Potatoes can thrive in aquaponics if the grower uses the proper technique. This tuber plant does not demand a lot of effort from the grower, but it needs to have the ideal growing situation. This article may serve as your guide if you are considering potatoes to be part of your diverse aquaponics crops.
Why grow potatoes in aquaponics?
Potatoes are easy-to-manage crops.
The crop is one of the easiest vegetable plants to grow. It is adaptable to many food production techniques, aquaponics included. Potatoes are generous; one potato could produce several crops. Once you have met their basic requirements, they can grow in almost any planting situation.
Potatoes last for months.
Another excellent reason why you should make use of potatoes is their extended shelf life. Raw potatoes can be stored for several months at 43–50°F (6–10°C) without deteriorating. Cool cellars, basements, garages, and sheds have this temperature range, which is somewhat warmer than refrigeration.
Potatoes can be prepared in many ways.
You eat potatoes in several ways. The vegetable can be roasted, deep-fried, microwaved, juiced, pickled, mashed, grilled, and many more. The versatility of this crop makes it a favorite ingredient of our favorite dishes.
Potatoes are nutritious.
This could be the most prized quality of potatoes, which is why it should end up in your aquaponics growing bed. One medium-baked Russet potato with skin could contain 129 calories, 4.6 grams of protein, no fat, 37 grams of carbohydrate, and roughly 4 grams of fiber. The vegetable is also high in nutrients, with over 30% of the daily intake of immune-boosting vitamin C.
What are the different varieties of potatoes?
This potato variety, including Russets, Idahos, and many yams and sweet potato types, is known as "mealy" potatoes because of its high starch content. These crops are low in moisture, fluffy, and absorbent, making them great for baking, frying, boiling, and mashing. They do not keep their shape as well as waxy potatoes because the flesh flakes and separates quickly after cooking.
Waxy potatoes, which are low in starch and heavy in moisture, are opposite the potato range. They have creamier, firmer flesh than starchy potatoes and thinner skin. One of these potatoes' distinguishing characteristics is that they keep their shape after cooking, so you won't find them in a mash.
The last variety of potatoes has a medium starch concentration, which allows them to hold together better than starchy potatoes but not as well as waxy potatoes when boiling. All-purpose potatoes can be used in a variety of potato dishes.
Which variety is best for aquaponics?
All of the varieties mentioned work well with aquaponics. The potatoes I briefly profiled are all adaptable to the aquaponics approach, so whatever type you choose, you can have the confidence that they will thrive well.
What aquaponic technique suits growing potatoes?
Media-based aquaponics would be the best choice in rearing potatoes because this mimics traditional soil farming.
What are the factors to consider in growing potatoes in aquaponics?
To plant your seed potato pieces, they should be spaced 4 to 6 inches apart. Ensure the cut side is facing down and the buds or eyes are looking up. Underneath one inch of clay balls, bury.
For potato crops to reach their optimal growth, they would require a pH level from 5.3 to 6.0. As you can see, the plant favors a slightly acidic growing environment.
While root growth of potatoes occurs at temperatures ranging from 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 35 degrees Celsius), the soundest, most dynamic root development occurs at temperatures between 59 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit (15 and 20 degrees Celsius).
Potato is a tuber plant which means the edible part is grown underground. Nevertheless, leaves are found above, requiring sunlight for their food-making process.
The tubers must be kept out of direct sunlight since they will turn green and generate solanine, a poison if exposed to it. The term "sunburned" refers to a green potato that has been exposed to the sun. Nevertheless, potatoes grow best when the leaves receive at least 8 hours of sunlight.
Akin to carrots, which are also classified as tubers, potatoes would grow excellently if you use clay hydroton as your growing medium. Pebbles made of hydroton have more space between them. Even when biofilms from algae and microorganisms cover the surfaces of the media, and even if some debris is caught in the pore spaces, hydroton rarely becomes clogged or blocked, allowing water to drain effectively. As a result, it's an excellent choice for an aquaponics media bed system.
Another advisable step for growing potatoes is to be acquainted with their growing cycle.
- Sprout development: The first stage begins with the development of sprouts from the eyes. Then, this finishes with the emergence of the plant from the soil. Potato eyes are the tiny black specks that form on the surface of the tuber. Potato stems protrude from the crop's eyes.
- Vegetative development: The next stage is characterized by forming the plant's vegetative elements (leaves, branches, roots, and stolons). It starts as the plant emerges and lasts until the tubers begin to develop.
- Tuber set: Tubers are formed at stolon tips during the third growth stage, although they are not yet growing. The tubers of a potato plant are about the size of a jelly bean and resemble a small potato once you check them. Be reminded that this stage lasts around two weeks.
- Tuber bulking: This is the longest-lasting stage of the potato growth cycle. Bulking can take up to three months, depending on the planting date and other conditions, although it usually lasts 45-60 days.
- Maturation: Here are the signs that the potatoes have reached maturity: Vines turn yellow and lose leaves, photosynthesis gradually decreases, tuber growth rate slows, and the vines die.
In growing potatoes using aquaponics, the recommended fish type would be a walleye or a yellow pike since they are adaptable to the temperature potatoes prefer.
How long does it take to grow potatoes in aquaponics?
Potatoes are also grouped according to their growth stage.
|Early season||Yukon Gold, Irish Cobbler, and Norland||75-90 days|
|Midseason||French Fingerling, Gold Rush, Red Pontiac, and Purple Viking||90-135 days|
|Late season||Katahdin, Canela Russet, Kennebec, and Amarosa||135-160 days|
Potatoes will do well in your aquaponics garden, provided you give them the factors I outlined in this article. Having this vegetable crop in your system is an excellent choice since it is versatile and can be cooked in several ways.