Natural Pond Aquaponics

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Wikimedia Commons/Emmanuel Eslav
Chinampas are a traditional form of aquaponics long practiced in South America.

Cut down on time spent watering, weeding, and fertilizing plants and keep algae at bay with pond aquaponics. Learn how aquaponics works outdoors.

Imagine growing vegetables on rafts in a backyard pond. You won’t need to water, weed, or fertilize plants when water is your growing medium. Because a pond will stay cooler than soil, you can harvest cool-weather crops, such as lettuce, for a much longer period. Ponds that contain fish provide a natural source of nutrients that help support an aquaponic vegetable garden. Not only will your floating vegetable plants produce food, but they’ll also keep algae levels in the pond low by consuming the nutrients algae need to thrive.

Historical Aquaponics Systems

Combining plant and fish cultivation is far from new; societies have been growing food on lakes and rivers for a long time. The Aztecs created chinampas, large artificial islands and peninsulas on which they grew trees as well as chile peppers, squash, corn, tomatoes, and beans. In modern-day Iraq, the Marsh Arabs still grow food on rafts that are large enough to hold their homes and even large meeting halls.

The idea of growing food on water makes sense. An aquatic ecosystem can provide all the moisture and nutrients plants require and eliminates soilborne pests, while the plants keep algae blooms at bay and provide cover for fish. Despite all these benefits and the long history of growing vegetables in natural water systems, the concept is rarely applied to backyard ponds.

  • Updated on Dec 6, 2022
  • Originally Published on Jan 5, 2021
Tagged with: aquaponics, Natural Pond, Robert Pavlis
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