Step 17: Hydroponic potatoes!
Hydroponics isn't just for above ground plants, with a bit of creativity (and a good hydroponics book!!), you can find ways to plant pretty much anything without dirt.
Potatoes can be started from any potato with eyes.
You can even start from a small slice of a potato, as long as it has an eye to start a root from.
Ideally you will want to get a seed potato from your local nursery, as it will be disease free and healthy.
I was a bit impatient however, and just grabbed a potato from the cupboard!
The plan here, is to plant the potato at the bottom of the bin, and as it grows, add more medium around the plant. (look at the second, badly drawn picture!)
This will give us more potatoes, and let us grow vertically.
One very important note here, don't let any potatoes grow uncovered. Uncovered potatoes will go green, and green potatoes are poisonous!!
Start by lining the bottom of the bin with some clay balls, this will allow the water to drain better.
Place the potato in the centre and cover with a 50/50 perlite & vermiculite mix and put in the drip ring.
Now, being so deep down in the bin, it would help if we could direct some more light into the area.
One of the best ways to reflect the light that plants like, is to use a reflective material called Mylar.
Mylar in rolls for hydroponics is a bit expensive, thankfully it isn't just for hydroponics, you will find it on shiny balloons, and chip packets!
Having a big multi-pack available, I cut it open, and stuck it into place.