Aquaponics

and

grows

to


maturity

very


quickly,


however


it

does

best
protected
from

the


wind

and

scorching


midday


sun.


It

should


be
planted

outside


only


when


night


temperatures


reach


50

to


55
degrees.
If
you

practice


companion


planting,


plant


basil

near


tomatoes

and

peppers

to


enhance


their


growth.


Pinch


it
back
early

and

often


to


encourage


bushiness.


Do


not


let

it

flower


unless


you

want


to


let

it

set


seed

as

this
destroys

the


flavor


and

shortens


the


lifespan


of


the


plant.


Save


the


one

that


is


always

trying


to


go

to


seed

for
next

years


planting.


It

has

few

pests


when


grown


outdoors.
Among
those


are


the


Japanese


beetle


and

slugs.


Japanese


beetles


can

be

picked


off


by

hand


in


the


early
morning.

As

for


the


slugs,


beer


traps,


(shallow

dishes


of


cheap


beer


placed


close


to


the


plants

every


3')


drown
them
when


they


crawl


into

them.


If

grown


in


a

greenhouse


you

must


watch

for


aphids


and

whiteflies.


There

are
150
varieties


of


Basils

and

all


can

be

grown


in


an

Aquaponics


system

so

pick


your


favorite


and

enjoy.
Bell

Peppers
Pepper

plants

are


picky


about


temperature


but


seem


to


thrive


quite
well

even

in


the


Florida

summer

heat


in


a

well


maintained


Aquaponisc
system.
Their

seeds

germinate


best


in


soil


temperatures


above


75°


F,


they
prefer
to


be

transplanted


into

garden

soil


that


is


at


least


60°


F,


and
they

can't


abide


frost


at


all.


Optimal


pepper-

growing


temperatures
range
between


65°


and

85°


F

during


the


day

and

between


60°


and
70°

F

at


night.


When

daytime


temperatures


climb


above


90°


F

or


fall
below
60°


F,


pepper

plants

often


experience


blossom

drop—a

condition


where


flowers

fall


off


the


plant


before
fruit

can

set.


Blossom


drop


causes

low


yields

in


otherwise


healthy


plants.
The

peppers'

optimal


temperature


range

causes

difficulties


for


gardeners


in


desert


areas,


where


temps


can
soar

well


into

the


90s

during


the


day

but


drop


below

60°


F

at


night.


One


way


to


get


around

this

problem

is


to
plant

peppers

earlier


in


your


growing


season,


when


daytime


temperatures


are


more


moderate.


If

evening
temperatures

are


chilly,


place


a

lightweight


row

cover


over


your


plants.
Just

be

sure


to


remove


the


row

cover


on

days

forecast

to


reach


above


80°


F,


since


the


temperature


inside

the
row
cover


will


be

several


degrees

warmer


than


the


ambient

air

temperature.


If

nighttime

temperatures


are
optimal

but


daytime


temperatures


rise

too


high,


you

must


provide


some


kind


of


afternoon


shade.


Consider
planning

your


garden

so

that


taller


plants,


such

as

tomatoes,


shade


the


peppers

during


the


warmest


hours


of
the

day.


You


can

also


shade


the


plants

with


shade


cloth—a

fabric


designed

to


allow


only


a

fraction


of


sunlight