Mature Plants in Aquaponics

It’s day 755 for the aquaponics system. Even though it’s been raining off and on all day, I’ve found time to do some house cleaning in the greenhouse and the garden. Maybe the system figured out its fate, because everything started looking pretty good.
Most of the plants in the system were planted back in November when I had to start the system over. Some of the stalks are over an inch thick and going to seed. The swiss chard leaves are over a foot long! It was long over due for the mature plants to come out. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that it is just not a good idea to let plants mature too much in the system. Maybe it’s because I’m still new to aquaponics, but this could be a one of the reasons I failed the first time.
Mature roots can clog. Because the roots system is so big with mature plants, it can quickly clog whatever plumbing it’s closest to. I’ve also observed large root systems causing uneven draining and standing water. Algae and bugs love that type of environment, which is YUCK for me!

Mature roots are Messy. The mature root system is not easy to separate from the grow media when you are ready to remove the plant. It’s just impossible to get all of the roots. Then the roots left in the grow bed are too much for the worms to eat, and they just can’t keep up. This seems to cause the system to be imbalanced. 
Mature plants don’t taste as good. I’ve generally found that mature plants usually aren’t the best tasting. Most plants seem to taste the best when they are young. (I’m referring to greens and annual veggies which is what I grow in the system.)

In the future, I will be leaving the plants to mature in the system for only a few months instead of 6 months! I think I might be removing plants, so I can down size the system. Tote system, you’re out of here!

credits: just my photos

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