Plant Directory

There are so many possibilities when it comes to choosing what to grow.

 We favour growing plants for nutrition, taste and smell, however you could have a purely ornamental, aquascaped or fresh flower garden instead if you are simply incorporating aquaponics to clean your fishtank.

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Tip: Grow French Marigolds as a natural pest deterrent, and for naturally enhancing the colour of your fish in home-made fish food!

 

 

 

 Beneath we have compiled a directory of edible plants for your inspiration.

 

 

 HERBS

Herbs are great for beginners or for starting off your system, however some herbs contain essential (volatile) oils, which could possibly effect the water parameters.

Apiaceae Family (celery/parsley family)
 

Botanical name: Anthum graveolens

Common name: Dill

Description: Brilliant companion plant to deter aphids and spider mites, and an excellent flavouring for fish dishes! – perfect for aquaponics
Medicinal/Nutritional: Very high in Vitamin C, also in calcium, manganese and iron
pH: 5.5 – 7.5
Seasonally sown: 1/4” deep 10-14 days to germinate
Traditionally harvested: Before flowers open

Botanical name: Petroselinum crispum

Common name: Parsley

Description: Flatleaf or curly aromatic herb, good with breads and soups. Birds feed on the seeds and it attracts butterflies. It also deters asparagus beetles.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Very high in Vitamin K and a goof source of Vitamins A&C. Parsley’s volatile oils and antioxidants help neutralise carcinogens and detox the body.
pH: 6.0 – 7.0
Seasonally sown: Soak with warm water before sowing, cover with 1/2” coco coir, germinates in 4-6 weeks.
Traditionally harvested: Younger plants have stronger flavour. 70- 90 days or until plants have three segments.
 

Botanical name: Coriandrum sativum

Common name: Coriander / Cilantro

Description: Edible leaves are most commonly eaten, roots have a deeper flavour and the dried seeds are often used as a spice.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Leaves are rich in Vitamins A, C & K. Seeds have significant amounts of dietary fibre, calcium, selenium, iron.
pH: 6.5 – 7.5
Seasonally sown: Late Spring, early Summer (too hot a summer can cause it to bolt) 1/4” deep
Traditionally harvested: As required when leaves are big enough.
Lamiaceae Family (mint family)
 

Botanical name: Mentheae 

Common name: Mint

Description: fresh fragrant herb, use as a mouthwash, tea, interesting addition to salads and refreshing in drinks when frozen in ice cubes
Medicinal/Nutritional: Helps relieve stomach aches, trapped gas and IBS also used as an essential oil which can be used as insecticide to kill some ants, wasps etc
pH: 5.5-6.8
Seasonally sown: Started indoors in late winter and transplanted in spring
Traditionally harvested: Ongoing
 

Botanical name: Thymus vulgaris

Common name: Thyme

Description: Evergreen herb, used fresh or dried. Thyme is an important source of nectar for honeybees, good companion for cabbage and tomatoes.
Medicinal/Nutritional: An antiseptic used by ancient Egyptians for embalming, and the ancient Greeks burnt it as incense. Before antibiotics, the oil rich in Vitamin A, C and iron was used to medicate bandages. Today it is used as the main active ingredient in mouthwashes.
pH: 6.5 – 8.5
Seasonally sown: Shallowly in Spring
Traditionally harvested: For best flavour harvest before blooming.

Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum

Common name: Basil

Description: Strong smelling tender annual. Many varieties including Greek, purple, cinnamon. Ideal for making pesto, flavouring liqueurs, salads  or dried. Repels flies including whitefly, carrot fly and mosquitos 
Medicinal/Nutritional: High in Vitamin A, and Beta-carotene which protects your cells. Can also be used as fragrance in soaps, perfumes and oils
pH: 5.5 – 6.5
Seasonally sown: May – June sow 10 seeds together in a pot, after a month, separate them into individual pots. Does not like frost.
Traditionally harvested: When leaves are big enough, usually at 3-4” tall.

Botanical name: Melissa officinalis

Common name: Lemon balm

Description: Lemon scented leaves are great for tisanes (teas), syrups or infused in wines or ice-creams. Attracts bees, yet deters mosquitos.

Medicinal/Nutritional: Used as an essential oil for skincare and aromatherapy or as a tincture for it’s anti viral and soothing abilities.

pH: can tolerate 5.6 – 9.0 but refers 6.0 – 7.5

Seasonally sown: Seeds will germinate between 12-21 days
Traditionally harvested: When needed, when leaves are big enough.

Botanical name: Lavandula

Common name: Lavender

Description: Hardy perennial. Beautiful scent and purple flowers of many varieties, flowers used for deserts such as cakes or as candied petals or as a tisane (tea) As a companion plant, it’s scent repels moths, flies, fleas and mosquitos.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Essential oil has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, often used for calming and soothing, particularly on pillows or in a bath. 
pH: 6.7 – 7.3
Seasonally sown: an inch below the surface
Traditionally harvested: Take cuttings in Autumn

Botanical name: Origanum vulgar

Common name: Oregano

Description: Traditionally used dried as a pizza flavouring, or on roasted vegetables and meat. Also good as a companion plant, as it deters a variety of pests.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Antimicrobial, anti inflammatory used to help osteoporosis. The oil is also used on some chicken farms as an alternative to antibiotics. It is high in fibre, iron, Vitamins E & K, calcium, omega fatty acids.
pH: 6.0 – 9.0
Seasonally sown: 1cm below surface, 2 weeks to germinate.
Traditionally harvested: when needed, pinch out flower buds to maintain good flavour.

Botanical name: Rosmarinus officinalis

Common name: Rosemary

Description: Woody perennial with white, pink, purple or blue flowers which look lovely grouped together.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Used as a stimiulant (often as tea) and traditionally to improve memory. Also rich in folic acid, Vitamins A & C.
pH: 6.0 – 8.5
Seasonally sown: April – May
Cuttings: take 2-3″ of fresh growth, remove 1″ of lower leaves and pot 1” deep. Can grow very large! – around 4′ wide if unkept.

VEGETABLES 

Tip: Most younger systems are better off starting with herbs or plants which are not as nutrient demanding as fruit or flowers.

Amaranthaceae family: Many plants in this family contain oxalic acid which can restrict the availability of minerals to your body. However, they still contain other benefits such as vitamins, so should be consumed, but not in excess.

Botanical name: Beta vulgaris 

Common name: Swiss Chard and Rainbow chard

Description: Biennial. Rainbow chard looks amazing and colourful! Leafy green, often with coloured stems. Frost hardy. Rainbow chard: we prefer ‘bright lights’ for their beautiful and impressive stems
Edible: “Pick and come again” Good raw in salad or in stir fry, broth etc.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Vitamins A, K, C as well as high in magnesium, potassium and iron. Does contain
pH: 6.0 – 7.5
Seasonally sown: throughout year – grown one year to produce seed the next
Traditionally harvested: 55 days onwards. Pick outer leaves of plant first, working inwards

Botanical name: Beta vulgaris 

Common name: Beetroot

Description: Biennial. Deep red/purple roots need to be cooked.Hippocrates used the leaves to bind wounds and the Romans used it as an aphrodisiac
Medicinal/Nutritional: High nutritional value, Root is high in folate and manganese.  Leaves rich in Calcium, iron, Vitamins A and C. Leaves are also invaluable on a compost pile.Beetroot helps with detoxification of the liver and to lower risk of heart disease.
pH: 6.0 – 7.5
Seasonally sown: April – August. 2cm deep 10cm apart. Most seeds within this species will cross pollinate.
Traditionally harvested: 90 days

Botanical name: Spinacia oleracea

Common name: Spinach

Description: edible flowering annual.
Medicinal/Nutritional: rich in iron and calcium as well as Vitamins A, C and K
pH: 6.0-7.0
Seasonally sown: 1/2″ deep, 2″ apart. Seeds will germinate in 5-9 days
Traditionally harvested: 6-8 weeks
 

Asteraceae family (sunflower/daisy family)

Botanical nameLactuca sativa

Common name: Lettuce

Description: Leafy green or red vegetable, used in salads. Many varieties. Originally cultivated for it’s seeds to make oil.
Medicinal/Nutritional: The darker/redder the leaves, usually means higher nutritional content. High in vitamin A, K and potassium.
pH: 6.0 – 7.0
Temp: Best results between 16 – 18 °C 
Will grow slowly at 7°C Above 24°C lettuce will usually bolt
Seasonally sown: shallowly in spring/summer
Traditionally harvested: 1-2 months depending on variety. Pick in morning, remove outer leaves and they will continue to grow.
Brassicaceae family (cabbage family)

Botanical name: Brassica oleracea

Common name: Broccoli

Description: Deep green or purple floretes, which resemble little trees! From the Italian Broccolo meaning “the flowering crest of a cabbage”
Medicinal/Nutritional: High in vitamin C and source of fibre.
pH: 6.0 – 7.0 Heavy feeder.
Temp: Cool weather crop does well between18 and 23 °C
Seasonally sown: Winter, but some varieties can be grown year round.
Traditionally harvested: 4 – 7 inch heads, when colour is deep. Yellowing usually indicates bolting.

Botanical name: Brassica oleracea

Common name: Cauliflower

Description: White or even purple flower heads. Steamed or boiled often eaten as dish with cheese.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Source of folate, fibre, phytochemicals and high in vitamin C
pH: 5.5 – 7.5
Seasonally sown: 1cm deep, year round varieties
Traditionally harvested: 55 – 100 days

Botanical name: Brassica juncea

Common name: Mustard Greens

Description: Leaves, seeds and stems are edible, used widely across the world including Africa, Indian, Japanese dishes Spicy flavour. Often used as a green manure in gardens or as mulch.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Leaves are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, K and B-complex vitamins
pH : 6.0 – 7.5
Seasonally sown: Spring – Autumn
Traditionally harvested: 30 – 40 days
 

Botanical name: Brassica narinosa/rapa

Common name: Tatsoi

Description: Green spoon-shaped leaves.
Medicinal/Nutritional: calcium, carotenoids – healthy eyes, vitamin C
pH: 5.5 – 7.0
Temp: Can even grow in snow! Will withstand -10 °C 
Seasonally sown: 1cm deep, Spring – Autumn
Traditionally harvested: 45-50 days
 

Botanical name: Brassica oleracea Acephala

Common name: Kale 

Description: Closely related to wild cabbage, this healthy vegetable produces curly/plain deep green or dark purple leaves, which freeze well, and taste sweeter after a frost.
Medicinal/Nutritional: High in beta carotine, Vitamins K&C and calcium as well as a chemical used to repair DNA.
pH: 5.5 – 6.8
Seasonally sown: shallowly March – April 15cm apart
Traditionally harvested: Late Autumn onwards

Botanical name: Eruca sativa

Common name: Rocket / Rucola / Arugula

Description: Peppery tasting salad leaf. Annual, half hardy.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Source of Vitamin C & K and potassium. Contains eight times more calcium than an iceberg lettuce
pH: 6.0 – 7.0
Seasonally sown: 1cm deep Spring outdoors, August – September indoors.
Traditionally harvested: 1 month after sowing

Botanical name: Nasturtium officinale

Common name: Watercress

Description: Aquatic/semi-aquatic perennial. Eaten as early shoots or as a more mature plant. Peppery flavour.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Contains significant amounts of iron, calcium, folic acid, vitamins A, B, C, K and omega-3 fatty acids
pH: 6.5 – 7.5 Thrives best in slightly alkaline water. Watercress is traditionally used as a Nitrogen fixer for soil.
Seasonally sown: April – September (Spring – Autumn) seeds can be started in a bowl on damp tissue – covered with clingfilm. Ensure it remains moist.
Traditionally harvested: 4 – 7 weeks
 
Solanaceae family (potato/nightshade family)
 

Botanical name: Solanum lycopersicum

Common name: Tomato

Description: There are many different varieties, so really experiment and find out which you like most. We have several organic varieties including “Old ivory egg” which is a yellow plum variety, “Cherokee” which are purple and “Plumpton King” which are round, medium sized and red.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Contains carotene lycopene which helps protect skin from UV rays. Also used to help arthritic conditions and inflammation.
pH: 5.5 – 7.5
Seasonally sown: Usually finish before winter, however year round is possible if growing indoors. Seeds are easily saved from any tomato, wait until they are over ripe if possible.
Traditionally harvested: pick when colour is even and texture is between firm and soft. Usually between 60-85 days.

Botanical name: Capsicum annuum

Common name: Bell Pepper

Description: Variety of colours, red, yellow, orange,green, purple, white, black
Medicinal/Nutritional: Rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C. Red peppers have higher levels of lycopene and vitamins than green.
pH: 5.5 a 7.0
Temp: 21 to 29 °C
Seasonally sown: 1cm deep
Traditionally harvested: Cut not pulled when peppers are right size and colour
 
Fabaceae family
 

Botanical name: Phaseolus vulgaris

Common name: Bean

Description: Many different varieties, including colours of pink, purple and green – although they look impressive in Aquaponics, they can also be trained to make fantastic natural colourful tee-pees in a garden!
Medicinal/Nutritional: good source of protein
pH: 6.0-7.0
Seasonally sown: 4-5cm deep, germinate 1-2 weeks. Beans are sensitive to frost.
Traditionally harvested: depends on variety. The more you pick, the more they produce.
Caprifoliaceae Family
 

Botanical name: Valerianella locusta

Common name: Corn salad / Lamb’s lettuce

Description: Hardy plant suitable for cooler climates. Dark green colour with a nutty taste.
Medicinal/Nutritional: High in Vitamins A & C as well as a good source of protein
pH: 5.6 – 7.5
Seasonally sown: March – August, 15cm apart
Traditionally harvested: May – October Before flowers appear, usually 50 days
 

Botanical name: Abelmoschus esculentus (Mallow family)

Common name: Okra / Ladies finger

Description: Green pods with white seeds. Can grow up to 2 meters tall.
Medicinal/Nutritional: Vitamins A, C &K beta-carotene, anti-oxidants, calcium
pH: 6.5 – 7.5
Seasonally sown: 1/2” deep in warm conditions. Good for tropical aquaponics.
Traditionally harvested: Just before maturity, when pods are green
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