Aquaponic Process Plants

Aquaponic Process—Sourcing Plants

What’s your favorite way to get plants for your aquaponic system? Today’s episode will touch a variety of ways to get your system outfitted with plants.

You’re listening to Fish Grow Plants—A podcast all about practicing and sharing the love of aquaponics; hosted by Logan Schoolcraft.

Hello, and welcome to Fish Grow Plants! In today’s episode we’ll be discussing ways of sourcing plants for your aquaponic system and actions you need to take.

What does a seed mean to you?

To me it’s potential. Yeah, there’s the off chance that potential is nothing, but there’s also loads of potential for that tiny thing to do massive things. Those massive things are the growth potential I see in a lot of plants and seeds and it colors how I see life.

I love thinking about amazing ideas, concepts, and what could be. To me, plants and seeds embody that mentality and it’s always exciting to see where they are going to go next.

Even if the plant doesn’t grow well, produce seed, fruit, or even look true to form, I’m amazed at what happens. Each one is a lesson. A guide. A part of life to try and understand just a little bit. Even if it is trying to see what that plant did given its growing situation.

But mostly, it’s exciting! That uncertainty. That not knowing exactly what will happen is part of the mystery and intrigue that I love about seeds and young plants. And part of that excitement is visual. You know, seeing a beautiful plant and going, “that would look amazing by my deck, or some area in your yard)”. It’s also a smell good adventure! I know that sounds strange, but when you smell a fresh herb, don’t you just stop and start trying to find it? That’s all part of the love and excitement for me.

Well, I don’t want to go on all day here, so what are a few of the basics for sourcing your plants?

Easy. It can be as simple as select, source, and buy!

Ok. These steps can be broken down one by one or left independently. Granted, this can seem like a rather involved part of aquaponics, but it can be fun too.

Options abound here, including:

  • Local nurseries
  • Hardware/outdoor stores
  • Neighborhood gardens and gardeners and lastly,
  • Seed companies

Of them all, I guess I’m a fan of the seed companies, online or not. I enjoy going through their catalogs and websites, perusing for ideas, comparing prices, and planning for the future. There is nothing wrong with the other options, but they are usually more limited in stock and variety of their seeds and plants. With a specialty seed supplier, you have options on several fronts: standard or organic seed; pelleted or not; treated or not; and quantity selection that the others usually don’t have. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gone into a store looking for other materials and came out with seeds. And there is one store I go to just for their moringa seeds. So, it really is a mixed bag where you get to shop around, investigate, plan, dream, and finally buy.

But what should you look for in a seed when wondering if it will fit in your aquaponic system? Well, be sure to ask these questions:

How big will this plant ultimately get? (The seed packet usually tells you, and figuring out many you can put in your system would be a good idea.)

How long will this plant take to mature to harvest size? (Again, info with the packet. This is a basic time question to help you figure out when things will happen.)

What type of aquaponic plants do I want? (Mostly greens, or fruiting plants? If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, I’ve mentioned knowing your purpose and why for aquaponics. If you know your why, then you probably have a pretty good idea of the plants you want. That doesn’t mean you can’t try new stuff, it just means you know where you are starting and what to get going now.)

And as a last question, ask, how many of these plants do I want? (This will dictate how many seeds you need. If you’re looking to grow a bunch of quick growing greens, then you’ll probably want more than just a packet of seeds.)

What’s my quick take-away for this episode?

Review your purpose. Knowing your why for your system will help keep your head on straight and guide you so you don’t have a case of shiny syndrome or feel the need to purchase everything a store has.

But, I will add, once you’ve got your basics down, have a little fun! I enjoy picking out some new seed, ordering it, and then seeing what I can grow it into…aquaponics or not. It really is a fun and exciting thing for me do. And I hope you feel that excitement too.

Take care and happy aquaponicing!

This has been another episode of Fish Grow Plants—the podcast all about practicing and sharing the love of aquaponics; hosted by Logan Schoolcraft.