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If you are a fan of Asian inspired meals and cuisines, then the thought of having fresh Bok Choy straight from your aquaponics garden may leave your taste buds salivating. Bok Choy is an excellent source of rich nutrients. Not to mention, the vegetable brings a refreshing taste to salads, burgers, and other culinary dishes as well. Truly, these are the reasons why growing Bok Choy in Aquaponics Gardens is an ideal choice for commercial growers.
In this article, we will take a closer look at how to grow Bok Choy in aquaponics systems and discover the pests and diseases you should know about.
Why Grow Bok Choy in your Aquaponics Garden?
Bok Choy, a fast-growing vegetable that is also often labeled as “Pak Choi,” or White Cabbage, has many varieties and is a biennial spring crop. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family or widely known as the Mustards family. Other members of this family include Cabbage, Brocolli, Kale, and Brussels Sprouts. The varieties of Bok Choy comes in an assortment of sizes. Joi Choi is a large variety of Bok Choy. Meanwhile, other types come in baby sizes.
Health Benefits of Bok Choy
As mentioned earlier, this vegetable is a great source of nutrients. Aside from vitamins A, K, and C, it also contains Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc. All these nutrients participate in maintaining and structuring our bone structure. It also contains Potassium and Magnesium, which aids in normally reducing blood pressure. Bok Choy, unlike other crops, has Selenium. This mineral lowers the risks of inflammation and the growth of cancer tumors.
Cultivating Bok Choy in your Aquaponics Garden
Bok Choy grows fast and is relatively climate tolerant, which makes it suitable for a commercial Aquaponics system. Here are the parameters you must follow to ensure your success in growing Bok Choy in Aquaponics gardens:
A pH range of 6.0 to 7.5 will ensure your crop will grow well. This guarantees the vegetable will absorb all the available nutrients. As always, make sure to have a quality pH meter.
Bok Choy is frost tolerant. It will adapt well in temperature between 55°-75°F. While it tolerates a cool climate, hot weather can cause this vegetable to bolt. This condition happens when the climate reaches a high temperature, and the plant grows seeds and flowers swiftly. When bolting happens, the leaves of the plant stops growing. You can prevent this condition from happening by watering your vegetables on a regular basis.
This vegetable will need roughly 3-5 hours of natural sunlight or artificial lighting every day. While capable of managing direct sunlight, for best results position your aquaponics system to also have access to partial shade.
To avoid plant overcrowding, position your Bok Choy 6 to 12 inches apart. This is essential to make sure your crops will not compete for light and water nutrients. Plant overcrowding can lead to lower yield and a higher risk of spreading diseases.
Common Aquaponics Plant Pests and Diseases
Placing screens or nets is one way to keep off aphids and whiteflies. You can likewise spray water on the side of the leaves to wash off insects. To prevent slugs, you can place a ring of copper flashing on the legs of your container to stop slugs from climbing.
Common plant diseases such as root rot, mildew, and wilting usually happens when there are temperature fluctuation and extreme moisture. Thus, growers must routinely monitor their system to prevent these conditions.