Last Updated on November 30, 2021 by Marco C.
Who doesn’t love the satisfaction of picking your homegrown fresh herbs to throw on top of a meal? Growing herbs is an excellent choice for your aquaponics. This is why we have compiled a detailed article about the best herbs you can grow for aquaponics!
The word herb gets its origins from herbaceous plants. An herbaceous plant is something that has a non-woody stem. According to the University of Nebraska, The stem of herbs will often die out after each lifecycle. Herbs can be perennial, annual, or biennial.
Herbs are often used for medicinal purposes. Sometimes it is prepared as tea. They are also used to flavor food and can be referred to as spices.
Please note that herbs are different from fruiting plants like tomatoes or cucumbers. They do not produce an actual edible fruit. Often we consume the leaves, the roots, or the stems of the herb.
Whatever your purpose, herbs are an important addition to anyone’s system. But which ones to grow? Read on to learn about the best herbs for aquaponics.
The Perfect Aquaponic Herb Garden
One of the unique aspects of aquaponics is that the combined raising of fish and growing vegetables makes a lot of things possible. You can grow many different kinds of plants using this method. As long as you design your system correctly and make changes when necessary, it is not that hard.
In terms of herbs, you can choose from almost all of them. You will be limited by the growing conditions that you can provide. For example, if your grow beds only receive partial sunlight you cannot grow sun-loving herbs.
First, make sure you can provide good enough conditions for your plants. I highly recommend placing your grow beds somewhere that receives around 6 or more hours of sun. This will increase the types of vegetables you can grow.
Once you have your system location set, you can consider your herb selection. Next, consider what you like to eat or which herb you want to sell.
Remember, the types of herbs you can grow depending on the climate. If you live in a tropical country like Thailand, you can grow herbs like Lemongrass, Tulsi, and Coriander. Those might be harder to do in a colder place in the U.S.A.
Our Aquaponics Herbs Choice
Some of the most common herbs we find in aquaponics systems are chives, basil, rosemary, mint, sage, and lemongrass. Keep in mind, you can grow almost all herbs in your system. Don’t let this list limit you.
Now let’s go into some of the details of the best herbs for aquaponics that we chose.
First up is chives, also known as spring onion in some places because they are very similar. Chives come from the onion family but do not produce a bulb. The green stalks are harvested to use in a stir fry or an onion and garnish on top of your food.
The great thing about chives is they are very hardy, easy to grow, and fast-growing. You almost cannot mess it up.
If you buy chives from the grocery store you can cut off the top and plant the bottom of the stem directly into the ground. Within days you should see a new shoot growing. This is an easy way to get them started in your aquaponics system.
Chives love the sun, needing up to 12 hours of light a day. Make sure you space them 8-12 inches apart in your bed to allow for adequate growth. As always, do research about chives to make sure you are providing them with the right growing conditions.
The second herb we will cover is the ever-loved spice around the world: Basil. There are different kinds of basil. One is called Thai Basil and originates in Asia and the other is Italian Basil which originates in Europe.
They are quite different plants. In my opinion, Thai Basil is a lot easier to grow, especially in a warmer climate. Thai Basil grows strong from a cutting. You can root the cutting before or after planting into your grow bed.
Rooting beforehand is the faster method. Put your cutting in a cup of water for a few days until you see new roots shooting out the bottom.
The same can be done for Italian Basil. Both Basils love warm weather and thrive in full sun. Try to provide between 6 and 8 hours of direct sun per day.
Space your basil around 10- 12 inches apart to allow for it to reach maturity. You can harvest basil on a daily basis if you aren’t using too much. Once it starts to grow, it will continue making leaves as long as you pinch off the flowers.
If you allow the basil to flower, it will produce seeds that can be harvested and used for your next crop. But, this means the plant will die. Basil is an annual herb, so if you let it go to flower, you won’t have any more leaves coming in.
You can pick basil and dry it to store for later use. It’s a very giving plant that can be used in a variety of dishes.
Also, it grows very fast. You can start harvesting within a month from seed!
Other Herbs and Best Flowers For Aquaponics
As you can see there are lots of herbs to choose from. You can also grow flowers in your system! Flowers add beautiful color and can attract pollinators to your area. Some flowers you can choose from are marigolds, pansies, and water hyacinth.
With aquaponics, the possibilities are endless. Have fun experimenting with different herbs to see which ones you like working with best.
You can mix and match herbs within the beds using a companion planting chart. Certain herbs do well next to others. The more diverse you make your beds, the more accurate it is to its natural environment.
Having an herb garden is rewarding and delicious! This is why we wanted to share with you the best herbs for aquaponics.
Feel free to comment and ask questions below!