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Carrots are a staple in many homes. Not only are they a common ingredient in several kinds of dishes, but they can also be the perfect healthy snack. Imagine not having to go on a trip to the grocery store every time to restock on carrots. But instead, you grow them in your own home. But is growing carrots in aquaponics gardens easy? Will it give you good quality produce?
Carrots are one of the more popular veggies to grow in aquaponics. In this article, we will discuss how to make carrots thrive in your aquaponics setup.
Why Grow Your Carrots in Your Aquaponics Garden?
Carrots are low-calorie crops that are rich in potassium, fiber, and beta-carotene. These nutrients are needed by the body to produce vitamin A. This common, long-lasting vegetable is an essential ingredient you can find in any culinary cookbook.
If you want to whip up sweet or savory meals, carrots are your go-to ingredient. When they’re homegrown, they are tastier and crunchier.
Health Benefits of Carrots
If you are also a fan of juicing, then using homegrown carrots couldn’t be any healthier. Drinking fresh carrot juice is just one of the different ways you can include the root crop in your diet. Because it is rich in fiber, a glass of carrot juice would be enough to curb the hunger pains that could otherwise cause mindless binge eating.
Carrots can also help in your weight loss efforts. They are considered a superfood for anyone who wishes to lose weight. A study found in the Archives of Biochemistry shows that vitamin A from carrots plays an essential role in reducing abdominal fat.
When you are growing carrots in aquaponics gardens, you’re supporting a sustainable healthy lifestyle that is good for your overall health and also your budget.
Which Carrot Variety To Choose
When thinking about carrots, the first thing that will come to mind is the more common orange type. Interestingly, there are several varieties of carrots to choose from for your aquaponics set up. You can’t find some of these varieties in the supermarket. But when you grow your own, you can have a rainbow plate of carrots to make your meal colorful and more delicious.
Four primary groups of carrots are popularly used: Nantes, Danvers, Imperator, and Chantenay. Doing basic research should help you decide which variety to pick. When given proper care, all carrot varieties grow well in an aquaponics setup.
Requirements for Growing Carrots Aquaponically
Some people might say growing carrots in an aquaponics garden is challenging – close to impossible even. But many home gardeners have had success with it and proved it can be done. Carrots can grow well in an aquaponics setup if done right. Below are the requirements to get your aquaponic carrots thriving.
pH neutral hydroton is a common growing medium for aquaponics carrots and has shown to produce successful yields. Besides hydroton, gravel is also effective for this setup. These growing mediums should be fine as they give the roots something to hold on to.
Root crops like carrots are better off grown in wicking beds, so place your growing media in these types of beds. This water reservoir allows nutrients to be distributed from below the roots, which is why it’s ideal for plants that grow downwards.
Carrots thrive well when water pH levels remain at 7.0 or neutral. Make sure to keep a quality pH meter on hand.
Just sprinkle the seeds into the growing medium, making sure you don’t plant them too close to each other. It is ideal to space them out by half an inch apart.
The ideal growing temperature for carrots is between 59 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Growing in temperatures lower than 50 F can result in stunted growth, while temperatures higher than 80 will result in undesirable flavors.
Carrots are full-sun plants, so they need at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
Carrots are cool-season crops, which means you need to put in fish that thrive in cool waters like trout. Tilapia is also a popular fish choice. If you don’t like to eat the fish, you can go for the decorative freshwater ones like koi and goldfish.
Depending on the growing conditions and the carrot variety you picked, you should be able to harvest fresh crops in two to three months.