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questions about floating raft culture

Posted by castorp z9 FL (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 5, 09 at 13:18

I'm thinking about growing leafy vegetables in a floating raft system--basically a kiddy pool filled with solution and a styrofoam raft. But I have some questions before I get started and I was wondering if you all could help me with them.

I've read that this system works well for lettuce and some herbs without an aerator so long as the net pots (or styrofoam cups with holes cut in them) are set in the raft so that they only just barely touch the water's surface--no more than 1/8 or 1/4 inch should be submerged.

My questions are:

Would the lettuce grow better with an aerator anyway?

Have any of you grown other leafy vegetables like collards, kale, and chard in a raft system and how did they do for you?

Would scallions or green onions grow well in a raft system?
Would herbs like parsley, cilantro grow well with this system?

Thank you!

Bill


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: questions about floating raft culture

A couple things come to mind:
First off, if you're going to use a child's swimming pool, you'll have to find some method of keeping sunlight off the water. If you don't, you'll have algae galore.

Second, leafy vegetables grow best on rafts, but watch out for stuff that grows tall as it will eventually just tip over.

An aerator will dissuade algae formation as well as boost your plants' growth.


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RE: questions about floating raft culture

Thanks for the information.

A question about the algae. To keep light from entering I plan to bury the pool nearly up to the rim (but in such a way that it's still higher than the surrounding ground) and to cut the raft so that it covers nearly the entire surface of the water, leaving just enough space around the edges for the raft to move up and down. Some light will enter through the edge, and through the net pots at least until plants fill them in. Should this reduce light enough to prevent algae growth? Aside from the aerator, is there anything more I can do?

Bill


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