Aquaponics systems commonly involve raising freshwater fish because they can tolerate diverse water temperatures and pH…
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Gone are the days when people only viewed Parsley as a simple green and leafy garnish on top of their main dish. Similar to Basil and Oregano, Parsley is now an herb that is a commodity in many home kitchens. In fact, the herb is a popular ingredient and culinary staple in many Middle Eastern recipes. And with its refreshing taste and high market value, growing Parsley in Aquaponics gardens is undoubtedly a decision you will not regret anytime soon.
In this article, we will show you how easy it is to grow Parsley in your Aquaponics system and learn how you will benefit from this artistic herb.
Why Grow Parsley in your Aquaponics Garden?
Petroselinum crispum or Parsley is a biennial herb that is native to the Mediterranean and Europe. Given its versatility, growers worldwide cultivate this leafy herb. You will see its leaves ordinarily used either dried or fresh. And though the common practice is to use it as a garnish, people now add the savory leaves in salads, fish, potatoes, vegetables, soups, and omelets.
The two most used types of Parsley are the Curly leaved Parsley and the Italian or flat-leaved Parsley. If you prefer to add a vibrant taste to your dish, then use the flat-leaf variety. Curly Parsley, on the other hand, is the popular kind, which is also pleasing to the taste plus makes a distinctive display in any garden.
Health Benefits of Parsley
The value of the herb goes far beyond the walls of your kitchen. According to the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, 1/2 cup of chopped Parsley will supply you the following nutrients:
- Fiber – 1 gram
- Protein – 1 gram
- Carbs – 2 grams
- Calories – 11 calories
- Fat – below 1 gram
Aside from the nutrients mentioned above, it is likewise rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Flavonoids, and Carotenoids. These antioxidants are essential in our body since it minimizes cellular damage from molecules known as free radicals.
Under these circumstances, growing Parsley in Aquaponics gardens is truly worth all your effort.
Cultivating Parsley in your Aquaponics Garden
Here are simple parameters you must follow in cultivating Parsley in your system.
In contrast to other vegetables, Parsley is a simple herb to cultivate since it is not a nutrient demanding plant. It will need a pH range between 6.0 to 7.0 to thrive in your garden successfully. As always make sure to use a quality pH meter.
When it comes to temperature, it should be approximately 15° to 25°C for optimal growth.
Grow your Parsley in a location that catches the full sunlight eight hours daily. However, it will need partial shading if the temperature rises more than 25°C.
For greater yield, plant the herb 15 centimeters to 30 centimeters apart. This will protect your plants from competing for vital nutrients.
The best companions for Parsley are Asparagus, Tomato, and Corn. When planted together, Parsley helps the other crops grow stronger, and in return, the other vegetables help prevent harmful pests.
Besides these factors, it is critical as well that you undergo proper fish management to guarantee your stocks are safe and healthy. One way you can achieve this is to prevent fish diseases. Below are some key measures you can follow to prevent your fish from getting sick.
Having a healthy fish stock is necessary to ensure a steady harvest of crops. If there is an irregularity between your fish, the environment, and pathogen agents, the result can be a widespread fish disease in your water tanks.
The three dominant pathogens you must look out for are parasites, fungus, and bacteria. These three pathogens can penetrate the aquaculture environment when there is an introduction of a new supply of water, fish, or it previously existed within the tank system. The following steps can help you prevent water-borne pathogens from wreaking havoc in your aquaponics garden:
- Buy your fish only from a reputable and reliable fish facility
- We recommend that you quarantine new fish for 45 days before introducing them to your primary aquaponics system
- If you have new fish, examine them first for symptoms of diseases. Do not include sickly fish in your main system.
- Always feed your fish with a healthy and well-balanced diet
- It is best that you position your fish tank away from direct sun exposure but not in total darkness