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Whether you are indulging in a hearty bowl of soup or a plate of crispy tacos, the peppery taste and colorful peel of the radish plant set it apart from other root crops. Planting this underrated superfood may be the key to eating more healthy home-made meals. Growing radishes in aquaponics gardens provide a sustainable method for producing this vegetable whenever you need to add zing to any dish you prepare.
In this article, you will learn about the health benefits of radishes and what specific requirements need to be met to let them flourish in an aquaponics setup.
Why grow radishes in your aquaponics garden?
If you love eating steak or having a raw snack dipped in aioli, then radishes are the perfect vegetable for these meals as it adds so much flavor and so little calories. Eating them raw or mixing a few slices when cooking meat is only a few of the many ways you can incorporate radishes to your diet.
You may find yourself craving for juicy and healthy salads and adding radishes to your dish may be the secret to that crunchy zesty flavor you’re looking for.
Health Benefits of Radishes
Aside from having virtually no fat and having only 12 calories per serving, a Japanese study on daikon radishes showed that eating this vegetable promotes a healthy digestive system and reduces the body’s cholesterol.
Radishes can reduce and prevent the fungal growth of Candida albicans in the body according to one study. This specific fungus can lead to invasive candidiasis, oral thrush, or even vaginal yeast infections that can be troublesome and irritating.
Growing radishes in aquaponics gardens provide an avenue for your family to have healthier meals all-year-round.
How to grow radishes in an aquaponics garden
Aquaponics may sound like a complicated and tedious process at first, but the key is to follow the specific requirements needed to successfully grow your target veggie. Here are some things to consider as you prepare to cultivate radishes in your setup:
Types of radishes
Choosing a type of radish to grow can be tricky because if you are like most people, then you are likely only familiar with two kinds, the red radish, and the white daikon radish. With an aquaponics setup, you can enjoy a wide variety of radishes that can serve different purposes to your dishes. Some are sweeter while some are zestier. There are six common radishes:
- French breakfast radish
- Watermelon radishes
The major difference between these types of radish is when they’re harvested. Some are spring vegetables, and others like horseradish are often harvested during fall or winter. By following all the specific requirements, it is possible to grow all these radishes in an aquaponic setup without having to worry about the season, as you can regulate the temperature.
Radishes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow aquaponically. Although there are many growing media available like clay hydroton or pumice, lots of seasoned aquaponic gardeners have sworn by using wood fibers to sprout the seeds.
Water and Wicking Beds
Using wicking beds is the best setup for aquaponically grown root crops. These beds are made so that your radishes will get water below its roots, hydrating your plants without soaking the bulb, which can lose its crunchiness and flavor.
Newer aquaponic methods such as aerosol spraying have been proven effective when growing radishes, but it’s best to stick with the commonly used method, especially if you’re just starting.
Radishes flourish in water that has a pH level from 6 to 7. As always make sure to use a quality pH meter.
Radishes are one of the easiest plants to grow because its seeds have a germination rate of 80%. Sprinkle the seeds onto your growing media of choice but make sure that they are at least 2 to 4 inches apart.
Radishes prefer a cool environment, so make sure that the temperature is around 60-80 °F. Go above that range, and the bulbs stop growing, so it’s best to make sure that it is right between those values.
Type of Fish
Radish thrives in cooler temperatures, so tilapia would be an ideal fish to choose as they can survive temperatures from 60-80°F, the same as that of the plants. If you don’t eat fish, you can opt for koi as they also survive in cooler temperatures.
Radishes prefer full sunlight and at least 6 hours of sunlight per day to thrive.
Depending on how well you regulate the temperature and maintain consistent levels of care, you can harvest your radishes as fast as 45 days or at most, 75 days.