Now that the fish are settled into their new home, it is time to get a jump-start on seed starting for the aquaponic system. The plants I decided to grow in this system are pole beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. I have heard these plants are harder to grow in an aquaponic system, but since I grow lettuce and other cool weather crops outside all year long, I don’t see the point of growing them indoors.
I had just received the Complete Vegetable Garden Kit from the Dollar Seed. It was sent to me free of charge. The pole bean, tomato and cucumber seeds I selected were from those packets, so I know they are fresh seed. There was even enough seed left over to start another batch of plants with if I choose to do so.
I started the seeds in the steadyGROW seed starter sample kit I received earlier in the year. I planted 8 pole bean seeds, 2 tomato seeds and 2 cucumber seeds. This is an ideal number of plants to start with since I am growing indoors. I feel like this is a good number of plants to start with for the 20-gallon system as well. I will monitor the pH, ammonia and nitrates to see if I need to add more plants or more fish to balance the system out.
The material that makes up the steadyGROW seed starting medium is ideal for use in a hydroponic or aquaponic system because it won’t clog hoses and pumps up the way soil will. Once the seeds sprout, I will cut the seed starting blocks apart and plant them in pebbles where they will continue to grow, flower and fruit.