When building an aquaponics system, identifying the type of fish to raise depends entirely on the…
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Some might argue that Thanksgiving dinner would not be the same without having a big portion of delicious turkey and Sage infused stuffing. Then again, who says this beautiful, grayish-green herb should be reserved only for holiday celebrations? Many chefs keep Sage in their culinary toolkits, blending it in their daily meals like other herbs such as Oregano and Parsley. In fact, Sage gives off an earthy taste into any dish, giving it a sense of refreshing pop. And because it’s relatively easy to cultivate, one can indeed say with confidence that growing Sage in Aquaponics gardens is a worthwhile undertaking.
In this article, we will discuss how you can grow the intense and aromatic Sage herb in your aquaponics set up.
Why Grow Sage in your Aquaponics Garden?
Salvia officinalis or Sage is a member of the “Lamiaceae” or Mint family. This savory herb is a native of the Mediterranean area and means “to be saved.” It boasts of many varieties, some of which are ornamental types. As a matter of fact, you will find Sage varieties with foliage of variegated gold, purple/green, or plain grayish-green.
However, most of us are familiar with the culinary Sage herb commonly used in cooking. It is a famous ingredient for the stuffing used during Thanksgiving, and also in preparation of breakfast sausages. Other dishes that leverages the herb’s unique wellspring of flavor are tomato sauces, pesto, omelets, and chicken risotto.
Besides these entrées, Sage also brings a terrific contrast with acid or sweet taste, so you will find it mixed with Pineapple. And similar to Mint, it can likewise energize your favorite beverages or cocktails when poured like syrup. Keep in mind though that cooking lightens the taste of the herb. Thus, if you prefer a smoother Sage flavor, add it at the start of your cooking. Otherwise, if you want to savor its powerful and rich taste, add it at the end.
Health Benefits of Sage
Of course, like other herbs in the Mint family, Sage is also a powerhouse of nutrients. According to the United States Department of Agriculture – Food Data Central, one full teaspoon of ground Sage will provide you the following nutrients:
- Vitamin K – 12 micrograms
- Magnesium – 3 milligrams
- Potassium – 7 milligrams
- Folate – 2 micrograms
- Beta-carotene – 24 micrograms
Additionally, studies discovered that the herb could lessen the regularity and incidence of menopausal symptoms like irritability and hot flashes. Not to mention, it can also reduce bad LDL cholesterol and lift good HDL cholesterol levels based on one study. At any rate, growing Sage in Aquaponics gardens will be good not only for your health but also for your budget.
Cultivating Sage in your Aquaponics Garden
Here are guidelines you must observe to cultivate the herb in your garden.
Sage prefers a pH range between 6.5 to 7.0 to grow well. Ensure accurate readings with a quality pH meter.
To enhance the flavor of your herb, place Sage in a spot where it will receive full sunlight.
The suitable temperature for Sage is between 60°F to 70°F for optimal growth.
You should provide plant spacing between 18 to 24 inches so that every herb will receive the same amount of nutrients.
The above parameters will see to it your herb thrives well in your garden. However, it is equally important too that you maintain routine operation activities that will help you guarantee your system is functioning optimally. Take a look at the following checklist before you begin growing Sage.
Sage will grow well in a media bed.
Routine Aquaponics System Operation Activities
As mentioned earlier, keeping a checklist of your routine operation activities is vital to ensure your aquaponics system is working properly. Consider maintaining a routine activities log if you have several attendants monitoring your system. Doing this will make sure each attendant will know what to do and avoid mistakes and negligence. Let’s look at the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks you can perform in your Aquaponics system.
- Monitor water temperature
- Test for leaks
- Get rid of dead fish, sick crops or branches
- Monitor system water circulation and remove any obstructions
- During fish feeding, monitor fish appearance, and behavior
- Monitor if air and water pumps are running well; Remove any obstructions
- Monitor for pests in crops
- Modify pH level if needed
- Conduct water quality tests to check Ammonia, pH, nitrite, and nitrate before fish feeding
- Monitor if roots of crops are obstructing water flow or pipes
- Remove fish waste from the base of fish tanks and biofilter
- Plant and harvest vegetables if needed
- Harvest fish if necessary
- Monitor if there are plant deficiencies
- Assess a sample of your fish and monitor for disease
- Replenish fish stocks if needed
- Clean clarifiers, biofilter, and all your filters