Root and plant growth and tuber development of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) were considerably better in arcillite than in white quartz sand. Arcillite has several advantages for root and tuber studies requiring minimal damage to the tissue and/or adherence of the media to the root System. Mineral element analysis indicated that various nutrients including boron in arcillite became slowly available for plant growth.
A soil cooling system was developed using a chest-type freezer as a central cold air reservoir. Thermostatically controlled fans circulate cold air from the freezer into smaller air chambers containing large plastic pots. The system is inexpensive, easily constructed, and provides good soil temperature control.
A study was conducted to determine if subjecting potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Russet Burbank) to cool growing temperatures during and shortly after tuber formation would induce the development of brown center or hollow heart. Plants were moved at weekly intervals following tuber initiation from warm growing conditions into a 3-week cool environment (10° nights/18°C days). Plants were then returned to warm conditions (18° nights/23° days) for a period of several weeks and harvested. Those plants given the 3-week cool treatment or grown continuously in the cool after tuber initiation showed a significantly higher incidence of brown center.