Can you grow potatoes hydroponically?

Q:

Can you grow potatoes hydroponically?

A:

We know many readers have been experimenting with growing different crops hydroponically. For this special Ask the Experts section, we went to the experts at Hydrofarm. In a post on Hydrofarm’s popular blog, Peyam Barghassa answers the question of whether or not it is possible to grow potatoes in a hydroponic system, and outlines how readers can go about doing so.

Growing potatoes hydroponically is easier than you might think, and a lot cleaner than growing them in soil! I use a large fabric pot filled with an absorbent, granular stonewool product.

I soak the stonewool in pH 5.5 water and let it drain, then soak it once more in pH 5.5 water with some veg nutrient. Then I fill the fabric about three-quarters of the way full and place the germinating potato pieces on the stonewool granulate.

Once this is done, I fill the fabric pot the rest of the way with more wet granulate, make up more nutrient solution and pour it over the granulate. That’s pretty much it.

Every time I water, I add a little nutrient to the water. I use nutes higher in P and K rather than N, especially at the later stages of growth. The potatoes I harvest need only a single rinse since I don’t have to scrub off any soil. Next time, I’m going to try carrots and other root crops in the granulate!

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Written by Peyam Barghassa
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Peyam Barghassa was born in Iran, but grew up in Spain and New York City. He earned an MS in Soil Science at Texas A&M University as well as a BA in Humanities and a BS in Agronomy from North Carolina State University. He traveled to Guatemala with the Peace Corps to work on agricultural projects from 2005-2007. Peyam has been Hydrofarm’s Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Territory Manager since January 2012.  Full Bio