It’s the 21st century! There’s been immense progress, not just in our mobile devices, but also in gardening techniques.
The hydroponic gardening system is the latest buzz today. From herbs to vegetables, both commercial and home growers use this process alike, to their advantage.
Recently, vegetables like potatoes are being grown and cultivated using the hydroponic garden methods.
“Are you wondering how?”
Hydroponic potatoes – A basic overview
The hydroponic garden systems eliminate the use of soil. Instead of that, it uses nutrient-rich water that helps the plants, herbs, and vegetables to grow. You can use this system to grow vegetables like potatoes. Variants like white or Irish potato plants, i.e., the Solanum Toberosum that lacks soil or ground space are also included.
Potatoes that are grown through hydroponic gardening tactics grow quicker than the ones planted in soil.
Wondering what the reason is?
It’s because all that’s required gets provided on an end-to-end basis. Hence, you’ll be surprised to see a group of hydroponically potato tubers full-grown within just a month. It’s faster than the traditionally grown tubers.
Select an apt Hydroponic system
Choosing the best hydroponic system is a smart call. There is a big choice of indoor hydroponic growing systems on a market and it’s easy to find one for every budget. And for hydroponic potatoes, it’s always best to opt-in for a supportive medium. One where the potatoes don’t need to be kept submerged in water continually.
A practical yet straightforward system for this gets customized from plastic containers. For instance, the huge bucket or storage bins with holes of ¼ inch diameter drilled on the side. The space between these drilled holes is approximately 2 inches up from down. Furthermore, the holes get placed a couple of inches apart. Additionally, ensure that the bin has a depth of 10 inches at least.
Also, make sure to fill it with perlite.
Simply put, hydroponics refers to plants, herbs, and vegetables grown in water. There are also a few variants with gravel or marbles that keep the root intact in one place. Alternatively, there are other types of hydroponics that need daily misting rather than conventional watering. With an ongoing flow system, the plant roots also get a continual flow of nutrients, from the pipes. Also, while growing vegetables, herbs, and plants in waters, most gardeners add the rich nutrients into the water for feeding the plants.
Growing potatoes hydroponically suggests that the plants are away from the soil and any other allied issues. And this also minimizes the problems such as pests available in the ground. Other concern areas are salt build-up due to soil fertilization and questionable soil drainage. Furthermore, it enables gardeners to grow their plans in habitats that are supportive, for instance, the indoor hydroponic gardens.
You can go ahead and plant an herb or grow potatoes even in the off-season. You can grow potatoes and other vegetables all year round. The precise environment management required here can very well reduce issues related to temperature and lighting.
Get ready to grow potatoes hydroponically
Usually, potato plants require vast amounts of water. However, you can’t keep it overly wet. It makes the plant rot even before it can bloom into a healthy plant. You can follow the chosen bucket or bin in a bright space that receives direct sunlight daily, for 6 hours at least. Smartly place atop a surface that can withstand breaks from watering draining across it, continually. Furthermore, you can fill this container with water, till such time the perlite or any other medium gets soaked, making the water to flow out through the holes created.
The potato planting and growing process
When you’ve selected a hydroponic system, choose tuber pieces or the seed potatoes. You can use it directly from a nursery as the grocery-store potatoes prevent sprouting. The choices comprise of the early-maturing variants such as:
- Red Pontiac that come with a red skin
- Gold Rush tubers are known for its medium-brown skin
Both these types of potatoes have a white pulp inside. Go ahead and cut the big seed potatoes into various pieces, having one/two eyes. You will see a tiny indented bud space outside the tubers.
Alternatively, you can also make use of the whole seed, small potatoes.
Month-wise, it’s best to start to plant the potatoes hydroponically between March end and April beginning. Make sure you position the potato seed pieces at a distance of 4 and 6 inches. Make sure that the cut side face down. Also, you may bury all the fragments beneath a perlite inch. When the tubers start developing, it’s best to have the same covered using perlite for averting sun damage.
Harvesting and offering the required care
Do you think what kind of water to use for the seed potatoes?
The daily tap water is perfect. You must water the plant every 3 to 5 days. It doesn’t allow the perlite to become dry. After sprouting, carry on watering as you did before. But this time make sure you alternate between fertilizer mixture and plain water. You can make when you add one teaspoon of water-soluble fertilizer.
It has all the micro-nutrients in a gallon of water.
As the plant vines become 18 inches, shift to a fertilizer with extra potassium and other components. It will enhance the tubers development. You can harvest the mature tubers after vine dies, after 21 days. You can also reap the tender and small tubers close to 70 days post the planting. You might also need to use garden planters and kneelers during the process.
The cost factor
Want to have complete control of the habitat?
If yes, then there are a couple of expenses involved. You have to pay for the required energy required for managing the temperature. Furthermore, indoor lighting and other energy requirements can also be costly. And this is the reason why, vegetables like tomatoes sold at an increased price, make the hydroponic system a viable option instead of less valuable crops.
Planting and growing potatoes hydroponically are easily manageable once you know the way to manage it. Refer to the above-discussed steps, pointers, and read other resources. It’ll make growing potatoes hydroponically hassle-free.
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