Tomatoes can be grown in Martian soil

It should be possible to grow tomatoes on Mars. Or at least, if you look at the circumstances in which scientists of the University of Wageningen have cultivated tomatoes. The tomatoes are grown in soil that can be compared to Martian soil; with heavy metals, equal to that on Mars.

Researcher Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen UR, regularly shares some updates via his Twitter account.



In 2014 he conducted the first trials with agricultural and food crops, which they cultivated in artificial Martian and lunar soil provided by Nasa. "We did not know what would happen when we added water to the soil. What turned out is that the Martian soil holds water well, while the moon sand did not." To the researchers' amazement, all plants germinated in the Martian soil. Rye and cress, the agricultural crops, germinated best, while wild plants germinated badly.



Previous research with radish and peas were also successful. Leeks, chives and spinach yielded inferior results.

Right now Wamelink is taking a closer look at tomatoes in Martian and lunar soil. In the pictures you can see that the crops are doing very well. We are looking forward to hearing more from the research project.


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