Are you eager to know How To Grow Aquaponics Spinach? Then read this article to find out more.
One organic and environment-friendly method to grow spinach is Aquaponics farming.
In this technique, you are combining the power of Aquaculture and Hydroponics more sustainably as both fish and spinach will utilize the same water.
Just imagine how much spinach you can get along with tasty fish if you know how to grow Aquaponics Spinach, which will save time and money and offers numerous health benefits as well.
Why Is Spinach Beneficial For Us?
Spinach is an excellent source of Iron, Zinc, calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Dietary fiber, Protein, a small amount of good fat, and vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.
Spinach, due to these nutrients, boosts our immunity against various diseases and improves our digestion and blood circulation. It also strengthens our bones and keeps us hydrated.
Why Is Aquaponics Needed To Grow Spinach?
The most significant advantage you will get from growing Aquaponics Spinach is that you don’t need to purchase canned, frozen, and processed spinach all year round.
You can start practicing it immediately if you have a growing bed, fresh seeds, a Fish Aquarium, a few pebbles, a pump system, and a filter for a small setup.
It is an efficient technique where the wastewater from the fish tank enriched in nutrients is used for growing spinach.
In biofilters, the bacteria in the water and the growing medium convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrate, providing essential nutrients to Spinach for growth.
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Aquaponic farming of Spinach Requirements
It is one of the fastest methods to grow spinach as most of its varieties will grow within thirty to forty-five days. The optimum conditions for growing spinach are:
- Optimum Temperature: As spinach is a cool climate plant, the minimum temperature for spinach is 4◦ Centigrade to the maximum temperature of 24 ◦ Centigrade – any temperature above or below this range will disturb the germination process.
- Optimum pH: Its really important to maintain a proper pH levels for plant and fish growth, the optimum p.H required for spinach growth is 5.5 to 7.
- Oxygen requirements: Fish and spinach both require dissolved oxygen in water; thus, we need to ensure that the dissolved oxygen concentration is above 5mg/L by testing the water.
- Sunlight requirements: For Spinach we must provide atleast 10-14 hours of sunlight, but fishes can’t bare direct sunlight so cover for their growth. Artificial fluorescent light can also be used on less sunny days.
- Spacing: For spinach, we can plant each seedling at a distance of 4-5 inches to avoid malnutrition in spinach plants. It’s recommended approximately half to 1 kg per the size of fish per 40 liters of water.
- Aqua species we can use: Aqua species we can use in Aquaponic are Blue Gill, Koi, Tilapia, prawns, catfish, and goldfish. But the one that goes best with spinach is Blue Gill, as they can easily survive in cold to warm climates. Being a small insect and plant-eater, it will quickly eat algae when it grows in the system and can survive on vegetation.
- Water filters: The main role of water filters is to clean waste and convert them into valuable products.
- Optimum Fish feeding routine: Be aware of fish foods in Aquaponics as Pellets and flakes are the most common food for them and quantity also matters. which we can feed 1% to 2% of their body weight twice or once daily as per Fish species.
- Types of Spinach seeds: The most popular spinach seeds used in Aquaponics are Acadia Spinach, Auroch Spinach, Baby’s Leaf Spinach, Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach, Carmel Spinach, Indian Summer Spinach, and Red Tabby Spinach.
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Recommended Planting duration for Aquaponics Spinach varieties
You can grow almost every spinach type using aeroponics which are high in nutrient value. Some of their recommended planting periods are given below:
|Name of Spinach||Recommended Planting period|
|Acadia Spinach||It is an organic semi-savoy variety to grow in spring and fall.|
|Auroch Spinach||It is a dark green, very long variety best to plant in fall, winter, and early spring|
|Baby’s Leaf Spinach||Primarily used in a salad, it can grow throughout the year with a growth cycle of 30 to 40 days.|
|Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach||Highly packed with iron and vitamin, usually planted when the weather is cool and produced throughout the year.|
|Carmel Spinach||It is the incredibly quick-growing variety of Spinach, ready in only 25 days during the winter, spring, or rainy season.|
|Indian Summer Spinach||It is a semi-savoy leaves variety to grow in spring, summer, and fall within 45 days.|
|Red Tabby Spinach||This variety consists of baby leaves that grow well in spring, fall, and winter|
|Flamingo Spinach||This newest variety grows year-round in temperate and cold climates|
|Catalina Spinach||With its mild, nutty flavor primarily used in salad and can grow in spring and late summer|
Germination of Aquaponics Spinach
- Germinating spinach seedlings is very simple.
- Wash your seeds with regular tap water, around 18°C to 21°C temperature
- Plant 3-4 seeds in a growing medium like Rockwool cube or grow sponge or coco coir
- Within 3 to 6 days, Spinach seeds will sprout into seedlings.
- Keeping moist conditions and maintaining a temperature 4◦ to the Maximum temperature of 24 ◦ Centigrade is essential.
- Always use fresh seeds; otherwise, old roots will take more than 21 days to sprout.
- Place your seedlings in an Aquaponics system when they are 2-8 cm tall and have three to four leaves.
Methods for Aquaponics Spinach Farming:
Three ways are usually used to grow Aquaponics Spinach, which are:
1. Deep Water Culture (D.W.C.) method
- In this method, spinach seeds are planted in foam sponges along with a net pot. The net pot is then placed in the rafts where the roots will access the nutrient-rich oxygenated water, and due to this root system will grow fast.
- Nutrient-rich water will come from the fish tank after passing a physical filter to remove solid waste rather than a biological filter where nitrification will occur.
- Seedlings did in a separated plant nursery in soil blocks or a soilless medium, so we can easily place our plants transferred into net cups and planted into the rafts to float over canals.
- The water then recirculates after passing filters to the fish tank
Advantage: It is best for commercial spinach sales.
Disadvantage: It is costly and needs proper maintenance for the growth of spinach and fish.
2. Flood and Drain Media-based Aquaponics:
- This technique includes planting spinach in a grow bed system. In the grow bed all the nutrients are accessed by plants root directly.
- Media for growing beds are primarily expanded clay pebbles, gravel, and lava rock. Bell siphon and pump help to circulate water between the fish tank and grow bed.
Advantage: It is the best method to grow spinach at home on a small budget.
Disadvantage: it is not practical for commercial spinach farming.
3. Vertical Aquaponics Farming:
This is the latest farming method, which provides a more space-saving technique in which we plant spinach vertically using P.V.C. pipes with small holes to hold net cups, also called grow pipes, where plant pots, media, and the seedling will be placed.
With the help of a pump, nutrient-rich water will reach the plant’s roots from biofilters, and then after passing grow pipes, it goes to the fish tank and then again to the physical filter, biofilter, and grow pipe.
Advantage: Spinach roots are highly oxygenated for good growth.
Disadvantage: in case of Pump failure, the Spinach crop yield will affect.
Benefits of Aquaponics Spinach Farming
Aquaponics is undoubtedly an eco-friendly technique that is best for spinach farming. Some of the benefits of Aquaponics Spinach farming are discussed below:
1. Improved Nutrition
With added natural fish waste and its reproduced nutrients added in our spinach nutrition, it’s packed with Zinc, Calcium, Iron, and Manganese. Almost all vitamins add a vibrant flavor, color, odor, and health benefits to most of our spinach-based dishes.
2. No soil gardening
It is soil-free farming without using any artificial fertilizer or pesticide for spinach growth; thus is consumer-friendly.
3. Environment-friendly method
Aquaponics creates a perfect ecosystem as we are growing fishes, bacteria, and plant using each other nutrients as a source of energy for others.
4. Increase in Profit:
With the short span of 1-2 months, you can harvest spinach, and within a year, you can sell the additional fish as well; thus, in a single investment, you will naturally sell double products.
How to Grow Aquaponics Spinach FAQs
Q: How well does Spinach Grow in Aquaponics?
Spinach loves water; thus, it increases in Aquaponics.
Q: How quickly does Spinach grow in Aquaponics?
Most Spinach varieties will grow within thirty to forty-five days.
Q: What temperature does Aquaponics Spinach grow?
As Spinach is a cool Climate plant, the minimum temperature for Spinach is 4◦ Centigrade to the Maximum temperature of 24 ◦ Centigrade.
Q: Why is my Aquaponics Spinach not germinating?
Always plant the fresh seed for Germination; older seed takes more than 21 days to germinate.
Q: Can Aquaponics Spinach grow without sunlight?
No, as it is a leafy plant, we must provide it with 10-14 hours of sunlight.
Q: Does summer impact while farming Aquaponics Spinach?
At warmer temperatures, Aquaponics Spinach will result in flowering or bolting.
Q: How to grow Spinach Aquaponically at home?
Methods like Flood and Drain Media-based Aquaponics and Vertical Aquaponics farming can be used to grow Aquaponics Spinach.
If you want to learn the most sustainable and environment-friendly method to grow Spinach, then you must know how To grow Aquaponics Spinach for a yearly supply of fresh and full of nutrient spinach from your own space.
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