A step by step guide to growing asparagus hydroponcially
Are you thinking of hydroponics? why not growing asparagus hydroponically? well you are are on the right spot. Asparagus is a delicious vegetable that is also utilized as a medicinal herb. Asparagus is native to the Mediterranean and was considered a precious food by the ancient Greeks. Asparagus is a member of the lily family, a relative of the onion.
The asparagus plant is interesting to grow using hydroponics. Often considered a temperate-zone plant that becomes dormant in the course of winter, the plant doesn’t really require cold conditions for the completion of its life cycle. If adequate warmth is provided, the plant won’t require going into dormancy to stay alive in cold winter and will produce spears that develop into ferny foliage year-round. For growing them a warm indoor hydroponic garden is a perfect environment for home-grown small-scale asparagus production, as the plants can be effortlessly grown in hydroponic buckets or beds of hydroponic grow media such as coconut fiber, perlite or rockwool.
Let’s get started and look for answers of How to grow asparagus
The part of the Asparagus plant that is consumed is the young shoot also knows as “spears”. The spears that emerge to be usable it should be as thick as a pencil.
How to propagate asparagus in hydroponics
This is done with the help of planting Stock either using Seeds or Crowns. When starting out with hydroponic asparagus, there are two alternatives for obtaining planting stock: by seeds or crowns. Asparagus crowns are typically sold as planting stock consisting of a central fleshy crown and root system. While crowns provide a more rapid harvest, but they are often developed in the field and possibly will carry soil and soil-borne disease into your hydroponic garden. So, one has to be careful when growing asparagus crowns in the hydroponic system. Asparagus crowns are nothing but bare- root plants that are a year old that was grown from seed earlier. Asparagus crowns are just roots that are all set to be planted.
Fortunately, growing asparagus from seed with sufficient warmth and a good amount of light no longer means a three-year wait for that highly anticipated first spear harvest like earlier varieties. Growing from seeds is a bit patience demanding than growing from crowns, and delays harvest a year. Modern hybrid plants will generate the first few edible spears within 10 to 12 months if well raised and will give its full production within 18 months. Plants have can be continued to grow for many years provided they are not being overharvested and are able to fetch produce sufficient assimilate from mature fern growth. Asparagus plants can generate spears up to 10+ years if taken care of properly.
Seed germination in growing asparagus hydroponically
Asparagus seeds usually germinate within 10 to 14 days if ideal temperatures between 71 to 79°F are provided. The seedlings are somewhat hardy and even though lower temperatures will slow their growth, the plants can handle cool conditions and are tolerant of high salinity conditions. As with many crops grown hydroponically like hydroponic artichoke and hydroponic horseradish, hydroponics also ensures a good crop and high yields of edible asparagus. Older varieties of asparagus are much difficult to start with than the modern hybrids, they are lower yielding and prone to a number of root rot diseases and also generate both male and the less desirable female plants which pollination difficult. After germination, young plants can be transplanted into the hydroponic system as they grow up and their root system develops. At this developmental stage, warm conditions between 75°F to 86°F should be maintained because they speed up the rate of development of the fern (foliage) and the young crown. Light levels can be uplifted as the plant matures with intensities similar to those provided to hydroponic capsicum or tomato crops.
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Asparagus plants are dioecious (exclusively male or solely female). It has been observed female plants develop more spears or stems than the male plants, and are often seeded, but their stems are smaller in diameter. With usual open-pollinated varieties, gardeners plant both male and female plants in a ratio of 1:1. After the first year, small red coloured fruit (berries) are formed on the female plants in late summer. These then fall, spread and become new plants that function almost as weeds in the asparagus grow system. These can be roughed to keep the bed from becoming unruly, which may limit the yield. After the weather has become freezing in the fall if it is grown outdoors, eliminate asparagus tops to decrease the opportunity that rust could develop on foliage during the winter. Majority of the commercial hybrid asparagus varieties bear all-male plants, as female plants at some stage flower and set fruit (berries), which drains the reserves from the plant crown and lowers the yield of spears.
Hydroponic system for asparagus
Variety of hydroponic systems can be installed for growing asparagus. You can also buy hydroponic systems from different stores along with installation procedure stepwise. Setups like DWC, Kratky and Dutch bucket systems are commonly used for raising hydroponic asparagus.
The nutrient solution for growing asparagus hydroponically
A well-balanced vegetative nutrient solution can be applied throughout the active growing stage to the hydroponic asparagus. Recommended EC levels are in the range of 2.4 to 3.0 and pH 6-6.8 for mature plants, although higher levels can be run for this salinity-tolerant crop depending upon variety as well. Asparagus fern can grow quite tall and may need staking to keep it contained in small spaces especially when grown indoors. The older yellow fern can be chopped off and removed as it ages to facilitate the maintenance of airflow around the base of the plants. Feeding the plants regularly is an important key to how to grow asparagus successfully and aquaponics asparagus.
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Asparagus can be harvested usually in the third year after planting crowns but for no more than one month the first season. This is the time when the plant is still expanding its root storage system and excessive removal of spears weakens the plant. During the fourth year and thereafter, the spears may be harvested from their first appearance as long as for 8 to 10 weeks. As the plant will mature the spears (new shoots) grown up from the crown developing beneath the substrate will regularly increase in diameter until they are of edible size. While the thin spears of young asparagus plants can also be harvested, it is best to leave these to grow into foliage, which in turn produce assimilate necessary for plant growth. Try to avoid doing harvesting until the plant is more mature and spear diameter has increased.
The best stage to harvest spears is when they are 5 to 8 inches in the length by simply cutting or snapping them. To cut a spear, run a knife at the base of the spear and carefully cut it. Because the spear is incised below the point where fibre develops, it becomes essential to remove the fibrous base from the tender stalk. Cutting may also harm some spear tips that have not yet emerged. So carefully grasp the spear near the base and bend it below. The spear will break at the lowest point where it is free of fibre.
Asparagus deteriorates quickly after harvesting. Without a doubt, all vegetables and fruit are best when consumed fresh. The further away they get from having been associated to their roots and the natural system of sun energy exchange that keeps them growing, the less nutritious they become so consume asparagus fresh for high nutritive and flavour gains.
That’s all folks about growing asparagus hydroponically or without soil. Keep encouraging hydroponc system.
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