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Can maincrop potatoes grow in soil-less environment?

 
Georgi Pepelyankov
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I've searched the Internet for answers but cannot seem to find anything about maincrop potatoes being grown in soil-less environment. Do any of you have any experience or knowledge on the subject?

My idea is to grow potatoes in 3 stages in aeroponic/aquaponic systems (depending on viability):

Incubator for small plants ready to become cuttings
Suspended aeroponic system for maximum yield of seed potatoes
Suspended aeroponic system for growing the seed potatoes to mature potatoes.
Has anyone tried growing maincrop or mature potatoes in aeroponics system? Or in aquaponic?

I was thinking of a plastic net, much like the ones potatoes are sold in bulk, attached to the tank on several heights where you would place your cuttings, with side holes for the plant stem and leafs to grow upwards.
The plastic net (if correctly chosen) should provide structure without covering the tubers too much, leaving them no air.

Having no other media to take up the space for growth and having top to bottom watering with nutrients might work?

Here are some drawings of the concept:  http://imgur.com/a/QfSzw
As you can see in drawing 1, I'm thinking of securing two levels of plastic net with space in between them a bit more than the diameter of a fully grown potato. Those are inside of a barrel or a tube.

The tube has holes on its south facing side where the potato cuttings would grow out and feed on sunlight as described in drawing 2.

Then in drawings 3, 4 and 5 are three separate methods of watering with nutrients
drawing 3: with a mist making machine
drawing 4: with sprinkler type system
drawing 5: with top shaworing system

As for the plastic net, I am thinking of something like this:  https://sc01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1kKALGVXXXXc4XFXXq6xXFXXXO/221237254/HTB1kKALGVXXXXc4XFXXq6xXFXXXO.jpg
Also, as the plants grow, they could potentially be pulled back inside the barrel (in the plastic net area where the potato growth would happen).
If the leafy part requires some structure to climb on, I can build a wall from another type of plastic net: https://www.sure-green.com//media/product_pages/thumb388.jpg

And end up with a situation like this:  http://imgur.com/a/B8cyl

That should provide them the area to grow and wrap around if my logic is correct.

Please share your thoughts!
 
wayne fajkus
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I think this is interesting.  If I'm understanding you, the harvestable tubers will not be sitting in water. Suspended and misted?
 
Georgi Pepelyankov
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wayne fajkus wrote:I think this is interesting.  If I'm understanding you, the harvestable tubers will not be sitting in water. Suspended and misted?


Yes, exactly, suspended and misted or sprayed.
 
kevin stewart
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I am absent from my place a month (or two ) at a time .
The "hydroponic" set up I have is one gallon pots in trays of moving water, about 200 pots.
Once I settled the critter issue (chicken wire) I succeeded in growing potatoes , carrots and radish .

Nothing to get overly excited about , everything was very small, but "trust me" I get excited. I proved that I can grow food in a very hard environment: north east Arizona.

When it got too wet for them they pushed right out of the soil and kept their roots in the wet. This year I will do it the same way but bigger pots.

 
Georgi Pepelyankov
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kevin stewart wrote:I am absent from my place a month (or two ) at a time .
The "hydroponic" set up I have is one gallon pots in trays of moving water, about 200 pots.
Once I settled the critter issue (chicken wire) I succeeded in growing potatoes , carrots and radish .

Nothing to get overly excited about , everything was very small, but "trust me" I get excited. I proved that I can grow food in a very hard environment: north east Arizona.

When it got too wet for them they pushed right out of the soil and kept their roots in the wet. This year I will do it the same way but bigger pots.


Hi Kevin, what growbed media do you grow them in? Soil?
 
kevin stewart
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I use whatever I get at home depot. Potting soil, garden soil.  Eventually I will aquaponic the whole thing but if I'm not there to stop the pump from sucking up all the water I would feel like a shitheel for killing the fish (before I eat them).

Maybe this year I will try some pots with the local sand.

I think I was getting some nutrients from all the critters that kept drowning in my trays of water. (Very enpleasant to clean up).

I only do it this way because if the solar pump fails I want the plants to live off of the water in the trays for a couple of weeks. I would do things differently if I were there full time.

 
Georgi Pepelyankov
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kevin stewart wrote:I use whatever I get at home depot. Potting soil, garden soil.  Eventually I will aquaponic the whole thing but if I'm not there to stop the pump from sucking up all the water I would feel like a shitheel for killing the fish (before I eat them).

Maybe this year I will try some pots with the local sand.

I think I was getting some nutrients from all the critters that kept drowning in my trays of water. (Very enpleasant to clean up).

I only do it this way because if the solar pump fails I want the plants to live off of the water in the trays for a couple of weeks. I would do things differently if I were there full time.



My aim is to grow plants without soil wherever possible. As potatoes are the mainstay in the family diet, they are my main concern. Also, they are one of the few plants that do not appear to have been successfully grown using either hydroponics, aquaponics or aeroponics. As aeroponics allow for good control over the water, nutrients and allows to save space, it is my main goal. I intend to use aquaponic system as the nutrient water as well.
 
2017 Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs http://richsoil.com/pdc
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