I read in Rebecca Nelson's (Nelson & Pade) book Aquaponic Food Production that those of us using flood and drain systems should clean out the grow beds occasionally. Does anyone do this and is it really necessary? I would have to remove all my plants to do that and it sounds like a royal pain to do.
If I should do it, how often? I'd do one bed at a time so I wouldn't lose all my plants but geez...
I've heard of people using worms in their grow beds to constantly "clean" their grow beds to prevent compacting and build up.
That's interesting. I already have red wigglers in my grow beds. I wasn't sure they were there but then found some in the sump tank below. Using worms would certainly be a lot easier than pulling all the plants and washing down the media.
7 months running - No and hope never to need to.
I have some beds that are over 3 years with red wigglers in them. I dug through them recently and the look pretty good still. I probably will need to clean them out in about 2 years.
Every five years sounds better.
My system has been up for about a year; 1 chop2 system with a 350 gallon fish tank and four 50 gal stock tanks. How can I tell when it is time to clean the growbed(s) out? I do have wigglers one act. Two grow beds have black lava rock and pea gravel on top; the other two have lava rock in the bottom and clay pellets on top.
The other day the fish tank water smelled like kale (which I have growing in the one growled); the sump tank is clear as can be yet the fish tank has particles floating around and sometimes appears cloudy. Is it time to clean a grow bed or two already?!? Any help appreciated!!