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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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Great info TC!
Interesting to note about the type of container - Thanks TC.  We always or almost always go for straight-sided though don't we.  The bed in which the carrots did not do so well is the one that now holds the passion fruit.  It has not stuffed up that bed yet, thus I hope it does not do so in the future as your banana did!  The sand bed is identically straight-sided, but I can easily push my fingers into the sand in a way that is simply not possible with 19 mm crush stone.  We will have to see if "give" or bed shape is going to be the decider in the sand test.
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 had root croops in similar or shorter cycles, and unless the root got damaged, they were fine - left a chalotte in a bed for almost a year and it never rotted.  The sand bed will be on a 1 hour cycle or slightly longer just to be different.  Carrots, beets and shalottes in there now.

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.

Hi,

Thanks David. OK, will keep the salsa in mind.

Kobus, think the sand will be too damp for these?

I don't think so Harold, but I am trying the longer dry intervals just to start with.  The sand deeper down stays pretty damp most of the time, but will not be any wetter than a flood and drain media bed.  I have shoved all manner of things into the sand bed - tomato seedling, lettuce seeds, swiss chard seeds, chalottes, beets, carrots, strawberries........

All seem to be doing OK so far.

Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi,

Thanks David. OK, will keep the salsa in mind.

Kobus, think the sand will be too damp for these?

:I just check my walla walla onions and from a slip to baseball size in about 12 weeks. Not all are that size but that is impressive for a rookie hehe. will take pics this weekend.

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.

Hi David,

Yes very impressive!

From walla to "voila" in just 12 weeks!

I hope this pic works but here is my root crops at 13 week mark. Hope you all add to this discussion .

Hi David,

Master of root crop 

David Waite said:

I hope this pic works but here is my root crops at 13 week mark. Hope you all add to this discussion .
Harold a man can only eat so much rabbit food before he needs a beer and a burger. I am having fun with the root crops though.

Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi David,

Master of root crop 

David Waite said:

I hope this pic works but here is my root crops at 13 week mark. Hope you all add to this discussion .
If sandbeds of some kind can be used, I wonder if Jerusalem Artichoke can be grown? Sand? got plenty of that!

TCLynx said:

My systems.  Big system media is a mix of 1/2" brown river rock (mostly quartz type rocks that don't affect pH) and shells (I don't recommend the shells but I've still done OK since they only buffer up to 7.6 rather than above 8 the way most limestone will.)  I've grown carrots, beets, onions and turnips nicely and radish grows well too though we don't eat much of it.  I've also grown sweet potato and jicama in that system.  Make sure the get the jicama out before it gets cold and starts to rot, it needs a really long season though and can take over the world as tropical vines are want to do, the foliage and been pods of jicama are supposedly poisonous so you are only growing it for the roots that I've had get anywhere from baseball size up to basketball size.

 

The 300 gallon system has the brown river rock but no shells.  Turnips, onions, radish, beets, and carrots all did great.  I have not tried the sweet potatoes or jicama in that system at this time but see not reason that they wouldn't do fine.

 

I have not yet tried peanuts in aquaponics.  I don't know if the plants would be able to peg the flowers in gravel so this might be appropriate to a sand bed.  Perhaps I should try it this season though since I haven't planted any peanuts yet.

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