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Wetland taro in a bucket

Posted by Anakaleki z9FriendswoodTX (nelumbo_nucifera@hotmail.com) on
Sun, Jan 16, 05 at 23:09

Does anyone have experience growing wetland taro in buckets? I have many large 30-40 gallon buckets that I would like to grow taro in fo corms/leaves but I'm not sure wat soil should be used.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wetland taro in a bucket

I currently grow mine upland style. All taro can be grown that way, while only wetland compatible taro can be grown wetland style. However, if you want to explore bucket taro, give this site a gander:
http://members.tripod.com/raygrogan2-ivil/tarogrowcookeat/

My site, http://www.taroandti.com/ will have more info as I develop it, but Grogan's site is pretty far along in describing techniques for growing taro.

If you have a taro that doesn't grow well in wetland conditions, you may kill it by trying - so research your particular variety first to be sure it will work.

I would still recommend some way to circulate the water. Taro would no doubt respond better to that. In that avenue, installing taro into a bio-filter system of a small backyard pond would be a good thing. Pond water pumped thru this little lo'i (can be as simple as a big bucket) and overflowing back into the pond will help clarify the water as the filtering plants - taro included - harvest nutrients from it. Fish in the pond will help provide those nutrients to make for some happy taro. A pond I'm digging may incorporate something like this as well as using cattails and other plants to filter the water. Alternatively, taro can be grown in ditches where water is flowed - this can also be used in a biofilter system for a pond.

Remember that some taro can get quite big and prolifically produce keiki - a bucket can be dwarfed very quickly. :)

Have fun,
Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing and cooking taro


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RE: Wetland taro in a bucket

Mike,
I agree totally with the pond taro concept. I too am digging a pond, for koi. My current small koi pond has a taro growing in a pot set in the waterfall. That is the best looking taro I have. It would be important in a fish pond to not use synthetic plant fertilizers that may hurt the fish, but I have seen no need for fertilizer. The fish waste seems to feed the plants wonderfully, and like you said, I'm sure the taro helps to clean the water for the fish. My koi are happy, my taro are happy, and I am happy.
In my larger koi pond I am currently building, I will make some depressions in the waterfall to hold larger areas of plants, so I can take even better advantage of this.
I have been watering all my cannas, bananas, taro, and garden plants with pond water for a year now, and they seem to love it, especially the green/black sludgy gunk that accumulates in the bottom of my filter chamber. Fish poop grows monster plants!
I had thought of buying a plastic kiddy pool and growing taro in 5 gallon buckets set in pond water in the kiddie pool. We have a local native ditch minnow that can tolerate extreme temperature fluctuations and poor water quality, so I would go net some ditch minnows and put them in the water for mosquito control.
Happy bucket growing!


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RE: Wetland taro in a bucket

Thank you, I didn't know you could kill a taro plant if it isn't suitable for wetland culture. When I planted a few in the buckets, they seemed to be declining and I guess that's why.


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RE: Wetland taro in a bucket

When you first transplant, you'll lose the leaves that are already there unless you cut them - I usually cut off the leaves and leave the petiols when I transplant taro so that more energy is available to the corm to produce new roots. Then it takes a couple of weeks or so before new growth appears. Additionally, in our zone, now's about the time that taro starts waking up. Mine are yawning and putting out their first new sets of leaves for the season. :)

Varieties like Bun Long are unsuitable for wetland style - so if you know your variety, hit up Google or post it here and see if you can find out it's suitability for wetland growing.

If you're unsure about the variety, I would experiment with a spare keiki and grow backups in the upland style. Make sure when you plant in water to keep the water depth so that the leaves and a portion of stem is above the water. It's one of the few plants that breath thru the leaves and stems rather than the roots. If it's a small keiki, plant it in mud then flood it gradually as it grows. When it's mature, 6" up to a foot of water should be fine, depending on the size of the taro.

Have fun,
Mike


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RE: Wetland taro in a bucket

Aloha Andrew
Those Azores taros I sent you are not grown in water. They like moist soil but not sitting in water. I dig a ditch about 12 to 18 inches deep and then back fill with about 4 inches of loose soil. I plant the starts in the loose soil and fertilize lightly. Very light on the N at this point, mostly P & K. I use drip irrigation, "T-tape" and as they begin to leaf out (a couple of new leaves) I briefly move over the drip lines and I back fill with a few more inches of soil (with some organic matter and any pulled weeds)and fertilize again boosting the N %. I continue this process of back filling and fertilizing lightly each time up to the last few times I backfill. Eventually I begin hilling soil up around the plants. Depending on the variety you can grow some massive corms this way. You could try this method in your buckets by planting the corms near the bottom and slowly fertilizing and backfilling as the plants get larger. Remember taro corms grow from the bottom up, the corm section you plant does not increase in size, just the new corm forming above it. So as the leaves get larger so does the corm.

If you are starting with cuttings from the top of corms i.e. a leaf or two with a half inch or so of corm attached,(by the way you can do this with the corms I sent you once they have a leaf or two) when you clean the corm you can see where the new offshoot buds are forming. They are spaced irregularily around the corm and even begin forming under the petiole. Take a sharp blade and slice those little buds off. With a little effort you can reduce the number of offshoots per plant to near zero thus concentrating all the plants energy into one large corm. Of course you only want to do this if you don't need more young plants.
Mahalo
Mark


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RE: Wetland taro in a bucket

i want to start growing taro for poi and found out that Piialii is the best for poi. could anyone help me with finding corm for planting? thank you


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RE: Wetland taro in a bucket

I don't have any spares at the moment but if you hang out at the Taro-and-Ti Yahoop group the members there do a lot of trading, sharing and selling there. If I have spares I'll be sure to update http://taroandti.com/ concerning that. Piialii is a pretty temperamental taro to grow too so I'd also have alternatives growing as well. A very sturdy taro that makes decent poi is Kai Kea. I have a bed of that stuff that I thought a drought had killed - sat dormant for over a year, and now they're sprouting back like mad! Lately I've been committing more of my taro to wetland culture if they're compatible, and muddy culture if they're upland taro - here in Texas it's just so blazingly hot in the summer that I've lost taro for nothing more than their roots overheating and for the rapid drying of containerized taro too. Currently that means a lot of 25-gallon buckets, but I'm going to build some raised beds this Winter to plant out in the Spring - lined with poly and filled with soil and topped off with water and stocked with mosquito-fish.

Here is a link that might be useful: Taro and Ti


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RE: Wetland taro in a bucket

Our home in Nuuanu was purchased in 1950 and came with taro already installed. Rumour has it that our neghborhood was once taro patch. We renovated in the 90's and the taro was pulled up unceremoniously, plunked into a plastic mop bucket and relegated to a lonely spot behind the new barbeque pit. Over the next few years it outgrew its bucket and established itself in that lonely little corner. We keep it for sentimental reasons but our neighbor takes the leaves for medicinal purposes.


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RE: Wetland taro in a bucket

Please consider restoring that taro patch, or building a new one if your buildings are now in that spot. The land you are on was certainly blessed by the kalo and will continue to be blessed for certain and a prominent kalo patch is a beauty to behold. If you want to contact me privately, I'd love to hear more about this displaced kalo. I'm impressed it has survived so well.


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RE: Wetland taro in a bucket

Speaking of kalo in a bucket, the last couple of years I've had kalo growing in a couple of 25-gallon molasses buckets - the kind usually found stacked behind barns on ranches after the goats, cattle and horses have finished consuming the molasses feed. I put Kai Kea in one and Piialii in the other and have smaller pots of Kaanoi in both, and on each I have a little fish-filter to keep the water moving. Inside each bucket I have pretty good populations of skeeter-fish - gambusia - that keep the water rich in nitrogen for the kalo. I'm fixing to harvest my Piialii and the Kai Kea could probably be harvested too - their corms are pretty large now, all things considered. For soil, I used real dirt. Just dug a hole and filled up the 3-gallon pots with the dirt, wet it into mud and planted the kalo into that. Later on this winter I've got more large buckets that I'll put dirt in directly so the kalo will have more room to spread - and I'm planning on an inground covered lo'i inspired by how my bucket lo'i have performed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Description of my bucket lo'i


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