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My system is about 26 weeks old as of sept 15 2011. I am having better than expected success with root crops. So far beets, onions, garlic, carrots and radishes all love the media beds. I think my success is partly to my gravel being round and not cracked. What successes or failures is other aquapons having. My system is flood and drain with affnan siphons. About 20 min cycles. My ph is at 7.8. I am having no luck with potatoes .That is the only root crop that has failed. Please be specific. Media type, cycle time, ect...ect.

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don't forget tomatillos!

David Waite said:
Harold my cycle is about 20 min give or take a few. I will say at 11 weeks my onions and garlic are the size of a silver dollar. You definitely need to grow these to go with tomatoes and peppers. How else are you going to make salsa. hehe.

Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi All,

Do you all think that the average 20 min. cycle time is good for root crop? I've no experience here, never grew any(except tomatoes), and would like to learn.

I'm sure Jerusalem Artichoke could grow in gravel too or sand.  Might need to make sure they don't stay too wet though.  Mine are growing in ground and they don't get much water.

Cooking Cajun said:
If sandbeds of some kind can be used, I wonder if Jerusalem Artichoke can be grown? Sand? got plenty of that!

Cajun are tomatillos a root crop. I thought they grew like a tomato only smaller. Never grown them.

Cooking Cajun said:
don't forget tomatillos!

David Waite said:
Harold my cycle is about 20 min give or take a few. I will say at 11 weeks my onions and garlic are the size of a silver dollar. You definitely need to grow these to go with tomatoes and peppers. How else are you going to make salsa. hehe.

Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi All,

Do you all think that the average 20 min. cycle time is good for root crop? I've no experience here, never grew any(except tomatoes), and would like to learn.

Onions, Garlic, beets and radishes are producing nicely at this time. Can see myself growing 2 full crops a year. The system has met all my familys requirements in onions and garlic for year round self sufficiency.
good Job!!!!!  I wish I was better at growing onions and garlic but I don't think my climate is very good for them.
TC not sure what I am doing right other than ph is a little high 7.6. They sure came to a screachin halt when the temps reach a 100 in the green house.

I think the biggest problem might be that I've probably not gotten the right type to grow here at my latt to get them to bulb up during the right season based on day length.

We got a hand full of nice onions but most of them didn't grow much from the sets we started with other than growing tops.  The cook here goes through lots of onions when cooking though so it's hard to grow enough.

Hi David/TC,

Especially jealous of you David. I put one garlic and onion plant each in the bed about 8 days ago, they are dying. I keep the PH around 6.8 - 7ppm and using 17 - 20 min cycles, everything else seems to thrive but these, guess I'm no way near the root crop kings/queens!!!!

In the past I've had my PH up around 7.4( Trying to imitate both David and TC PH ranges) and noticed calcium and iron deficiencies causing me to drop back to 7 ppm. Are these crop thriving in your systems because of your high PH you think? 

Harold I wish more people would respond to verify ph ranges and the root crop development. I see people grow radishes in a 7 range but not enough info on other root crops at this time. Maybe you and TC can email to your long friends list to get more imput and bring this discussion to the forefront. I am really curious as to ph ranges vs cracked media or round.
David - my systems is anywhere between 6.5 and 7.4.  I grow in crush, river gravel and in pool sand.  I have had great success with shalottes in all those, but have not tried the white or brown onions or garlic in my system yet.  The beetroot I put in is still young and it is not getting much nutrients (no fish in the system) thus it is too early to tell how they will do.  Will keep updates posted. 

Some root crops need extra potassium to develop well.  And my higher pH range in my big system is not necessarily something to emulate, I tried using shells in my media which was not such a good idea though I don't much have to worry about that system having a low pH crash at least.

 

Some root crops like certain onions and garlic have kinda specific seasonal requirements so I would suggest doing some reading on what kinds should be planted when in different lattitudes and climates since temperature, wettness, heat and humidity can all have an effect on different growth stages especially of getting onions and garlic to bulb up.

 

I've noticed that beets can be rather slow to get a nice ball and turnips seem to do better for me when planted in the fall as the once started in spring and growing into hot weather tend to be more bitter.  Very few of my radishes seem to make nice pretty roots but I'm not enough interested in radish to really worry much about it.

 

Carrots seem to grow fine for me in AP but they don't necessarily form perfect pretty roots in the beds with the more jagged shells.  This doesn't bother me since I'm not trying to sell the carrots, they still taste fine.  I expect light weight media like clay balls that are rather regular in shape will make it easier for roots to develop nice uniform shapes and perhaps the sand would be good for that too but again, unless you are trying to market the roots, does perfection really matter that much?

Interesting on the shallots. I am growing leeks and they seem to be forming ok but very slow compared to onions and garlic. Please keep us posted on the sand component. Very curious.

Kobus Jooste said:
David - my systems is anywhere between 6.5 and 7.4.  I grow in crush, river gravel and in pool sand.  I have had great success with shalottes in all those, but have not tried the white or brown onions or garlic in my system yet.  The beetroot I put in is still young and it is not getting much nutrients (no fish in the system) thus it is too early to tell how they will do.  Will keep updates posted. 

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