nothing wrong with that if there is already an established client base. However, keeping proper sales records can shine a light over a short period of time on which crops are selling well, and which need to face the cut.

The Best Microgreens To Grow

Essentially, the variety of microgreens that are selected can depend on the level of experience of the grower as some salads and vegetables are easier to start with than others, but may not command the highest resale prices.

If making a living is the goal or to supplement an income, then crop selection is important from the outset even though the time from seed to harvest is pretty fast.

Advice from expert microgreen farmers is to keep it simple. There is always a temptation to differentiate your business from the rest by planting obscure crops that will command higher sales prices but may not sell in sufficient quantities on a regular basis to provide a stable income.

Hard to grow and hard to sell, is never the way to go.

Choosing to start your microgreen farm with radishes, salads, sunflower seeds, or even pea shoots is the smart way to go as either of these three appeals to consumers, are easy to grow, and can be re-grown quickly to provide multiple harvests.

They offer a diverse variety of tastes, textures, and colors to dishes that appeal to chefs in particular. An added bonus is that they can be refrigerated after harvesting to extend the longevity of the product to keep them fresh if they cannot be sold immediately.

A rule of thumb is the wider the potential customer base due to the produce on offer, the better option of repeat sales, a regular income, and a profitable business.

As the business starts to grows more varied crops can be added and the growing space extended. Once this starts to happen additional attention to detail has to be increased in regards to crop health, maintaining the correct temperatures in the coolers, and ensuring there is sufficient light for optimum plant health.

Detrimental issues such as mold and pests can undo some of your hard work so it is important to periodically monitor these to avoid problems with the crops. Optimum health equals optimum quality and that will impact the demand for your microgreens.

Expert Tips For Your Microgreens  

One of the best ways to advance your micro business is to listen to the experts. All of them have been where you are now and have learned the ropes by planting one seed at a time. Some of them have started on kitchen countertops and windowsills and grown from there.

Mistakes and missteps they have made along the way and the owner of Minifarm Box in La, Conor Fitzpatrick, has a few wise words to impart.

He first points out a southern facing windowsill where the sunlight naturally pours in can make the difference between a mediocre crop or a robust harvest packed with flavors and vibrant colors, not to mention the extended life cycle afforded.

He reiterates the importance of proper drainage so the plants do not become waterlogged, and that a lightweight soil seed starter mix is ideally used to start with as it won’t become too tightly packed around the growing roots. Ensure also that it is soaked sufficiently to start the seeds better on their sprouting journey.

Once harvested the microgreens can be cleaned in diluted apple cider vinegar and rinsed with water to remove any unwanted bacteria and seed husks.

The founder of The First Leaf Microgreens in India, Swati Jain, hails microgreens as a superfood as they are packed with antioxidants and healthy nutrients, as well as vitamins A, B, C, E and K. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, microgreens contain from four to 40 times more nutrients than the regular sized plants.

Regularly eating these nutrient-dense crops can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve heart health, especially if eaten in their raw natural state when the most amount of nutrients will be absorbed by the body to deliver maximum beneficial efficacy.

Broccoli microgreens, for example, have an anti-cancerous compound, sunflower microgreens are loaded with protein and fights the effects of aging in our cells, red amaranth microgreens maintain bone health, helps to control blood pressure, and even improves vision, and wheatgrass, juiced, and drank daily, purifies the liver and controls blood sugar levels.

Small they may be but microgreens pound for pound are a powerhouse of concentrated nutrients that are punching way above their weight class.

Is growing microgreens a profitable business? Ask the casual grower who is making over $2,000 a month from the windowsills in the comfort of their own home.

The Reasons Why Microgreens are Expensive

One of the current trends for healthy crops you can grow from home is Microgreens. Aquaponic and hydroponic gardeners turn to these, as the growing methods are near to what they are used to carrying out.

Microgreens are easy to grow and take very little time compared to conventional crops. With this, the question is often asked. What are the reasons why microgreens are expensive? Because every harvest of these young plants requires fresh soil or clean sterilized growing mats and trays, microgreens are expensive.

Growers need artificial lighting, fans, or climate control equipment to create a microgreens-friendly atmosphere. Microgreens produce less biomass per square foot (less plant weight) than typical crops, even with this equipment. As a result, microgreens are typically more expensive than other vegetables seen in grocery stores.

What Are Microgreens?

Microgreens are immature vegetables harvested when they are between one and three inches tall, usually after a week or two. The delicate texture, powerful flavor, and vivid color of these tiny greens make them great garnishes and salad toppings.

Microgreens are nutritional powerhouses, providing the same vitamins and minerals as full-sized vegetables and herbs in a fraction of the size. These tiny, year-round greens are straightforward to grow in confined, indoor spaces, making them a popular choice for urban farmers or gardeners with aquaponics systems and looking to optimize space. 

Microgreen examples:

  • Collard Greens
  • Red Cabbage
  • Watercress
  • Beet Greens
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Bok Choy
  • Lettuces
  • Arugula

How Do You Grow Microgreens?

One reason microgreens are expensive is the way they are grown. While it is a relatively straightforward process, it is quite involved in certain growth cycle stages.

Even in the most basic form of growing, there is some equipment you need.

  • Seeds
  • Growing Trays and Growing Mats
  • Spray bottles
  • Clean water
  • Scales and measuring jugs

Seeds

Seeds are the principal thing you need and lots of them. Microgreen seeds are also different from regular seeds as they offer a higher germination rate.

Trays

Growers can use various trays or containers that come in any shape and size, although specific trays are used when microgreens are grown for profit.

Typically, level trays are best for growing microgreens, and when you harvest, you can trim across the tops of the edges as your guide.

Trays require sterilization between growing sessions, so it could be the case of having two set of equipment to avoid any growing interruptions

Growing Medium Or Mats

Trays need soaking before you fill them with your seeds. Along with providing water and nutrition, it helps the seeds stick to the mats. Depending on the media or mat in use, these may need disposing of, or cleaning and sterilizing before repeat use.

If you use earth or other organic growing media, it will need composting or disposing of.  

Key Reasons Microgreens are Expensive

Besides mats, media, and seeds, there are more significant reasons why microgreens are expensive.

Here are areas that skyrocket the cost of these micro wonders.

Location

Because of the nature of microgreens, you can’t grow them outside in conventional growing conditions. Many gardeners use a greenhouse or another area of their home where they carry out their growing.

Since the microgreens don’t grow higher than a few inches tall, they are often grown on racking or shelving units to maximize vertical space.

These setups have one thing in common: they are all enclosed environments with controls on temperature, humidity, and any other variables that could face crops out in the open. The most significant characteristic from a location viewpoint is the crops are shielded from external influences and pests.

Power

Microgreens can be grown in greenhouses, and when done so, they get the benefit of natural light. However, many microgreen gardens don’t access natural light and use grow lights for maximum lighting periods.

Besides this, you can find temperatures are controlled at optimum levels, as is airflow. Fans continually blow air around the microgreen’s environments. One of the main reasons for all this is to control humidity. High levels of humidity can harm your crops as they grow so close together.

The airflow and temperature help stop fungal growth, yet they need lots of electricity to operate.

Labor

Taking care of microgreens takes more timing and accuracy than it takes working hard in a garden or tending to a hydroponic or aquaponic garden.

The amount of effort is less as there isn’t heavy lifting, although you have to do things in specific steps and at certain times. To ensure no crop failures, you have to complete each step of the short growing cycle on time exactly.

Your rhythm and precision will dictate the crop’s success or failure. This is true for most crops regardless of how you grow them, yet it is more vital for microgreens.

Nearly all types of microgreen crops will be sown and harvested in less than ten days. Every step you take can keep you in a routine each day Each step, and frequently each day requires you to be on the ball and exactly as you could quickly affect all your crops.

For instance, when you are in the germination phase, you need to know the exact amount of seeds to sow and ensure they are dispersed across the growth mats. With this, the mats and trays must have the precise amount of water for germination.

After this, seeds are placed in dark areas and weighted down, for example, to help stimulate strong development at the base instead of reaching for the light prematurely. It is your job as the grower to act as a surrogate mother to your seeds and make sure they get the best first few days of germination that allows them to grow strong until it comes to harvest.

Keeping the hundreds and thousands of seeds warm and moist can be a repetitive challenge before you reach harvest time.

Harvesting is a manual process, and there is little other way to harvest microgreens than using a sharp pair of scissors. After harvest, there isn’t much chance to regrow from the stems and roots as a fresh batch can grow faster.

Once harvested, all the cut stems need washing, and then it is the task of sterilizing and cleaning your trays before you get them ready to use again.

Beyond this, the shelf life of microgreens may not be anywhere near as long as full-grown vegetables.

Why Economics Make Microgreens Expensive?

All the above are the key physical reasons microgreens command a higher price compared to regular vegetables.

When you compare the numbers of seeds you grow, you will produce the equivalent of years’ worth of crops in one shot.

As much as you do, it isn’t only the reasons above that lead to high prices.

Economics leads to such high prices, and currently, there isn’t anything growers can do to change this.

Microgreens Are On An Upward Trend

The fact microgreens are the trendiest thing going is among the top reasons they are so pricey. Regular veggies can be grown and bought anywhere. Microgreens are around two decades old, despite that, few people or growers understand them.

Initially, they were garnishments for fancy restaurants, yet their nutritional benefits were recognized, and they started hitting the mainstream.

You can easily see why commercial growers and retailers are taking scarcity to hike up the price.

Microgreens Are Healthy

If you have a basic understanding of nutrition, you’ll know that society is edging towards a healthier range of foods. Most foods that contain nutritional elements are costlier than other types of foods.

Microgreens are among the most expensive foods available as, compared to size and portion, they are far healthier than the crops they would grow into. Microgreens can be up to 50% more nutrient-dense than a full-grown crop.

Microgreens will command higher prices than full-size veggies in a society, which values healthy eating and is more than willing to pay for the privilege.

5 Reasons To Use A Bell Siphon In Aquaponics

When building an aquaponics system, you need a way to control the water levels in your grow bed. Reasons for this are it stops roots rotting from standing in too much water, and as the water continually flows, it prevents overflowing of your grow bed and thus pumping all the water from your system and killing your fish.

A bell siphon is the top means of controlling the water level in your grow bed, and it serves many purposes. With this in mind, you can see the best 5 reasons to use a bell siphon in aquaponics. Here, you will see bell siphons help with automatic processes; they offer simplicity while being reliable; you have maximum efficiency, and they control your water. All this adds up to the top reason of enabling more aeration to your crops for healthy growth.

What Is A Bell Siphon?

Before looking at the top reasons for using such a device in your aquaponics system, it is good to know what these devices are and how they work.

Here, you can find a breakdown of all you need to know about using a bell siphon.

A bell siphon is a simple device that can successfully and accurately control the water flow in aquaponic and hydroponic systems with no need for human interaction.

When the water level in the grow bed reaches a specified level, the siphon automatically drains the water. As the extra water is exhausted, the siphon maintains a minimum water level, so the bed never dries out.

During the flood and drain cycle, bell siphons eliminate the need to turn your pump on and off manually. The flood and drain cycles increase oxygenation and aid in the absorption of nutrients by the plants. As a result, the cycle is critical in guaranteeing the plants’ healthy growth and development.

How Do Bell Siphons Work?

Many people are perplexed by the concept of a bell siphon because there are no motorized components inside. The bell siphon works based on a simple mechanism that exploits the use of gravity and pressure.

A water pump will fill your depleted grow bed with water to a predetermined level. The height of your standpipe inside the siphon housing determines the level.

Water flows into the fish tank or sump tank beneath your grow bed through the reducer at the top of the standpipe, where the pull of low pressure causes the water to drain from your grow bed.

Water builds up inside the bell as water slowly drains out of the standpipe, pushing air out via the standpipe. As a result, the bell’s internal pressure gradually decreases.

Because of low bell pressure, there is a pressure difference between the bell and the atmosphere, forcing your bell siphon to fire (start draining). As a result, the siphon rapidly forces the water out and pours it through the standpipe at a much higher pressure until the water level reaches the grow bed’s base level set by the bottom of the drainpipe.

As your water level nears the bottom of the siphon pipe, air enters the bell through the openings at the bottom, relieving the pressure difference between the bell and the atmosphere and causing the siphon to break and the water drain to come to a halt.

Water will pour into the grow bed while the pump continues to work, filling it to your desired level.

Once the water reaches this level, it triggers the siphon; thus, flooding and draining cycles continue if your water pump runs.

Your system will never overflow or run out of water if used correctly and without difficulties. The best part is that everything is automated, and you don’t have to touch your bell siphon except to clean it now and then.

5 Best Reasons to Use a Bell Siphon for Aquaponics

Here you can find the five most common reasons to use a Bell Siphon in your aquaponics system.

While the explanation may be brief, the impact on your system, fish and your crops are enormous.

1# Lots of Root Aeration for Plant Roots

You’ll find an improvement in oxygenation of the aquaponic plants’ roots with a bell siphon. The complete roots length face exposure to air regularly thanks to the bell siphon draining out the water.

It increases the oxygen intake, helping plants grow and help them stay healthy. The endless flood and drain cycle ensure the plants are hydrated and obtain all the essential nutrients and oxygen they need.

2# Maximum Automated Efficiency

Bell siphons allow your aquaponic system to operate at peak efficiency because the procedure is automated.

To get the optimal water pump flow rate, you must conduct a few trials to ensure you grow bed fills at the optimum time. Too fast and your plants will remain too wet, and too slow will leave them without a chance to absorb any nutrients.

However, it can take a bit of trial and error, yet once you find the perfect flow rate into and out of your grow bed, the bell siphon works wonders and will deliver a steady flood and drain cycle at regular intervals.

3# Reliable and Simple

Bell siphons are easy to maintain and keep running. All that is required is a bit of routine cleaning now and again and some troubleshooting following installation.

Bell siphons are also extremely easy to set up and do not require electricity. In the most basic form, they are two sections of tubing of different diameters. You can purchase bell siphon kits with all the tank fittings, or you can easily make your own with very few components.

4# Automatic Processes Without Power

Bell siphons work automatically using concepts taken from physics. For gardens of any size, the automated process makes it easier on labor requirements, purchasing parts to conduct this task. As they are not powered, a bell siphon works without affecting your electricity consumption.

5# Consistent Water Movement

Bell siphons enable continuous circulation of water to and from your grow bed. With this regular flow in-and outflow of water, it improves oxygen levels in the water, and what oxygen can reach plant roots as it is sucked in through the gravel by the draining water.

You won’t face any water stagnation, and thus there is no chance of bacteria, mold, insects, and pests. The water flow offers enhanced support for the optimal growth of your plants.

Components of a Bell Siphon

If you wish to build your bell siphon to reap all the benefits, it is handy to understand each component.

You’ll find there aren’t many parts of a bell siphon, and the number total seven. However, these make up two key components: the inner standpipe, the siphon pipe, and enclosed in the media guard.

Bell Capsule

The bell cap is essential. As water overflows into the standpipe, low pressure builds under the bell cap, forcing the water out faster until air enters the bell when the water level exceeds the slits at the base of the siphon pipe.

Reducer

You will install the reducer on the top of the standpipe, which aids in creating the siphon function in the discharge pipe. A reducer with a 2:1 ratio has proven to be the best – for instance, if your standpipe is 1 inch in diameter, a reducer with a 2-inch diameter to 1-inch reduction at the bottom is ideal.

Pipe Siphon

The siphon pipe acts as a barrier between the siphon and the atmosphere, keeping air from entering inside. It enables the siphon to generate negative pressure, creating a vacuum and keeping water flowing in the siphon.

Once the grow bed drains, the siphon pipe has slits at the bottom to enable air into the system and stop the siphon when pressure rises. It is vital to remember the diameter of your siphon pipe should be twice that of the reducer.

Pipe Stand

The standpipe is installed within the siphon pipe and serves as the discharge pipe, controlling the maximum water level in the grow bed. It is the link between the bulkhead and the reducer. When the water reaches the top of the standpipe, it rushes out through it.

Media Guard

The media guard keeps rocks and other debris out of the siphon pipe while enabling water to flow readily in and out of the standpipe. The guard prevents the grow bed’s support media from clogging the standpipe and bell siphon.

Bulkhead

The bulkhead allows water to drain through the standpipe without seeping back into the siphon. It also serves as a support for the standpipe in the grow bed.

Drainpipe

The outlet pipe, also known as the drainpipe, runs from the bottom of the bulkhead into the fish tank.

Building a Bell Siphon

Here you can find the simple steps on how to build a practical bell siphon for your garden. It is worth noting; you can use these in any grow bed system, from Dutch buckets up to an extensive flood and drain system.

Bell siphons are not restricted to aquaponics and can as quickly be used in your hydroponic systems as well.

Step 1:

Drill a hole in your grow bed, and then install a grommet seal before you install the standpipe. Check that the drill bit you’re using is the proper size for the PVC fittings you’re using.

Step 2:

Insert the standpipe into the top of the grommet, and then position it, so the top of the standpipe is level with the bottom of the bell cap on the bell siphon.

Step 3:

Insert a 90-degree elbow into the bottom half of the standpipe below the grow bed to connect the drain to the fish tank.

Step 4:

Surround the standpipe with your growing media. Fill your grow bed to the height of the top half of the standpipe with growing media. Fill your grow bed with water to see if your grow media is high enough as this will reveal any low regions.

Step 5:

Place the fish tank underneath your grow bed and fill it with water once your grow bed has sucked up all the rinse water.

Step 6:

Place the pump and the pipes into the fish tank and ensure everything is stable.

Step 7:

Make sure your siphon works correctly by turning on the pump.

Step 8:

After you’ve finished setting up and cycling your system, you can start adding fish and growing crops.

Bell Siphon Size

One consideration when using a bell siphon is the size. Main siphon components should be equivalent or slightly larger than water input components.

Imagine a high volume of water entering your grow bed through a 40 mm pipe, yet your standpipe and outflow are just 0.78 inches (20 mm).

Your pipe would lead to the overflow of water, and your grow bed overflowed. The 1.57-inch (40 mm) outflow can easily manage the water that the 20 mm pipe may put into your grow bed, and it wouldn’t overflow.

In deciding the size of your bell siphon, you must consider the amount of water flowing to your grow bed, your pump’s capacity, the speed of the water flow, and the number of flood and drain cycles each hour you want.

Troubleshooting Bell Siphon Problems

You won’t find many issues with a bell siphon, but here are a couple of things you could see when using them in your aquaponics system.

Problem: No Trigger

The bell siphon will not trigger, resulting in a high-water level in the grow bed that may overflow but no water flushing.

Solution:

Examine the seal between the cap and the siphon pipe. If the seal is not airtight, the vacuum required to start the siphon motion will not form.

Make sure the bell siphon and gravel guard are rigidly attached to the grow bed’s bottom. Pieces of gravel could migrate under the siphon pipe if it isn’t firmly in place, creating an excess space between the bell and standpipe. This extra room may keep the siphon from triggering.

To trigger the bell siphon, increase the flow of water into the grow bed.

Turn the 90-degree elbow upward to increase resistance of water returning to the fish tank, where it builds up and dumps it quickly to help introduce dissolved oxygen for your fish.

Problem: No Refill

The bell siphon emptied the water, but the grow bed did not fill up again — the water level in the grow bed remained low and continued to flow out of the drainpipe.

Solution:

Reduce the amount of water entering the grow bed to allow the bell siphon to suck up air and breach the seal. If the water flow rate is too high, the siphon will struggle to drain the grow bed.

Reduce the resistance of the drainpipe by turning the 90-degree elbow down to allow the water to drain more quickly and the siphon to take in more air. It’s also possible that a little longer or shorter vertical or horizontal drainpipe will solve the problem.

Keep in mind that a long drainpipe will create more resistance, affecting the siphon.

Conclusion

It takes some time to get your bell siphon to work the way you want it to at first. Using a bell siphon in your media-based aquaponics system but is an excellent way to make sure that everything goes smoothly.

The bell siphon works automatically, ensuring that the water in your system circulates freely.

5 Disadvantages Of Aquaponics

Many people have heard of aquaponics, and it’s suitable for growing food and fish in a small area. However, not everything is as golden as it appears on the surface.

With this, we will look at the top 5 disadvantages of aquaponics. You will see how installation costs, types of crops, electric use, expertise for installation, and potential failure can all be a downside for any new aquaponics gardener.

 Aquaponics Benefits Overview

Before looking at the disadvantages, it is good to understand the advantages of building an Aquaponics garden. With comparison, you can see if the downsides outweigh the good points or vice versa.

Here are the benefits in bullet list form to compare before we look in more detail later.

  • Plant Watering: Because aquaponics is a closed system, you don’t have to water your plants, but you will have to keep your fish tank water level topped.
  • Speed of Growth: Plants in an aquaponics system grow twice as fast as plants grown by traditional methods. Aquaponic plants get nutrients directly to their roots. Fish waste is converted to nitrates, and the process occurs around the clock.
  • Growing Space: Aquaponics gardening saves space as you can grow ten times the food in the same area used by conventional methods.
  • Organic Taste: Aquaponics is USDA Organic Certified. You don’t need to use any additional sprays or fertilizers that can take away this organic status.
  • Fewer Weeds: In an aquaponics system, weeds are less likely to be an issue.
  • Fish and Food: Aquaponics produce fish and crops in the same system with the same effort.
  • Lower disease and pest risk: You’ll find your aquaponics system less prone to pests and diseases.
  • Raised Beds: The media bed where your crops grow is lifted, thus suitable for people with back problems. Most tasks are at waist level or higher.

Disadvantages of Aquaponics

Here are details of the top five disadvantages of an aquaponics system.

Setup Costs

Pumps, tubing, tanks, and grow beds are all required to set up the system, which can be costly. To get the best results, such systems can perform better when under covers, such as in a greenhouse or canopy. Without including these, you can purchase kits that can be between $2,000 or more at the lowest cost.

More extensive systems that can feed a family start at around $5,000. However, there is no reason to go to this expense. If you take the time, you can rustle up many of the parts needed for a fraction of the cost.

You can build a system for 25-50% of the cost of a kit. Any large tanks can be used for tanks and grow beds, and you can use concrete blocks and a wooden frame rather than laying a concrete slab.

Gravel is affordable, and the direct costs fall onto your water pumps, air pumps, and tubing.

System Expertise

Setup requires a good understanding of how an aquaponics system operates. If you rush in and add fish too quickly after building, you can easily lose all your fish. It takes a while for beneficial bacteria to accumulate in your system, much like an aquarium does so.

Besides this, gardeners can go the other way and add too many fish to their system, and the plants can’t convert all the waste and ammonia into nutrients. System cycling is vital, as is continual monitoring of pH levels for the same of your crops and your fish.

Crop Types

Many say you can grow anything in an aquaponics system, and in theory, you can. However, not everything grows effectively, and sometimes, some crops aren’t worth the effort.

Leafy vegetables are the primary crops, and root vegetables are given a miss. This occurs because root crops can deform when they hit solid objects such as a stone in the ground. Growing in gravel can lead to crops that are strange shapes.

Electricity Use

Unfortunately, aquaponics demands the use of electricity to keep the system running and recycle the water. Even if aeration for your fish is catered to by returning water to the tank, you will run your water pump around the clock on some system types (flood and drain using a bell syphon).

Even if you use another timing schedule or system type, you will find you are running your pump multiple times per hour and an air pump for your fish tank aeration.

With larger systems, you will need larger water pumps or multiple pumps. Additional lighting can be an inclusion if your system isn’t outdoors or you can’t get the required amount of daily sun. Your system must be in a location where you have access to electricity.

Potential Failure

Based on the type of system you have, the effects of power failure or another kind of failure can significantly affect the health of your crops and your fish.

In the short term, your plants will get by, and you can manually water these. While it takes time, you could keep enough water in the system to protect your crops.

However, fish can’t survive too long without oxygen, and in an enclosed environment, the amount of ammonia would increase quickly. Should you have a power outage or pump failure while you are not by your system, you could see them suffer sooner rather than later.

Advantages Of Aquaponics

Any gardening will have disadvantages, and aquaponics is no different, as we can see.

However, many forms of gardening have as many upsides to them as aquaponics does. The plus sides easily outweigh the disadvantages, and most will be negated the longer you use your system.

Over time, the only cost you can see is that of your electricity. Here is a little more insight into the advantages of your aquaponics system.

Environmentally Friendly: Aquaponics is a closed system that doesn’t need the disposal of toxic wastes into any local watershed. Gardeners have a self-cleaning system and can let the plants do all the water treatment or add in biomass filters as part of their system.

Organic Fertilizer: Aquaponics is user friendly and healthier than organic farming, it is your system generating its fertilizer rather than you depending on outside sources.

Commercial grade farming uses many fertilizers in comparison. In addition, you can do away with any pesticides or herbicides in aquaponics as using them in close quarters can harm your fish.

Water Savings: Aquaponics delivers considerable water savings compared to a conventional garden. Numbers are around 80 to 90%, and the only water lost is that used by your plants, and the minimal amount of evaporation from the grow beds.

High Nutrition Levels: In all aquaponics systems, the fish and plants get all their needs from fish foods used to lead to waste. They are then converted to rich forms of nutrition available every minute of the day rather than the regular feeding of fertilizers in a typical garden.

Affordability: While there is a cost for electricity and potential fish food, there are cost savings in other areas. You can cut labor and fertilizer costs to zero as the system meets its own needs and takes little in terms of maintenance care.

Ease in Maintenance: Aquaponic systems are easy to run. If you use a bell siphon, these have no parts operated by external power, and thus no parts can break. Water pumps are the only area that requires maintenance.

Space Efficiency: You can quickly scale your aquaponics systems up or down, and the only area that needs changing can be the numbers of the fish.

If horizontal space is at a premium, you can use vertical space using grow towers.

Install Anywhere: If you have access to electricity, you can build your aquaponics system anywhere. If you have a commercial system or use them for a small profit, it can be built close to your market.

Transport costs can thus be reduced, as can damage from shipping.

Conclusion

As with any garden, there are upsides and downsides. Once you learn the upsides, you soon find these outweigh any downsides there are. After initial setup, any costs incurred, you can recoup expenses many times over, and electricity can more than be paid for by the return of bumper crops you harvest on a more regular basis.

10 Reasons Why Hydroponics Are Important

With hydroponics, you can grow what you want, when you want, and where you want. It is a growing system that is being embraced wholeheartedly by new and experienced farmers alike on a worldwide scale that is starting a food-growing revolution.

There are numerous reasons why growers are flocking to hydroponics. Let’s have a look at just 10 of them.

10 Reasons To Embrace Hydroponics

1 Space Saving

Many traditional outdoor farming methods rely on large tracts of land to grow agricultural crops. In an outdoor setting, plants need space to spread their roots in the search for nutrients and water within the soil in order to survive. Planting them too close together would create a survival of the fittest scenario, where some plants would wither and die.

And the farmer’s yield would suffer as a result.

Hydroponics does not have this problem. With the water and nutrients being delivered directly to the roots, it enables more crops to be situated closer together, and consequently, more of them can be grown in a much smaller area when compared to traditional farming.

So, in essence, it’s possible to grow more crops using less landmass.

2 Less Labor Intensive

Picking vegetables and fruits is a labor-intensive job on outdoor farms, which is normally conducted in the picking season in high temperatures for hours on end. Farmers have to employ sometimes hundreds of laborers seasonally, and that comes at a cost that has to be passed on to the consumer.

Agricultural businesses are always researching ways to reduce overheads and to provide a more cost-effective product to their buyers. Many of these farmers are being attracted to hydroponics due to its reduced reliance on a large manual labor force, a labor force that is dwindling within the farming industry as retirees are not being replaced by younger recruits.

The appeal of harvesting crops quicker, cheaper, with fewer labor requirements, is a cost-saving advantage that cannot be overlooked by any savvy businessman in a competitive industry like farming.

3 Saves On Water

Recirculating water is one of the tenets of hydroponics, the same water flowing through a looped system to be used repeatedly. This controlled and efficient method uses at least 10 times less water than outside farming where water can be lost to evaporation, or simply lost as it just drains away unused into the soil.

There is no comparison to which farming method conserves more water. In fact, there is a disturbing statistic, in this period of climate conservation, that 80% of the water used in the United States is by field farms, a large quantity of it wasted to an unimaginable degree.

4 Doesn’t Use Soil

There are numerous locations in places such as Africa where once-thriving farms are now unable to grow crops due to soil erosion. This is generally down to agricultural practices that have eroded the soil over years of bad harvesting practices. This reduces the arable land available for growing food, which in turn leads to less food production for the local population.

The end result in such situations is that severe food shortages can rapidly turn into a serious problem for the local population, with the worst-case scenario being a full-blown famine. With the hydroponics system, the lack of soil enables crops to be grown in any environment, bringing food certainty where before there was nothing but trepidation.

5 Faster Crop Growth                                                                                                                 There is a demand for plant-based protein foods that is not just a passing phase, and hydroponics is in a unique position to deliver fruits and vegetables to consumers not just at ever more competitive prices, but faster.

With an efficient nutrient and water delivery system devoid of chemicals or pesticides such as this, the crops can be grown faster. This enhanced crop rotation increases food production and helps to drive costs down while boosting profits for the farm.

Additionally, C02 omissions can be greatly reduced if the hydroponics farm is located in an urban environment close to their customer, reducing transportation time and costs, and protecting the environment at the same time.

7 Flexible Farming                                                                                                            

With the ability to grow fruits and vegetables indoors in a controlled collective, many more options become available to expand the range of crops that can be grown simultaneously. A wider variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables can be grown side by side, whereas traditionally these crops would never coincide seasonally in an outdoor endeavor.

This environment allows the hydroponics farmer to control every aspect of the enhanced growing period, from the lighting, the specific nutrients required for each type of crop, control of the interior climate, and especially the quantity of water to be delivered to the roots.

Everything can also be monitored constantly, with minute tweaks easily implemented if and when needed for maximum results and to control whatever pests infiltrate the system. With this level of control, the crops grow up to be healthier than their counterparts in soil, and, more importantly, get to market faster.

Based solely on per square foot, hydroponics is far and away a superior farming method, enabling a vast array of plants that can be prepared, planted side by side, primed to grow, and harvested again and again in record time.

8 Quality Control

No matter what type of farming method is being utilized, strict quality control guidelines must be adhered to. Hydroponics simplifies the procedures because, literally, everything is under one roof.

Every aspect of the growing cycle can be scrutinized constantly so that adjustments can be made quickly and easily, ensuring that plants are not being underfed, overfed, or are not being exposed to too much sunlight.

This level of precise control over the environment, which can be monitored day or night, produces consistent high-quality products, products that consumers demand in today’s health-conscious society.

This way of farming is revolutionizing the way fruits and vegetables can be grown, and being able to grow food faster, healthier and in a sustainable way, can only be a good thing for the planet.

9 Pricing

In an ideal world being able to afford fruits and vegetables should be within the grasp of everyone. Unfortunately, even crops that grow on trees have a cost, have overheads, so are not accessible to all budgets.

Hydroponics has two major benefits over outdoor farming that promotes it as the farming method of the future: it reduces labor costs and grows the product faster. Both of these factors contribute to the possibility of these fruits and vegetables being more affordable and being available to a wider consumer base.

There is a saying that if you build it, they will come. With hydroponics the saying should be if you grow it cheaper and faster, they will buy.  

10 Sustainable

There is a shortage of food in various parts of the world. This is often the result of inadequate arable land, harsh weather conditions, or lack of a regular water supply, to name just a few of the obstacles.

Hydroponics is not dependent on the quality of the land, is immune to harsh weather fluctuations, and water, once installed in the system, is not a problem. Sustainable is the keyword where the recirculating circuit has little to no water waste, that precious commodity being able to be used repeatedly.

In Conclusion

Hydroponics has to be at the forefront as one of the primary solutions for food insecurity on a global level. Its capacity for increased food production without soil erosion is protecting the planet, making it an extremely environmentally friendly way to grow food. 

Combine that with the flexibility to operate a hydroponics farm in a variety of locations, enabling whole communities to feed themselves with high-quality nutritious foods, ensures that this system is the future of farming.

The Growing Cycle Of Microgreens

Microgreens have been making appearances on plates in restaurants since the 1980s, punching above their size class when it comes to the nutritional value that they deliver, and the richness of their flavors.

Small they may be, but the variety in textures accompanied by the aromatic taste makes them well worth the effort of growing them yourself rather than just popping down to the local supermarket.

The ease at which they can be grown, the flexibility of where they can be grown, and the quick growing cycle from seed to harvest make having your very own microgreen garden well worth the effort.

Growing Microgreen

Starting your own mini farm packed with microgreens couldn’t be easier. These micro herbs, which are normally between 1–3 inches in height, are very easy to grow and can be grown successfully in settings from greenhouses to windowsills.

Planning has to start first with seed selection, and the starter farmer should opt for about 5 different varieties of greens to have a varied crop. To eliminate the guesswork of which seeds to sow, it is possible to purchase a professionally premixed pack of seeds that will all mature at the same time.

Regardless of which seeds are bought, they need to be thoroughly rinsed to remove any residues, and then soaked in a bowl of cold water for about 12 hours or overnight. After that period has expired, the seeds should be rinsed again and returned to the empty bowl, then covered in a damp paper towel to provide moisture and prevent the seeds from drying out.

This pre-soaking process helps to weed out which seeds are going to be viable before sowing, saving time, effort, and disappointment. Seeds that float to the surface of the bowl are unlikely to bear fruit, so to speak, and should be discarded.

Sprouting will then occur over the next 36 to 48 hours and it is recommended that the seeds are sprayed lightly a few times a day. Once the little sprouts are noticeable, the seeds are ready to be transplanted into their growing medium, which is either soil or coconut coir.

The easiest option is soil as it is cheap, readily available, and easy to use. Within an indoor setting, whether in a greenhouse or other indoor space, temperatures and ventilation can be controlled, and even lighting can be regulated for best results.

Once the seeds are ready and soil has been selected for the growing medium, choosing the right containers is the next step, and trays are one of the easiest to employ due to their cost and ease of scalability.

Microgreen Trays

Tray selection depends on objectives in regards to the size of the crops to be grown, space available, and even budgetary concerns. Fortunately, there are trays to suit every situation and every budget. Avoid flimsy trays, however, despite the cheap prices as they will complicate the process if they have to be constantly moved or stacked.

Buy durable and strong and you can’t go wrong.

Shallow trays with a depth of about 1.5 inches are more than suitable for microgreens, with or without holes for drainage. As seedlings don’t require a lot of space for the roots, and the plants themselves only growing to a height of 1-2 inches, they are perfect for the job.

The number of microgreens to be grown in each tray depends on the type of plant and the size of the seeds themselves. A simple rule of thumb is if the seeds are large to place 6 or 8 of them per square inch in the tray. Smaller seeds can be placed 10 to 12 per square inch, allowing sufficient space for the roots to grow unimpeded.

The soil itself shouldn’t be compressed too heavily, just leveled out by hand, and the sprouting seeds gently pressed into just below the surface.

Once all the seeds are sowed, water them from a spray bottle then cover the trays either with another tray or with a paper towel. This will give them a blackout period which will help the seeds to germinate just that bit faster.

After a few days, the baby shoots will start to grow into baby plants and should now be exposed to sunlight or grow lamps, about 4 to 8 hours a day is sufficient. Not enough light and the actual taste of the plant can be underwhelming, and the nutritional content decreased.

Popular types of vegetables to grow are radishes, broccoli, pea shoots, mustard, and arugula, each of them bringing to the plate their own splash of color, texture, taste, and a host of rich vitamins and nutrients.

Harvesting Microgreens

Between 7 to 21 days a telltale sign that the crops are ready for harvesting, is the rich green color of the first two leaves. Once these are noticeable, they’re good to go.

It is important, though, that the microgreens are never pulled directly from the soil as that will disturb the roots of the plant, and not allow them to be regrown. Instead, to achieve multiple harvests from one tray, cut about a centimeter above the soil line with a pair of scissors, a sharp knife, or a pair of sheers, and then the next harvest will soon be on its way.

The microgreens harvested then need to be washed, dried with a paper towel, and then are ready to be eaten at their freshest. Any excess can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

Any microgreens grown outside can be harvested in much the same way, although they may take slightly longer to grow due to temperature fluctuations, intensity, and consistency of sunlight. They do tend to be hardier, bigger, and make a better crop for a profit-making enterprise.

One of the many selling points with microgreens is that they are incredibly nutritious when compared to their bigger brothers, packed with up to 40 times more vitamins and minerals. Also, because they are so cheap, quick, and easy to grow, they can be marketed very profitably year-round.

There can be no doubt that growing microgreens commercially makes good business sense if you are so inclined. Sold by the pound, they are ideal for urban growers or small-scale farmers who are looking for a high-profit margin enterprise with a small financial commitment to start.

If expansion is a goal for the future, the microgreen garden can easily be scaled up by adding a few more trays at very little cost or changing to a larger location to add more varieties.

Regardless of your goals with growing microgreens, there is no doubt that they are, pound for pound, punching above their weight class in terms of taste, nutritional content, and the amount of profit available in a competitive marketplace.

Small in size they may be, big on potential they definitely are.

The 2 Best Hydroponic Water Heaters

When building a hydroponic system, water temperature is vital for the health of your crops. Within a temperature range, nutrient solutions and irrigation water are most effective. However, plants are vulnerable to damage if the liquid is excessively hot or too cold.

When water is too warm, it can damage the delicate roofing systems. Too cold and plants can face the same damage, and you can find issues with your system.

To solve this, hydroponic growers often ask. What are the 4 best hydroponic water heaters you can get? The best heaters all come from the same manufacturer and scale in sizes from 50 Watts up to 300 Watts. Gardeners can find these models in single heater packs, or they come in packages of two. It is worth noting; hydroponic heaters can only warm a particular volume of water.

Ideal Water Temperatures for Hydroponics

Because there are limited water heaters for hydroponics, we will also look at some of the best water chillers available. It makes no sense to heat water and then not be able to cool it if necessary.

A good hydroponic farmer should know the optimal temperature settings for their plants as there isn’t a single water temperature optimal for all hydroponic plants.

As a result, it is healthier to maintain a range of temperatures to maximize plant growth.

A good recommendation is to stick to a temperature range of 68 – 72 F (20-22 C) as this is suitable for beginners. Gardeners with more experience hover around the 75 F (24 C) range to cover a broader range of plant types.

Water that is marginally outside the optimum range won’t kill your plants; it doesn’t mean operating at daily temperatures ranging to the extremes is acceptable.

Overheating from warm water increases root tissue respiration rates and leads to the growth of germs and fungus. Conversely, frigid conditions will slow a plant’s metabolism and hinder overall growth.

One pro gardening tip is to group plants based on temperature types and grow them in separate systems based on these conditions.

 

Hydrofarm Glass Reservoir Heater

This submersible reservoir heater has a high-impact glass housing that is easy to clean and resists corrosion or degradation. Excellent for keeping liquid tanks warm.

Features

  • Resistant to heat and shock.
  • Glass tubing heaters will never rust or deteriorate and are simple to clean.
  • Temperatures are displayed in Fahrenheit and Celsius.
  • Completely submersible in fresh or saltwater, as well as nutrient solutions.
  • Freezing damage is avoided.
  • On/Off indicator.
  • Maintains a constant warm temperature to prevent solutions from freezing or becoming too cold for practical use.

You’ll find the submersible reservoir heater has a high-impact glass casing, resists shattering, and is easy to clean. The glass heater never corrodes. It can be used in other areas besides hydroponics, such as aquariums, and is suitable for fresh or saltwater, besides your nutrient-rich growing solution.

The design is functional and straightforward, comprising an On/Off display and a large surface area to warm solutions efficiently.

The Hydrofarm Glass Reservoir Heater comes in 4 models:

  • 50-Watt pack of 2
  • 100 Watts pack of 2
  • 200 Watts pack of 2
  • 300 Watts pack of 2

Like all hydroponic heaters, the most significant downside is that each heater can only heat around 1 liter of water per Watt power, so a pack of two running at 50 watts can only heat 21 gallons.

EcoPlus Aqua Heat Titanium Water Heater

The EcoPlus Aqua Heat Titanium Water Heater may be submerged entirely and is fully automatic.

It comprises a double heating tube, which is exceptionally dependable. The heater delivers a temperature range from 68F (20C) to 93F. (34C).

The temperature management is straightforward to use, and if used in aquariums, it is suitable for saltwater and freshwater and nutrient solutions in your hydroponics systems.

Features

  • The heater tube is fully submersible.
  • The electronic heater operates automatically.
  • Double heating tube.
  • Exceptionally durable.
  • Temperature management is simple.
  • Ideal for both saltwater and freshwater.
  • A warranty period of one year.

The EcoPlus comes in two models:

EcoPlus 200W heater

  • Voltage 120V.
  • Water Volume heated: 30 Gallon or 120L.

EcoPlus 300W heater

  • Voltage 120V.
  • Water Volume heated: 50 Gallon or 180L.

Hydroponic Water Chillers

When you look for a water chiller, these are more significant than the above water heaters and can resemble small air conditioning units. In function, this is how they work in theory and cool water rather than air.

You’ll notice these sit outside your tank rather than you submerge them. With this, you could find your ambient temperature rising because of using a chiller to cool your nutrient solution.

Water Chiller Pros and Cons

To keep nutrients cool, there are many ways to try and do this. However, water chillers are the most effective and reliable technique for completing this task.

Depending on the location of your system, maintaining a cooler temperature during the day could be a challenge, thus using a water chiller makes this far more manageable, and you won’t need to monitor your solution temperatures continually.

Chillers can be highly beneficial, yet this comes at the expense of the running costs. Water chillers can take a significant investment, and if there need to be any repairs, they can be costly.

Running costs are the key area hydroponic gardeners find as the most significant downsides to water chillers. As these are not submersible, you’ll find they are not waterproof, and they will need to sit undercover if outside.

Another thing worthy of noticing is that most refrigeration-type chillers won’t come with tubing or a water pump, and thus you have a further cost.

Best Hydroponic Water Chillers

Hydrofarm Active Aqua Chiller

Active Aqua is a reputable brand in the hydroponics industry. They are well known for energy-efficient yet low-cost chiller units.

Their chiller offerings are classed as refrigeration units and are kitted out with a microprocessor control system, allowing for simple control and access to the chiller functions.

You’ll find construction robust, and the unit comes with a titanium evaporator, compressor protection features, and temperature memory. In operating, it sits outside your tank yet runs quietly.

The most distinct feature is the turbo function, which speeds up cooling by up to three hours, cooling your hydroponic reservoir while saving money.

EcoPlus Chiller

The EcoPlus is another hydroponic specialist chiller unit that comes in three different models depending on the size of your reservoir.

  • EcoPlus Chiller 1/10 HP
  • EcoPlus Chiller 1/4 HP
  • EcoPlus Chiller 1/2 HP

The models can manage tanks ranging from 15 to 42 gallons and up to 132 gallons for the most significant models.

The models are units with components like the Active Aqua. In addition, they are equipped with a microcontroller and automatic temperature control. The same features are used in the construction of a titanium evaporator and compressor and sensor circuit protection.

EcoPlus is well-known for manufacturing highly efficient and cost-effective hydroponic water chillers.

Besides these two models, there are more available yet geared more toward aquariums. However, these are more expensive, but they can deal with significantly larger volumes of a nutrient solution if you need such a device.

Conclusion

If you consider all the above in mind, you will identify the proper measures you have to consider for your hydroponic system. Your environmental circumstances are, to some extent, outside your control and will undoubtedly differ from one hydroponic system to another.

As a result, you must stay in touch with your surroundings and care for your system, be it using a hydroponic water heater, water chiller, or even if you are lucky and need neither.

Can You Use Seasol For Hydroponics?

Hydroponics gardeners are always on the lookout for the best additives or nutrients to use in their system that offer the best results.

One of the prominent names that come up is that of Seasol. It may lead to some confusion for new gardeners as Seasol is a brand name, and rather than being a fertilizer, the products are a tonic.

Since a tonic is not something you typically associate with delivering nutrients to your plants in the same sense as other two- or three-part nutrient packs. Many gardeners often ask the same question.

Can you use Seasol for hydroponics? Seasol can be used in your hydroponics system without any adverse effects. It is an effective growth stimulant and plant tonic made from seaweed in Australia. Seasol offers more than just promoting healthy, vigorous growth in plants; it also helps increase resistance to attacks from fungi and insects. Besides this, it helps reduce symptoms of stress from excessive heat.

What Is Seasol?

Seasol is an Australian company that offers a wide range of treatments for around the garden and yard. A number of these deal with lawns and grass, while others are suited to flowers and fruits. While some are granular or pellets, there are a few that are liquid and thus soluble.

Seasol original and Seasol Gold are the two main products you could use in your hydroponics system. Before proceeding, these won’t replace your nutrients, they are an addition, and the doses would be very weak based on the volume of water in your system.

  • Hydroponic seedlings would use 2 mL per gallon of water.
  • Established hydroponic would use 4 mL per gallon of water in your system.

Here you can find the benefits and significant features of adding Seasol and Seasol Gold into your hydroponic system. Note some are specific to the soil as it is intended as an additive to soil-grown crops.

Seasol

  • Vigorous root growth and healthy soil microorganisms are stimulated.
  • Encourages vigorous flowering and fruiting, as well as overall garden health.
  • It helps plants deal with external stressors, including heat, drought, and frost.
  • Improves the resilience of plants against insects and fungal attacks.
  • Use any time your plants need a boost.
  • Reduces transplant shock and improves seed germination.
  • As a result of the increased nutrient uptake, fertilizers and nutrients are more effective when used.

Seasol Gold

Seasol Gold does all the same as the regular solution and builds on it.

  • Unique proprietary formulation to enhance seaweed efficiency and advantage to plants.
  • It is fortified with calcium and other nutrients to give crops a boost during the growing season.
  • Promotes better nutrient uptake for robust, strong root development.
  • Improves the development and production of flowers and fruits.
  • Improves plant resilience to heat, drought, frost, pests, and disease by strengthening and boosting plant health.
  • It can be added at any time.

Helps tomatoes at the flowering time by the following.

  • Increases the overall amount of nitrogen and calcium in the soil.
  • Increases organic matter totals in soil.
  • Increases the amount of organic carbon in soils.
  • Soil microbe populations increase.

Seaweed is a brown alga, which they have used in agriculture for generations, but scientists had limited knowledge of its unique qualities.

Seasol is a 100% Australian liquid seaweed extract manufactured from Durvillea Potatorum, a unique kelp species found in the clean waters of Southern Australia.

The Great Southern Ocean’s huge seas wash masses of bull kelp onto the beaches of King Island, and it is here they harvest it from the beaches without touching any still in the wilderness. It is in Tasmania you find the only production plant in the world.

Seasol is a dynamic growth stimulant and plant tonic; it isn’t a fertilizer, and it gives benefits that a regular fertilizer can’t.

Why Use Seaweed Additives and Tonics?

While you can use Seasol and other seaweed-based additives, it is good to understand why these are so beneficial to your plants above different formulations, or even the benefits they offer besides your regular nutrients.

Liquid seaweed or Seasol is one of the best additions you can use on your hydroponics plants, although it could be the last thing on your mind when looking for crop additives.

Not only are liquid seaweed solutions organic, but they also originate from a sustainable source and are harvested without harming the environment. Most seaweed-based remedies come from kelp, which can grow to be over 150 feet long.

It’s full of trace minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and nitrogen. Nitrogen is essential because it creates nitrate, which is a vital component for photosynthesis in plants.

Here are some benefits of using liquid seaweed additives in your garden or hydroponic system.

  • A liquid seaweed solution aids budding.
  • If applied ten days before harvesting, it can help extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
  • If cut flowers are sprayed a day or two before cutting, they will last longer.
  • It can be used as a rooting solution. Place cuttings in a solution of liquid seaweed and water until they develop roots.
  • When applied to pasture crops, the algae boost nutrient uptake, protein content, and overall crop quality.
  • Seaweed extract increases crop yields, increases inorganic ingredient uptake from the soil, enhances stress resistance, and minimizes fruit storage loss.
  • On fruit, flowers, vegetables, lawns, and other plants promote vigorous development and help repel pests and illnesses.
  • Organic farming benefits from seaweed solutions.
  • Every micronutrient is present in chelated forms.

Related Questions

Can I use regular fertilizer in hydroponics? Although possible to use regular fertilizer in hydroponics, it is not recommended as they lack many chemicals found in hydroponic nutrients.

How often do you change the water in hydroponics? Hydroponic water needs to change every two to three weeks on average. If you add Seasol, ensure you check your pH levels as you may need to change more often or adjust with pH Up or pH Down.

What kind of fertilizer should I use for hydroponics? Measure six teaspoons of a high-quality fertilizer into the water. This will be from your part A if you have a multi-part pack. It would contain a 20-20-20 mix of 20 percent nitrogen, 20 percent phosphorous, and 20 percent potassium. You can add Seasol at the same time to boost macronutrients and trace elements, or you can add your Seasol later.

How Long Do Hydroponic Nutrients Last? You will find your nutrients last around 7 to 10 days; thus, you can see the addition of Seasol later means you can bolster the effectiveness of weaker nutrients when they are most needed.

Conclusion

Using Seasol in your hydroponics system can deliver many benefits to your crops and your yields.

One of the best things is that it won’t have any adverse effects if you stick to the recommended levels as you administer your dose. All you would need to do is check your pH, as this could impact your growth, yet since the dosage levels are low, you may not notice any difference.

Seasol can be a fantastic base to make your organic hydronic nutrients or add to them to offer what your other compounds don’t. If you do this, you’ll find many formulas use seaweed as a key component, and with Seasol, you are already there.

Seasol is a terrific addition and the safest way to give you crops a boost in vitality than anything else you can find on the market.

Are Cheap Ph Pens Any Good? (9 tests and results)

Unlike soil-based growing, hydroponic gardeners keep close control on every detail. Therefore, it’s crucial to monitor water quality, particularly the pH level of your fertilizer solution.

A great deal of hydroponic components can be expensive; however, there are often significantly cheaper alternatives. As a result, many gardeners look for ways to save money and ask many questions. 

Are cheap PH pens any good? They’re also known as pH meters or pH testers, besides nicknamed “pH pens.” You’ll find an ‘electrode,’ which all pH pens use to perform the same function as pH strips or drops. As a result, even a cheap pH pen will offer more precision. There are high-priced and low-priced models available, and more affordable pH pens can be a viable choice for beginners. One downside is they may not last like more expensive variants. All pH pens, however, require frequent maintenance and calibration.

 Why Monitoring Hydroponic pH is Important

So, what is the significance of pH? The pH of any growing medium, whether hydroponics or soil, influences plant growth.

It determines all nutrients available to plants and is more than just that some plants prefer acidic soils while others prefer more alkaline soils.

You can devote a significant amount of time to ensuring that your plants receive all the nutrients they require. However, if your pH is off, this will affect your plants as they won’t take nutrients until the solution is in the proper pH range, which means you’ve squandered time and effort providing them to your system.

Most plants like a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. While different plants have different requirements, a good rule of thumb is to stay within the optimal range of approximately 6.2.

Another advantage of keeping slightly acidic solutions in your hydroponic system is that waterborne algae do not thrive as well in an acidic environment.

How Does a pH Pen Work?

Now that we’ve established that pH monitoring is critical to the growth of your hydroponic garden, it’s good to look at how these pH pens operate.

The hydrogen-ion concentration in your water is measured by your pH meter. It does so by measuring the difference in electrical potential between a reference electrode and a test electrode. So it is with this; the meter can tell if the solution is acidic or alkaline.

The pH pen features a glass electrode sensitive to hydrogen ions and a reliable reference electrode to simplify this operation. The difference between the two shows the pH of the liquid to the pH meter, and thus, you can adjust your nutrient solution as needed.

9 Top pH Pen Reviews

1# Bluelab pH Pen Pocket Tester – BEST OVERALL

The Bluelab pH pen is the best hydroponic pH meter available. It is pocket-sized for ease of carrying and storage, 100% waterproof, and measures pH and water temperature. In addition, the back-lit LCD makes it easy-to-read results after your reading.

Pros

  • Easily measure pH and temperature with one reading.
  • Completely waterproof.
  • To keep the probe moist, there is a sponge in the cap.
  • A one-year limited warranty is included.

Cons

  • Comes without a calibration kit.
  • Sensor bulbs can be fragile.

2# Hanna Instruments HI 9813-6N pH/EC/TDS Meter – BEST QUALITY

Hanna is another well-known manufacturer of pH and combo meters. The built-in calibration reminder is one of the best features of this pH meter. You won’t forget to calibrate and wonder why your readings are wrong. However, you pay a supplement for this feature.

Pros

  • Measures pH, temperature, electro conductivity (EC), and total dissolved solids (TDS.
  • Great display that is simple to read.
  • Testing and calibration are simple to perform.
  • Dual calibration with 7.0 and 4.0.
  • Waterproof.

Cons

  • The cap comes without a seal lock.
  • Doesn’t have any anti-slip feet.

3# Dr. Meter Digital pH Meter – GOOD LOW PRICE

Sitting firmly at the opposite end of the budget table is the Dr. Meter hydroponic pH tester. It tests both temperature and pH levels without breaking the bank. While not as elaborate or feature-rich as some specialized solutions, the Dr. Meter device is a reasonable option and functions well.

Pros

  • Great budget offering without sacrifice.
  • Straightforward to calibrate.
  • It offers a nice large screen, which is easy to read.
  • Auto calibration with included solutions.

Cons

  • Batteries are difficult to install.
  • No replacement probes available.

4# Apera SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit – BEST SMALL PROBE

The narrow probe on this Apera Instruments pen tester quickly tests the pH level in everything from test tubes to big reservoirs. This device, like the other Apera Instruments devices, comes as a complete kit and needs calibrating regularly. However, it’s an excellent tiny device for keeping track of your solution, and the entire testing and calibration kit is pocket-sized.

Pros

  • Slim, easy to replace probe.
  • Comes with calibration solutions, storage case, and storage solution.
  • Long battery life.
  • Thoroughly dust and waterproof and will float.

Cons

  • The small screen is difficult to read.
  • It takes longer to conduct pH tests.

5# Apera AI209-T Value pH Test Kit – GREAT VALUE KIT

Apera Instruments’ value-level offering is also from the same stable. The AI209 is their low-cost test kit, and it’s popular. This water pH tester is portable and straightforward to use. The kit includes all the calibration solutions you’ll need to get accurate results. You can’t go wrong with the Apera Instruments AI209 if you want something cheap but all-inclusive.

Pros

  • Easy to calibrate.
  • Long battery life.
  • Comes with a probe cleaning brush & calibration solution.
  • Thoroughly water and dustproof.

Cons

  • The probe sensor can get bubbles.
  • It takes longer to take readings.

6# Bluelab Guardian pH Monitor – BEST LARGE SCALE

The Bluelab Guardian Monitor is the most fabulous combo meter. This meter is more expensive than the others, but it is perfect for serious growers with a considerable budget. Also, because it is always on and monitoring your garden, you will be notified when your metrics become out of range.

Pros

  • Large display.
  • Flashing alarms with live monitors.
  • Comes with accessories.

Cons

  • Not a budget option.
  • Probes can wear quickly without care and calibration.

7# Bluelab Combo pH Meter – Best Combo Meter

The Bluelab Combo Meter is the industry standard for pH, temperature, and PPM/EC/TDS meters. It follows.

Pros

  • Measures pH, temperature, and electro conductivity (EC).
  • It comes with a double junction pH probe that is replaceable.
  • Comes with an auto-off function.
  • Auto calibration.

Cons

  • Probes are fragile.
  • Units aren’t waterproof while the probes are.

8# Apera Instruments AI311 Premium pH Test Kit – Great Pocket Kit

While it necessitates particular care and maintenance, this pH water tester is an excellent choice. Apera Instruments offers a variety of versions, although this sits at the top end. It is sold as a complete kit that includes calibration solutions, a high-quality glass probe, and even storage and battery options.

Pros

  • Easy to calibrate.
  • The probe is replaceable.
  • 3-color LED window identifies operation mode.
  • Fully waterproof.

Cons

  • Needs protection from frigid conditions.
  • Replacement probes are expensive.

9# Oakton EcoTestr Pocket pH Meter – Best for Old Standards

The Oakton EcoTestr is an old standard for a pocket-sized pH tester. It offers a larger display battery life indicator, and the cap can be fixed to the other end of the pen while you use it.

Pros

  • A reliable option for precise results
  • Measures pH and temperature
  • Fully Waterproof and dustproof
  • Pocket size for convenience
  • 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • It might not last as long as some other offerings.
  • It requires frequent calibration.

Manual pH Testing vs. Digital pH Meters

There are two basic types of pH meters: manual and digital. If you are a severe hydroponic grower, you already use a digital pH meter or looking for a good pH pen.

Here you can find a breakdown of the things you need to know about manual testing against digital pH testing.

Manual pH testing

Manual pH testing is performed with a basic kit, like the water pH test kit used to evaluate the pH of a swimming pool. Manual water pH test kits are less expensive than digital pH meters and are much easier to use.

You have less worry about falling and breaking, or parts from the kit corrode and stop working. Because of these traits, manual testing kits are suitable for growers who are just starting in hydroponics and need a cost-effective way of monitoring their nutrients.

Downsides to Manual pH Testing​

Manual pH testing has drawbacks that make it unsuitable for serious growers. Working with manual pH test strips or pH fluid takes more time and effort.

Time management becomes a barrier for dedicated growers, especially compared to the simplicity of a digital pH meter.

Accuracy is another issue as PH strips can make it hard to read or translate the results, particularly when colorblind. This can cause an inaccurate reading, which can influence your system. Even with good eyesight, it’s challenging to decipher the colors against the table to determine what the reading is supposed to be.

Digital pH Testing

If you intend to perform lots of hydroponic cultivation, digital pH meters are the way to go. These meters can last for ages when cared for and calibrated correctly. In addition, they are highly accurate than manual pH testing methods.

Digital meters are also fast, allowing you to test frequently and quickly, making them significantly more efficient than manual pH meters.

Downsides to Digital pH Meters​

Of course, all this comfort and efficiency comes with a price tag. The top digital pH meters are more expensive than manual pH meters, but they also demand more care.

Digital pH meters must be calibrated regularly to remain accurate, and without proper maintenance, your expensive digital pH meter will fail.

Caring for Your pH Meter

All your calibration efforts will be wasted if you don’t take the time to care for your pH meter.

Even if most instructions are lengthy, the first thing you should do when you receive a new pH meter is read the relevant handbook that comes with it. The instructions should include how to care for your pH meter. If they don’t, contact the manufacturer to find out why.

You must complete the following with every pH meter:

  • Pay attention to the detailed instructions.
  • Maintain calibration.
  • For best saturation, keep meters with storage solutions in the cap upright.
  • To remove air bubbles, lightly swirl your meter in the storage solution.
  • Don’t touch the sensor electrode or reference cell, as oils on your skin can damage the sensor and influence readings.
  • Keep away from excessive temperatures and humidity.
  • Do not store your sensor in distilled water.
  • Handle with caution.

Calibrating Your pH Pen

If you’re using the digital path as most gardeners end up doing, you’ll need to know the correct pH pen calibration steps. 

You’ll need a buffer solution before you start. A buffer solution is a pH meter standard reference point that a laboratory has validated. Most buffer solutions are liquid, but they can also be purchased in powder form and mixed with water if desired.

Once you have your buffer solution, follow these steps to calibrate your pH meter:

  1. To get accurate readings, immerse your meter in the buffer solution.
  2. Adjust your meter reading to match the buffer solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions (these can differ for digital and analog meters.
  3. Repeat in a different pH buffer solution for greater accuracy.
  4. Calibrate your pH meter once a week or at least once a month if you use it frequently.
  5. When replacing a sensor, always calibrate your pH meter to ensure accurate readings.
  6. Instructions will be sent with your pH meter. If the instructions differ, make sure you read them before calibrating your meter.

Conclusion

You can spend any amount of money on pH pens, and although you may think more expensive options offer better results, you can still get poor results if they are not calibrated correctly.

Every option here is suitable for all gardeners and covers all system sizes from the smallest to the largest.

No matter which you go for, you will quickly be able to offer your plants the ideal pH within a shorter time than using older methods.

How To Grow Cauliflower In Aquaponics

Aquaponics is a growth industry that is easily available to every level of experience for the avid aquaculturist, whether their goal is to set up a gargantuan commercial farm, to start up a small to medium size going concern to supply at the local market, or simply to grow a few veggies at the bottom of the garden to feed the family.

Tomatoes, potatoes, grapes, onions are just a small selection of crops that can be reared under this system, but there is also a very wide variety of leafy plants that can be cultivated under the farming initiative that is aquaponics.

One of those is cauliflower. Underappreciated, it is loaded with essential nutrients, flourishes within the aquaponics environment, and is gaining in popularity.

Why Cauliflowers In Aquaponics?

Growing cauliflowers in aquaponics is a comfortable and sustainable way to grow this vegetable in a controlled environment that promotes faster growing times, resulting in a more frequent harvest of an often-overlooked vegetable that itself has a wide variety of uses for many a tasty dish.

The botanical family that the cauliflower belongs to is called Brassicaceae, and its siblings are cabbage, broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts. What differentiates it from its brothers and sisters are the cream-colored stems that it is renowned for.

This compact head, known as the curd, is packed full of vitamins and minerals as well as being loaded with fiber and antioxidants. The white coloration is due to an insufficient quantity of a substance called chlorophyll, which is the cause of the green pigment in plants.

In nature, there are many types of pigments yet Chlorophyll alone is the key to photosynthesis. What this process does is allows plants to absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide efficiently, naturally, and then to convert those rays of light into energy, which finally releases oxygen into the air to sustain life on earth.

Despite the white stems on the head of the cauliflower, it contains more than enough chlorophyll to provide all the benefits derived from this molecule. For example, eating this vegetable can aid in reducing inflammation and the risks of cancer due to its anti-carcinogenic properties, and it even has a natural deodorant that helps with bad breath.

What is not widely known about cauliflowers is that there are actually over 100 varieties, which can be broken down into four main categories: Italian, Northwest European, Asian and Northern European.

Historically, the Italian cauliflower is the mother of all cauliflowers, the other varieties derived from this original. The Northern European variant became popular in the 18th century in Germany while the Northwest European cauliflower flourished a while later in the 19th century in France.

Unlike the two European varieties that take longer to bring to full maturity, the Asian offshoot has a more flexible resilience that enables it to grow in warmer temperatures with an added bonus that it stands up well to weather fluctuations.

Fortunately, the climate in an aquaponics farm is controlled and remains consistent. Under these circumstances, the choice of which cauliflower to plant is down to personal choice, goals, and local availability.

The Practical Way To Grow Cauliflowers in Aquaponics

To grow cauliflower in aquaponics several stages have to be followed, with certain considerations factored into the equation from the outset to make a success of the project.

First, the seeds need to be selected with care and close attention. Genetic manipulation is common with cauliflower seeds to create a hybrid vegetable, and that alteration can produce a resulting harvest that is different than what was expected.

About 10 years ago cauliflowers with different colored curds started to appear, orange, green, purple, to name a few, and soon became quite popular, adding a splash of color to the kitchen table without altering the traditional taste significantly and only marginally affecting the nutritional values.

Hybrid cauliflowers have no different discernable taste to the traditional cream-colored head variety, fortunately, but the hybrids do need to be planted from new every year.

Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that the seeds purchased are open-pollinated, meaning that they have not been altered scientifically in any way and that they have been fertilized by bees, moths, and birds, for example. Aquaponics is all about mimicking nature so it’s always better if the seeds and plants are as close to natural as possible.

To start, newly purchased seeds are in an elongated pod and are only ready to be harvested from the pod when it turns brown. That indicates that they are now mature and ready to be stored in a dark place temporarily before being sowed into a growing medium where they will reside for between 4 to 5 weeks to complete the slow germination process.

Proper watering and care are important to promote optimum growth and guarantee healthy seedlings. When the germination process is completed, they will then be ready for transplantation into a permanent growing medium.

In aquaponics, choosing the media bed is crucial so there is a good movement with the flooding and draining system employed to encourage the roots to expand outwards, especially since cauliflower is a heavy plant. Expanded clay pebbles are probably the most versatile media to use, allowing enough air and moisture for the needs of this vegetable.

Fortunately, cauliflowers need very little maintenance and, being a water-based plant, are one of the best vegetables to grow for beginners as they easily thrive in the aquaponics world.

Also, being a fairly easy and hardy vegetable to grow, it is possible to speed up the formation of the heads of the cauliflower by reducing the air temperature range down to between 50 to 59° from its normal range of between 66 to 77° for autumn crops; for spring crops that air temperature range can be elevated to between 59 to 68°.

If the temperature is too cold, or the cauliflowers do not receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, either directly or from grow lamps, the heads will not properly mature. Overexposure to sunlight, on the other hand, can adversely affect the harvest by causing the curd to separate into rice-like grains, so care has to be taken.

That same amount of care has to be allocated to the choice of fish due to these specific temperature ranges that can be too cold for some species of fish. One of the best varieties to complement cauliflowers in aquaponics is trout as they do well in cooler water temperatures, and will supply all the nutritional needs of the burgeoning aquaponics vegetable garden.

Afterward, when some of the fish have matured and outgrown their surroundings, some of the trout can be harvested themselves to provide a very healthy meal, being a good source of protein and loaded as they are with omega 3s.

When initially setting up the growing system for cauliflowers in aquaponics, it is important that the water temperature is monitored constantly and that the nutrient demands are met. Cauliflowers react favorably to high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus so nitrate levels also have to be kept and the correct levels.

With a commercial farm that has other vegetables apart from cauliflowers, separation has to be adhered to in regards to nutrient hungry plants if they are grouped together, as supplying the nutritional needs of all of them in the same zone can be challenging.

However, with proper initial planning, and an efficient system put in place, growing cauliflowers in aquaponics can be very rewarding with a regular harvest possible every few months despite the seasons and surrounding weather conditions.

The Blanching Of Cauliflowers

Once the head of the cauliflower achieves a diameter of about 1 – 2 inches, the outer leaves need to be tied together over the expanding head of the plant. An elastic band or a piece of twine is sufficient for this task, as long as a certain amount of flexibility is left to allow for further growth of the head and leaves.

This technique is known as blanching and if overlooked the traditional cream color of the curd can be lost, turning it into a not-so-attractive greenish-brown color instead. Not only will it appear unpalatable to the eye, but the taste will become stronger and very bitter as well.

Blanching is not necessary from day one, but about 30 days after transplanting the seedlings it is advisable to start checking the development of the head. When the curd is about the size of a chicken egg, the process of blanching can begin.

Conduct tying the leaves loosely over the head at this stage to allow leeway so the head can grow freely without being constricted by the leaves. After that, continued regular attention needs to be paid to all the plants as the heads on different cauliflowers will expand at varying growth spurts even if they were all transplanted at the same time.

Using different colored elastic bands can aid in differentiating which plants are ready for harvesting and which need a few more days to further mature.

This process is slightly time-consuming, but it is 100% worthwhile to take this extra step to ensure that the head forms perfectly and, more importantly, has that sweet taste that you’re striving for.

Amazingly, thanks to dedicated plant breeders, there are some varieties of cauliflowers that perform self-blanching so the leaves do not need to be tied manually over the growing curds. This time-consuming endeavor undertaken by the plant itself relieves the farmer of this burden, with the leaves curling over the developing head automatically as it continues to grow.

In about twelve weeks, when the heads are compact and firm, they will reach full maturity and be ready to harvest. The indicator that the cauliflower is ready is when the head is firm, white, and compact. Excise the head with a knife, taking care not to damage the leaves, and enjoy.

The Benefits Of Cauliflower In An Aquaponic Garden

A fact about the humble cauliflowers that is easily overlooked when compared to other, more popular trending vegetables, is just how healthy they can be. Studies have shown that obesity can be tackled by introducing this vegetable that is packed with fiber into your regular diet. It also has a wealth of other nutrients and a single serving of 100g contains:

  • Vitamin C – 24.7mg
  • Dietary Fiber – 2g
  • Calcium – 24mg
  • Phosphorus – 44mg
  • Potassium – 299mg
  • Zinc – 0.27mg
  • Copper – 0.039mg
  • Manganese – 0.155mg
  • Selenium – 0.6µg
  • Fluoride – 1µg
  • Vitamin B-6 – 0.184mg
  • Folate- 57µg
  • Choline – 44.3mg

An extra bonus is that these vegetables are low in carbohydrates. That makes them even more attractive from an aquaponics farmer’s point of view, with the cauliflower being featured worldwide as a replacement for high carbohydrate foods in popular dishes or even as a complete replacement item to healthify a staple meal.

Innovative ingredients are popping up all over the internet on how to make cauliflower rice, soups, pizzas, and many other healthy food items suitable for the popular keto diet.

Aquaponics And The Sustainable Cauliflower

As a farming method for raising fish and growing vegetables, it is hard to find a system that is better than aquaponics. It has the potential to be able to feed the world in a sustainable way that can be adopted and transported to virtually any country in the world, to the four corners of the earth.

This form of farming is becoming universally popular with individuals, business people, entrepreneurs, and even governments, all impressed by the substantially increased food production capabilities within a controlled, indoor environment that uses less water, requires less land, and has reduced labor needs compared to traditional outdoor farming.

Furthermore, the resulting harvests, devoid of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, have a tendency to produce crops that provide better nutritional benefits, a bonus in countries where affordable nutritional foods are in short supply. Accompanied by the fish as a source of protein and it’s plain to see how aquaponics can feed the world.

The wide range of produce that can be grown in aquaponics is incredible. Cauliflowers can be reared under the same umbrella as peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, and even tropical fruits such as bananas, oranges, and lemons to add a wider range to the harvest

This recirculating enclosed aquaculture that spawns a better cauliflower, combined with the raising of fish, can provide nutritious food to feed a family or a village in any type of climate, hot or cold, dry or wet for the foreseeable future.