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Rich with nutritious fats, Avocado can be a tasty addition infused in your breakfast meals, salads, sandwiches, and even desserts. Although widely available at most local supermarkets, they can be quite pricey, thus, forcing enthusiasts of the fruit to find other means to obtain them. Growing Avocados in Aquaponics gardens is one sustainable way you can get your year-round fix of their creamy goodness.
In this article, we will show you how you can grow Avocados using an Aquaponics system.
Why Grow Avocados in your Aquaponics Garden?
Originally native to South Central Mexico, Persea Americana or Avocado is a member of the Lauraceae family. According to Aztecs, Avocados that develop in pairs stands for fertility and love. For centuries, Avocados were considered a delicacy reserved for high-class elites and royalty.
Besides its culinary uses, Avocados are a favorite among nutritionists because of their many health benefits. This pear-shaped fruit is free of cholesterol, plus they aid in lowering bad cholesterol. Although Mexico is the largest commercial producer of Avocados, other countries such as the United States, Peru, Chile, Australia, and South Africa also produce the crop.
Common Varieties of Avocados
Although there are hundreds of Avocado varieties, here are some of the most popular types of Avocados:
This is the most common Avocado variety. You can find it in the produce section year-round.
Hass variety features a more nutty and buttery taste.
The Bacon variety boasts of a milder flavor compared to other Avocado types. Also, this kind of crop has a light-brown skin which you can readily peel.
Unlike the other varieties, Fuerte showcases an oily texture and a pear-shaped form.
This variety retains their green shade even when they ripen. The Reed avocado offers a delicate flavor and displays a size identical to a softball.
The Gwen variety is similar in physical appearance and taste with the Hass type. Gwen avocado is a Guatemalan cultivar with dark green skin.
Cooking with the Avocado From Your Aquaponics Garden
As mentioned earlier, Avocado has many culinary uses. One of the favorite popular spreads or dips is the avocado-based Guacamole. When baking, you can substitute butter and mayonnaise with the fruit. You can likewise use Avocado as a cake frosting, ice cream, and smoothie.
Do you want to jumpstart your day with a nutritious breakfast? Give you usual scrambled eggs a twist by adding Avocados in the ingredients. Add the diced fruits when your eggs are almost cooked to prevent burning. Otherwise, if you enjoy the fruit cold, you can mix them once the eggs are off the stove.
Health Benefits of Avocados
The crop is highly nutritious. In consuming 1 cup (150 grams) of Avocado cubes, you will get the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C – 17% of the daily value
- Potassium – 14% of the daily value
- Folate – 20% of the daily value
- Vitamin K – 26% of the daily value
- Vitamin E- 10% of the daily value
Furthermore, Avocados are sodium and cholesterol-free. The fruit also contains minimal saturated fat.
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Cultivating Avocados in your Aquaponics Garden
When planting Avocados, the first thing to remember is that you’ll probably start producing the fruit in 5 to 13 years, depending on the specific variety you select. In addition, you may want to consider transporting your avocado plant into the soil after a few months to give it a more permanent location. Growing Avocados in Aquaponics gardens is practical and straightforward. Study the following guidelines to make sure you cultivate thriving Avocados in your system.
Most growers use a media bed to cultivate Avocados.
Growing media you can use are Coconut fiber, Perlite, and Vermiculite.
Avocados prefer a pH range between 6 to 6.5 for optimal growth.
Similar to bananas, Avocados love the sun. Your plant will need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. However, place in partial shade when the weather gets too hot to prevent sun damage.
Water and Air Temperature
The fruit thrives well in warm temperatures. Avocados do well in temperatures between 60°F to 85°F.
If you only prefer growing Avocado plants, you can provide space between 10 inches to 12 inches apart. However, in cultivating Avocado trees, it is essential to give space between 15 feet to 20 feet.
When planting Avocado from seeds, see to it you place the pointed end at the bottom of the bed. You will notice stems and roots sprouting in roughly 2 to 6 weeks. Again, while it is easy to cultivate the plant, Avocado fruits will start growing in 5 to 13 years or depending on your chosen variety.
One of the best fish to raise when growing Avocados in Aquaponics gardens is Tilapia. In addition to being used in smaller backyard setups, you will commonly see this hardy fish at work in commercial Aquaponics systems. The fish prefers a pH range between 7 to 8 and water temperatures between 70°F to 80°F.
Common pests that Avocados encounters are Mites, Thrips, and Caterpillars. Monitor also for diseases such as root rots, wilts, and blights.
Common problems growing Aquaponic Avocados
Keep in mind when planting Avocado from seeds, your tree will not produce fruits of similar variety. Avocados grown from seeds typically have a distinct taste compared to their parent variety. The reason behind this is because Avocados do not reproduce true to seed.
And finally, do you have an Avocado fruit that you want to ripe quickly? Once harvested, one way to hasten the ripening process of Avocado is to place the fruit in a brown paper bag with an apple and kiwi fruit. The three fruits are known to produce the substance Ethylene. This substance is a natural plant component that sets off the ripening process.