Aquaponics systems commonly involve raising freshwater fish because they can tolerate diverse water temperatures and pH…
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If you’ve ever wondered if you can grow cucumbers in aquaponics gardens, you’re going to love this article. Whether you are considering starting an aquaponics garden or you have a well-established garden and are looking for new ideas, we’ll explore the journey from seedling to vegetable and all of the important stages in-between.
Why Grow Aquaponic Cucumbers?
The humble cucumber is a powerhouse when it comes to benefits and uses and is a great plant to consider for your aquaponics garden. Did you know that cucumbers are technically a fruit and part of the same family that is host to melon and squash? With their crisp, mild taste, they are great in salads as sides and make a great accompaniment to a gin and tonic. They are also low in calories, cholesterol, fat, and sodium and provide various nutrients. What’s not to love?
There are many different varieties of cucumber that are suitable for an aquaponics garden. Whether you choose Lebanese or Burpless, you’ll have a bumper harvest in a matter of weeks.
Growing Your First Cucumbers
Because of their large root structure, cucumbers are perfect for adding to aquaponics media beds. However, due to the size of their roots, it’s important to avoid planting them near plumbing parts as the roots can block pipes. You might also want to consider growing cucumbers away from other plants. They are nutrient-hungry and could starve other plants. If you absolutely must plant them alongside other plants, plant them in smaller quantities.
Planting From Seedlings
Cucumber seedlings can be grown indoors and transplanted when they are at the 4-5 leaf stage. This will usually take 2-3 weeks. Cucumber plants grow very quickly, but you can limit this growth by cutting the apical tips once the stem reaches 2 meters in length. You can prevent foliar diseases (grey mold, powdery mildew) by providing adequate aeration.
Getting the Temperature and Lighting Just Right
Cucumbers love humidity, sunshine, and warm nights. You should aim to keep the substrate at a constant temperature of around 21°C. Where possible, plant your cucumber plants near to natural sunlight. Artificial light that replicates sunlight should be switched on for at least 18 hours.
Nutrient and pH Requirements
Cucumber plants require high levels of potassium and nitrogen and a pH of 5.5-6.5. You should limit the number of plants according to the level of nutrients in the water. Make sure to use a high quality pH meter.
Cucumbers grow fast, and you could have fruit ready to pick within 55-65 days. In the right conditions, cucumber plants can be harvested 10-15 times. You should pick the cucumbers once they have reached maturity to encourage the growth of the following batch.
Grow Cucumbers In Aquaponics Gardens
The great thing about growing cucumbers in aquaponic gardens is that they are one of the easiest plants to grow and perfect for beginners and experts alike. Their rapid growth and fast harvest also mean you’ll reap your rewards much faster than with many other plants.