Beets grow in aquaponics through the media-based approach. The reason behind this is the vegetable needs to grow in an environment that mimics the traditional farming method. But to experience a successful beet harvest, you should also consider other vital factors. I have discussed these factors in this article that could be instrumental in having a productive crop.
Why grow beets in aquaponics?
Beets are healthy foods.
The vegetable is capable of providing the human body with numerous nutrients.
Beets are high in folate, an essential nutrient for growth, development, and heart fitness. The veggies have a generous amount of copper, an element needed for energy production and the creation of specific neurotransmitters. They are manganese-rich, which helps with bone growth, nutrient metabolism, and brain function, among other things.
Beets are fast-growing vegetables.
Beets are one of the veggies that grow the fastest. Beets only take 55 to 70 days to reach maturity. It is recommended to plant beets in the spring (harvest in mid-June) and again in late July (fall harvest). Planting successive crops a week apart will result in higher yields.
Beets can grow in cold environments.
Beets, sometimes known as "beet roots," are a beautiful cool-season crop that grows swiftly in full sun and is easy to raise from seed in well-prepared soil.
Because they can withstand frost and near-freezing conditions, they are an excellent choice for northern gardeners. This makes them a perfect fall crop.
What are the different varieties of beets?
White beets have spherical to conical roots ranging from 5 to 12 cm, but their appearance varies according to the variety and growth conditions. White beets are high in fiber and contain vitamins C, manganese, folate, potassium, and magnesium, which can aid digestion.
Also known as Chioggia beets, the striped varieties are rounded to oval in shape, with a little flattened body, and are joined to broad green leaves with strong, sharp, red stems. Chioggia beets are commonly used raw in salads or as a garnish on top of soups to maintain the brilliant stripes in the flesh.
Red beets are wonderful storage vegetables. As they are preserved, they lose some suppleness but gain sweetness. This variety is what comes into people's minds when beets are mentioned.
Gold beets differ in size, from medium to large, with a rounded form and a somewhat flattened, uneven shape. Their roots are attached to long, crisp, leafy green stems that are edible and have a flavor similar to spinach and swiss chard.
Gold beets are commonly chopped, shredded, julienned, or spiralized into salads, slaws, and soups and can be eaten raw. Pickled for long-term storage, pureed for sauces, or mixed into smoothies are all options.
Which variety is best for aquaponics?
Every variety of beets I listed above works well with aquaponics. Experienced gardeners suggest planting different variants of beets all at once. This practice leads to colorful aquaponics grow beds.
What aquaponics technique suits beets?
Since beets may become a heavy plant upon reaching their maturation, this type of plant is suitable for media-based aquaponics. I would recommend that you consider growing beets in wicking beds, which is an excellent root crop growth configuration.
What are the factors for growing beets in aquaponics?
Beetroot is one of the few root crops grown from seedlings if they are set out before the seedlings get restricted. When using modular trays, plants should be kept in the cells for three weeks. Place one seed cluster per module and thin quickly after germinating to maintain the most robust seedlings. Pulling up the plants you're eliminating will cause root damage to the remaining plants. Using your fingernail or scissors, carefully nip the stem. Make sure you're not harming the developing root system; else, plant stress will result.
Choose the proper size hydroponic pots for beets. Because beets grow to a diameter of 1 to 2 inches, with some growing somewhat larger, containers must be at least 4 inches in diameter and 6 inches deep to allow more extensive roots to grow.
Beets thrive best when the pH is between 6.5 and 7. It would be advisable that you regularly check the pH reading of your water using a reliable pH meter.
Plant your beet seeds 1/2 inch deep, 1 to 2 inches apart in rows 10 inches apart, in a 1/2 inch deep bed. Then, as your beet seedlings grow, thin them out until they are all 4 inches apart.
Clay pebbles are considered the best growing medium for aquaponics beets.
Even when biofilms from algae and microorganisms cover the media's surfaces, and even if some debris is retained in the pore spaces, the vast pore spaces of clay pebbles allow for greater solution movement through the medium. Water drains very well via this growing medium since it rarely becomes clogged or blocked.
The plant germinates best in 7 to 14 days if conditions are between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 23 Celsius). Beets grow best in the cooler months; thus, they can endure cold temperatures, but they do not do well in hot weather. During their active development periods, temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit are suggested.
Because beets grow well in cold temperatures, it would only be logical for the companion fish to share the same temperature. Trout and yellow perch are the best candidate fish for this reason.
Pests and Diseases and Prevention
|Leaf miners||Insect||Tunneling larvae generate meandering blisters in leaves.||Remove infested leaves and use row covers to protect your crops.|
|Flea beetles||Insect||Several tiny holes in the leaves, as if fired by a shotgun.||Use row covers and include native plants to invite beneficial insects|
|Leafhoppers||Insect||Stippling (many small spots) on leaves; "hopper burn" (leaves yellow/brown, curled, or stunted); lower yield||Use a powerful spray of water to knock nymphs off the undersides of leaves; Use row coverings and yellow sticky traps to keep an eye on adults.|
|Cucumber mosaic virus||Virus||Stunting, a mottled green/yellow/white pattern on the leaves, ringed patches; Observable deformed leaf growth||Removal of diseased plants; selection of resistant types and virus-free seed; use of row coverings; disinfection of instruments; control of aphids (carriers of CMV)|
How long does it take to grow beets in aquaponics?
Even while most beet types can be harvested considerably earlier, their days to maturity are likely to be in the 50 to 70-day range. If you prefer larger bulbs, you can stretch the harvest date, but be aware that this may result in harsher harvests.
Before harvesting, don't allow the green stem to grow longer than 6 inches. Beet greens have a great flavor and are higher in nutrients than the roots, so you can also include them in your harvest.
Through aquaponics, we were able to enjoy two nutritious foods. One of the excellent choices of vegetables is beets. This article gives you the proper information that you would need to grow aquaponics beets properly. Although rearing aquaponics beets do present particular challenges, having them in your garden is truly rewarding.