By: Kevin Schmidt on January 15, 2015
As the name suggests, rafts are large, flat, floating devices containing hundreds of holes for the purpose of holding individual plants with roots growing down into the water-filled troughs.
There are a variety of rafts that hold plugs, net pots, or other mechanisms by which each plant is suspended. Friendly Aquaponics (friendlyaquaponics.com) introduced us to the Dow 2 inch Styrofoam blue board. However, we found them to be inferior after experimenting with several other rafts that are specially made for aquaponics.
What we discovered was that we liked the board material itself, but without the precut holes. Plant sizes are so different. We found the standard 2 inch holes worked for some vegetables, but were much too close or even too far apart for others. We were either crowding our plants, or not maximizing our raft space in other cases. Consequently, depending on the size of the plant we will be growing, we now drill the holes ourselves according to the spacing needed.
Another modification we’ve made is size. Instead of the traditional 2’ x 4’ rafts that tended to bend and break in the middle when we picked them up off the water’s surface to carry to the harvesting tables, we now cut the Dow boards into 2’ x 2’ sections. This makes harvesting much easier. And with this smaller span, we break very few.
Our new raft systems have properly-spaced holes, and are simple and sturdy. Simply put, they work great.
If you’re looking for a raft for your own aquaponics operation, you may want to consider the Dow 2 inch blue board, and drill your own holes. Please know, we are not a dealer and get nothing in return for promoting them other than the satisfaction of knowing we are helping others perfect what we know is THE best way to grown all natural produce.
We simply want to help others get it right the first time. It’s who we are at Doodley Dee’s Farm. As always we will share our knowledge with you…please share yours with us.
Here’s to good eating,