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Let’s face it, Kale has become a vegetable superstar in that has risen in popularity overnight like a YouTube sensation. This leafy green is delicious whether you stir fry, roast, steam, or eat it raw. Others have likewise enjoyed this nutritious vegetable in the form of chips, smoothies, or pesto. While it is possible to purchase this crop in the market or in your local grocery store, growing Kale in Aquaponics gardens will provide you a whole lot more possibilities.
In fact, beginners in aquaponics include Kale in their plant selection because it is easy to cultivate. Hence, growing the vegetable in your own backyard is just as wise and sensible. In this article, we will show you how to grow Kale in your aquaponics garden.
Why Grow Kale in your Aquaponics Garden?
Kale is a member of the Cole Crop family, which consists of leafy vegetables such as Bok Choy, Mustards, Cabbage, and Brocolli. Important to realize is that this biennial plant has several types, which include ornamentals that have leaves with shades of magenta, purple, or black-green. However, keep in mind that Kale doesn’t only add beauty and color to your garden. The leafy crop is likewise a wellspring of nutrients that offers a ton of value to any healthy diet regimen.
Health Benefits of Kale
Indeed, Kale has abundant amounts of Calcium, Manganese, Copper, vitamins K, B6, A, and C. A single cup of fresh Kale will give you 7 grams of Carbohydrate and 33 calories. With all these benefits, surely, this vegetable superstar deserves a spot in any garden.
Cultivating Kale in your Aquaponics Garden
Here are parameters you must follow to achieve optimal results in growing Kale in Aquaponics gardens:
This biennial vegetable prefers a pH range between 6 to 7.5. When the water becomes acidic, it will cause damage to the plant.
Kale prefers a water temperature between 55°F to 70°F. This temperature range can induce plant growth. As the crop loves cool weather, it prefers air temperature between 60°F to 70°F.
Exposing your vegetable to the sun is vital for its growth. You can position your Kale in direct sunlight. However, a scorching climate can turn Kale bitter, so it’s best to provide partial shade.
For optimal yield, you need to space your crops 18 to 24 inches apart. This will ensure your vegetables will not compete for essential nutrients.
While monitoring the above parameters is critical to ensure your vegetable thrives, tracking your plant’s nutrient requirements also matters. We will discuss plant nutrition in the next section.
In a traditional garden setting, plants source their nutrients through the soil. However, in Aquaponics, since there is an absence of soil, plants source the vital nutrients from fish waste. The two key nutrients that plants require are called Macronutrients and Micronutrients. Plants require significant quantities of Macronutrients while only needing minimal amounts of Micronutrients.
Below are the six Macronutrients that affect plant growth. When any of these nutrients become insufficient or absent, it will lead to a deficiency that could result in plant health problems.
This nutrient is the foundation of proteins. It is the standard element next to Oxygen and Carbon. When this nutrient is deficient, the plant suffers from yellowing of mature leaves and thin stems.
As a nutrient, Phosphorus encourages the development of roots in seedlings. When this is deficient, you will notice the tips of leaves looking burnt, there is dismal root development, and mature leaves appearing purplish brown or dull green.
The absence of Potassium will result in fruits and flowers not developing properly. When Potassium deficiency happens, you will notice burned spots on mature leaves and poor plant vitality.
Similar to the human body and bones, Calcium reinforces plant stems and improves root development. When there is a Calcium deficiency, you will see young leaves with depressed tips and crooked shapes.
Sulfur is important in producing proteins. While a deficiency in this nutrient is unusual, some cases display brittle, rigid, and yellow leaves.
This nutrient plays a key component in photosynthesis. Like Sulphur, Magnesium deficiency happens when leaves turn yellow most, especially in its veins.